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Indian Express

6- December-2023

1) VOWS FOR THE PLANET

Context:

  • India is committed to addressing climate change and its global implications, as demonstrated by the negotiations at COP28 in Dubai.
  • The country aims to become the first major economy to achieve developed country status driven by sustainable energy.
  • Extending the accomplishments of COP26, which secured six gigatonnes of reductions in emissions, India seeks to further contribute to the group’s aim of keeping the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which was decided upon at the Paris COP21.
  • Even if net-zero promises and the expansion of renewable energy have made headway, there are still global concerns that need for cooperation.

India’s Vulnerability to Climate Change: A Crucial Role in Global Mitigation

  • According to the IPCC, India is among the nations most vulnerable to climate change.
  • Possible risks include decreased agriculture yields, water shortages, rising sea levels, and excessive heat stress.
  • Both India’s national resilience and the global effort to achieve the 1.5-degree Celsius target are impacted by the policy decisions and emissions reduction objectives that the country has set.
  • International cooperation is necessary to address the hazards posed by climate change.

Key Areas of Collaboration Between the UK and India

In order to meet the difficulties posed by climate change, the UK and India are collaborating in three main areas:

  • First, attempts are made to restrict the increase in global temperature. This goal is supported by India’s significant investments in renewable energy, support for homegrown solar technology manufacturing, and focus on green hydrogen. Through collaborative research, policy development, and technological initiatives, the UK assists India in promoting cross-investments in green transitions and sustainable mobility.
  • Second, wealthy economies like the UK want to help nations especially India build robust systems to the effects of climate change and prepare for future effects. This support is demonstrated by the UK’s commitment to spending Rs 1,16,000 crore on international climate funding by 2025–2026 and by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s declaration at COP28 of a climate pledge of Rs 16,000 crore. The goal is to shield the most vulnerable countries from the effects of climate change.
  • The third area of cooperation is the preservation of biodiversity. Innovative approaches to addressing the effects of climate change are exemplified by the success of the Indian company S4S Technologies, which was awarded the Prince William Earthshot Prize. By supporting innovative projects and reversing biodiversity loss, this partnership seeks to advance international conservation efforts.

COP28: An Opportunity for Accelerated Action

  • In response to climate change, there is a chance for increased ambition and action during the ongoing COP28.
  • India and the United Kingdom have the potential to take the lead in advancing global efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and to ease the switch to renewable energy sources.
  • India’s clean energy transition can act as a global model for the rest of the world, highlighting the importance of international cooperation and a persistent commitment to climate financing in order to ensure a sustainable future, particularly as the UK continues to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

2) India& geopolitics of AI

Context:

  • As debates over the geopolitics of AI spread over the globe, it is inevitable that thoughts about the nuclear experience will arise.
  • Although AI and nuclear technology are very different from one another, there are similarities in the problems they present and the need for international oversight.
  • Navigating the geopolitical terrain of AI can benefit greatly from learning from India’s complicated nuclear past.

Similarities and Lessons from Nuclear Age

  • The 1945 use of atomic bombs sparked the nuclear revolution, which forced scientists and world leaders to confront the dangers to humankind.
  • In a similar vein, cautious governance is required for the AI revolution due to its potentially disastrous effects if computers overcome human control.
  • Similar to the issues seen during the nuclear era, challenges include controlling geopolitical rivalries, putting safeguards in place, and developing international rules.

Managing US-China Dynamics in AI

  • Like the superpowers of the nuclear era, the US and China continue to dominate current discussions on AI governance.
  • It is seen to be vital that the US and China reach an agreement on military AI regulation.
  • Beijing is overcoming these obstacles, meanwhile, despite attempts to stifle China’s AI development through supply chain limitations.
  • Together, the US and other countries are promoting partnerships like the Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence in order to confront the growth of AI and its ramifications.

Lessons from India’s Nuclear History

India’s nuclear past offers three important lessons:

  • First off, AI is not subject to the disarmament idealism that obstructed rational thought over nuclear weapons. India cannot put off taking significant action in the field of AI, unlike in the nuclear arena.
  • Second, it’s critical to maintain the momentum in the AI relationship between the US and India.
  • Past events, like the lost chances following the 2005 civil nuclear agreement, highlight the necessity of ongoing collaboration.

Overcoming the “Third Way” Temptation

  • India needs to resist the urge to embrace uniqueness and take the “third way” in terms of technical advancement.
  • Applications could differ, but science and technology are always relevant.
  • In the 1970s, Delhi’s historical emphasis on technological growth impeded progress.
  • India ought to welcome global collaboration, bolster its own AI skills, and enlist the private sector in innovation.

Urgent Need for Technological Reforms

  • Technology reforms, particularly in AI, should be given top priority in India’s policy agenda.
  • Although there has been some progress in opening up the scientific and technology industries, there has to be a more comprehensive and urgent agenda for reforming the technology sector.
  • In line with the worldwide trend where private organizations drive developments, the private sector has to be encouraged to play a more active role in AI research, development, and innovation.

Way Forward:

  • India could use its knowledge of nuclear history to its advantage as it hosts the Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence meeting and successfully negotiates the intricate geopolitics of AI.
  • Ensuring India’s strategic position in the changing AI world would require clear governmental decisions, persistent collaboration, and technology improvements.

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