Should India Stay Away from the Fourth Revolution?

16 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2017

Date Written: December 7, 2017


Critics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution raise many concerns against it mainly alleging job losses and rise in inequality. This article debunks these concerns by emphasizing how the same concerns would have been raised at the time of the First Industrial Revolution as well. We then see what happened subsequently benefitting from our knowledge of history. We then go on to examine why things unfolded that way tracing the reasons to the very roots of human behavior. These factors still remain the same, therefore there is every reason to expect that like the previous three, the Fourth Revolution too would be a productivity enhancing one and make lives better for all of us. Any job losses would at best be transitory. We then finally argue that whether she wants the Fourth or not, it will impact India and her economy carried by global trade and capital flows. Thus the only option in reality for her is to prepare herself and not shun it. India is already uniquely poised to reap the benefits. All she needs to do to minimize the temporary pain is to ease out its business regulations – make it less costly for entrepreneurs to hire labor because it is basic economic logic that if hiring labor is more expensive than hiring machines, an entrepreneur will hire a machine and vice versa. Another critical thing she must do is to develop her human resource development and incentivize innovations.

Keywords: Fourth Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Unemployment, Inequality, Liberalisation

Suggested Citation

Agrawal, Gaurav, Should India Stay Away from the Fourth Revolution? (December 7, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Gaurav Agrawal (Contact Author)

Government of India ( email )

7568597500 (Phone)

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