Bangladesh is gearing up for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Hardly a day goes by when a public political leader or a prominent civil society stalwart doesn't bring up the issues relating to 4IR in the public media. One could indeed say that 4IR is the new buzzword for the country.

There are numerous challenges and openings for us as we embrace this major global movement which, if handled expertly, could lead to major metamorphosis, growth, and enhancement. So, the million-bone question is What are the major policy conduct that the government can initiate to prepare the country for 4IR?

What's 4IR?

The Remunerative Impacts of the 4IR on bangladesh

First a caveat. While 4IR has the implicit to" raise global income situations and ameliorate the quality of life for populations around the world" according to Klaus Schwab, it also isn't the be-all and end-all for the future of the globe. I say that because while the former artificial revolutions in the last 200 times have left their unforgettable marks on society, the failure of the political, profitable, and social leaders to anticipate and steer clear of the negative side- goods — or landmines — have redounded in the current global heads, including climate change, income inequality, and the conflict-ridden geography that we now substantiation.

The First Industrial Revolution used water and brume power to mechanize products, substantially in England. The Alternate exercised the arrival of electricity to produce mass products, and an illustration could be Henry Ford's Model-T assembly line. The Third, which lasted from the end of the Second World War to the emergence of the Internet, used electronics and information technology to automate products. The Fourth, which is really at its immaturity now, began with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), digitalization, biotechnology, and global connectivity, and has touched the entire systems of product, operation, and governance. Billions of people are now connected with mobile bias, unite — using digital tools and AI — and live in a metaverse. 4IR promises to shape the future by linking the physical, digital, and natural worlds more tightly.

The pledge and power of 4IR are apparent in the world of the Covid-19 epidemic. New technologies will crop more fleetly now that we know how to acclimatize to a major disastrous event, and ultimately address complaints, climate change, and poverty.

Bangladesh's challenge is to transfigure our education programs and chops development structure to deliver the bents demanded an innovative, digitized, and post-agricultural frugality as we also march into upper-income status.

The forces driving 4IR are colorful digital technologies including robotics, AI, virtual reality, blockchain, internet of effects, nanotechnology, genomics, biotechnology, pall computing, 3D printing, big data, and others. We can anticipate seeing smart manufactories, cyber-physical systems, tone- association, new systems in distribution and procurement, new systems in the development of products and services, adaption to mortal requirements, and commercial social responsibility.

Is Bangladesh prepared for 4IR?

Bangladesh is well-positioned to take advantage of 4IR. It has a growing manufacturing base, professed force, and a creative entrepreneurial class. On the other side, the position of robotization is still weak, the manufacturing sector is limited to garments and much other minor diligence, shy structure, and the institutions leave much to be desired. However, it'll need to put in place certain measures to overcome issues around availability, affordability, If Bangladesh wants to snare the openings arising from 4IR.

Fortunately, our leadership is completely cognizant of the implicit benefits of 4IR and the enormous tasks that lie ahead. The planning minister assured a gathering of business leaders that the government would give full support for the expression and perpetuation of a public strategy to make Bangladesh 4IR-responsive. The country is poised to review its progress periodically, having set specific growth targets for the times 2026, 2031, and 2041. To name many, the country aims to graduate from LDC status in 2026, come an upper-middle-income country (UMIC) by 2031 and achieve high-income country status by 2041. In addition, there are 18 development targets to be achieved by 2030 under the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Openings and challenges

Bangladesh has in the last 30 times gained significant knowledge in artificial growth to leapfrog directly into using more advanced technologies and bypass numerous of the early growing pains of espousing 4IR. Accordingly, there is the plenitude of openings for metamorphosis, growth, and enhancement in all situations of governments, non-governmental associations, and professions.

For illustration, during the Covid epidemic, our healthcare and IT sectors showed an extraordinary degree of rigidity, adaptability, and engagement in the R&D ecosystem. The structure demanded that health policy dispersion including vaccination, testing, and contact-tracing platforms were put in place in a short period of time.

In a UNIDO report entitled “Economics of Technological Leapfrogging", countries similar to Bangladesh are linked as having the utmost pledge in terms of leapfrogging into smart manufactories. The Bangladesh government has taken several enterprises in this regard, emphasizing the need for using information and communication technologies (ICT) to achieve its Vision 2041.

