India to remain a stretched society forever, says N Chandrasekaran

N Chandrasekran, chairman, Tata Sons
India will always remain a 'stretched society' with limitations of both infrastructure and skilled manpower, which underlines the importance of technology in improving efficiency and create new jobs, said Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran.

Addressing the Nasscom Technology and Leadership Forum (NTLF), the annual flagship event of IT industry body Nasscom, Chandrasekaran also said that the fears of job losses due to artificial intelligence (AI) was a narrative created by the developed economies.

“India forever will be a stretched society. We will need to make the most of what we already have. Problem of India is distinctly different from that of the US, Japan and any other country. We don't have problems of age or numbers, rather we don't have skills and qualification," said Chandrasekaran.  "So, our approach to automation has to be deliberately and distinctly different from the US and other countries."

He also said that the narrative of AI taking jobs has been built up by the developed countries because of challenges coming from ageing population and maturing economies.

"When you look at developing markets, we have distinctly different characteristics. And the technology will play out differently (for us)," said the Tata Sons chairman.

With appropriate skilling, India can contribute more to its GDP by converting informal jobs into formal ones. "Indian workforce is overwhelmingly informal. They don't have consistent wages, contract or other safety nets. So, impact of informal job becoming formal will be hugely advantageous."

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