According to Oxford Internet Institute, Bangladesh is the alternate-largest supplier of online freelance labor. As a bystander noted," Civic life in Bangladesh is much more advanced in terms of transportation, banking, telecommunication, digital payments, e-commerce, etc."

A precondition for joining the 4IR is having the absorptive capacity and introductory technological capabilities for the businesses to subsidize on the openings that it presents. We also need to be aware to shift our focus on erecting our capabilities to move into advanced-end parts of being global value chains.

An area that needs careful planning and public-private cooperation is the degree of robotization applicable for a country with redundant labor. A recent study released by McKinsey Global Institute reports that roughly one-fifth of the global pool will be impacted by the relinquishment of AI and robotization. While the most significant impact of robotization can be anticipated in advanced nations like the UK, Germany, and the USA, arising nations won't be safe. By 2022, 50 percent of companies believe that robotization will drop their figures of full-time staff and by 2030, robots will replace 800 million workers across the world.

Professor Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), on the other hand, sees a tableware filling."It's not all doom and dusk," says Acemoglu."There's nothing that says technology is bad for workers. It's the choice we make about the direction to develop technology that's critical."

As Bangladesh attempts to upgrade the position of robotization, the country will need to work on original chops and training institutions. Given our incipient manufacturing base, we can also profit from seeking out 4IR-affiliated service start-ups with innovative business models or customizing being models to suit original conditions. Obviously, in similar cases, access to original backing and adventure capital is pivotal for small, medium, micro enterprises (MSME) to enter the request.

To take the case of RMG, it's possible to use blockchain technology to record, track, and trace garment shipments. Blockchains achieve secretary without a chronicler and allow individualities to make deals anonymously and snappily. Similar innovative use of this imperative technology will give consumers confidence about their source and compliance with safety and mortal rights stylish practices. Directors can admit an increased return on their labor, as consumers will also be ready to pay a decoration for the end product.

Associations similar to the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the International Trade Centre, the World Bank Group, the World Trade Organization, and the World Economic Forum can give software as well as tackle support to LDCs.

The part of the government

The part of the government to marshal in 4IR and to give a suitable terrain for that's vital. The education sector will also play a vital part in training the pool demanded the new jobs. As mentioned, numerous of the being jobs will be phased out and the laid-off workers will need to be retrained and the government can play a big part to give the workers the impulses to dislocate.

Just as government policy was an important motorist during the growth of the RMG sector in the 70s and 80s, the policy frame for 4IR must be tweaked to nudge the private sector and the universities to move in the right direction. Changes in the class to steer our scholars in the direction of STEM ( wisdom, technology, engineering, and mathematics) must be initiated at the smallest position of the educational system.

To adopt a runner from a global adviser's report, several ways need to be taken at the public position.

  1. Make a plan. Set out the pretensions and work with the assiduity leaders to direct the ultimate into new kinds of technology to address guests' requirements better.
  2. Seek out new openings and low-hanging fruits. Identify areas that are ready for change and lead to increased productivity.
  3. Invest in mortal capital and force developers to produce a pool that's ready to succeed in a digital terrain.
  4. Encourage all government agencies and the private sector to incorporate environmental responsibility and eco-efficiency. To contend successfully in the global terrain, businesses need to pay further attention to reducing waste and using coffers efficiently.

Concluding Reflections

New technologies and 4IR can be necessary for transubstantiating our husbandry. The term artificial revolution is a misnomer since biotechnology and scientific exploration can boost our agrarian product and transfigure the lives of the pastoral population. Bangladesh has seen the spread of mobile technology, including mobile fiscal services making significant advances in pastoral areas. Software-enabled products give real-time request information, on-time delivery of inventories, and briskly deals, and have formerly made raids in remote townlets.

Blockchain operations have the eventuality to transfigure the entire frugality. Like roads, electricity, telecommunications, and the internet, blockchain technology could be a game-changer. Blockchain databases have the capability to produce and maintain decentralized commerce and distributed recordkeeping ( land records, contracts, and legal deals), and remove numerous institutional backups.

Dr. Abdullah Shibli is Senior Research Fellow at the US- grounded International Sustainable Development Institute (ISDI). His new bio, "A Fairy Tale Autobiographical Stories", was later published by Jonantik.