Striking a Balance Between Globalisation and Self-Reliance to Stay Ahead of the Field

Globalisation has changed the world in more ways than one. It took 1,000 years for paper to spread from China to the rest of Europe. Today, the world has become more integrated and connected, and the propagation of information has become faster than ever before. Along with this, globalisation has also increased the dependence on global supply chains. For example, in 2021, India imported $5.48 billion worth of semiconductor chips, out of which $4.25 billion worth of chips came from China. So, if, at some point in time, India and China stop trading, India will be short of $4.25 billion worth of semiconductor chips, which will lead to disruption in the manufacturing of electronics and tech gadgets. Moreover, America is home to the world’s biggest tech companies, but most of its raw materials come from China and Russia, neither of which see eye to eye with the US. According to several reports, the chip manufacturing industry is expected to decrease by $67 billion in 2024. 

This is one of the greatest challenges of globalisation. Dependency on international markets and supply chain disruptions can cause serious national problems. The recent unrest in the Middle East has proved this. The war in Gaza and the retaliation from the Houthis have skyrocketed the price of oil, making this a big problem for nations worldwide. According to the World Bank, the price of crude oil can go as high as $150 per barrel in 2024. 

This is not the end; this rabbit hole is very deep. To understand it, try to understand who controls global technologies. For example, Google Maps is a navigational system used by 220 countries and territories around the globe. It gives Google a monopoly on the technology, and due to the reliance on Google Maps, most countries worldwide don’t even have their own navigation system. So, if someday the US government decides that it will not allow Google to cater to the needs of people in India, the country’s infrastructure will be severely affected as most of the online delivery businesses use Google Maps to navigate in India. 

Another example of how globalisation affects the tech industry is fairly recent. Due to the regulations implemented by the European Union (EU) and the Indian government, Apple had to change the charging point on their whole lineup. For the first time ever, Apple is willing to make its iOS more open-sourced than before. 

What Measures Are Countries Adopting to Fight this?

Nations around the world are implementing new policies to lessen their dependency on the international market. The US recently passed a new bill called the US Chips And Science Act, which offers massive incentives to semiconductor manufacturers in the US. This will have a major impact on the global chip market. However, the US still has to import raw materials from other countries. 

India was also quick to react and started welcoming foreign investments. Some of the world’s biggest semiconductor manufacturers, like TSMC and Foxconn, are eyeing India as the next chip manufacturing hub worldwide. Moreover, Apple also started manufacturing iPhones in India due to the incentives given by the Indian government. 

Also, India is developing its own navigation system and a GPT model to cater to the needs of its citizens without the fear of disruption due to global events. The Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, is developing a navigation system called NaVIC. The Chairman of ISRO, Dr. Somnath, said, “Solutions provided by ISRO will help monetise the space economy. We must start looking at our space sector with a new perspective on a larger and more monetised economy. If we look at NavIC, though a regional satellite navigation system, it has the potential to become a global navigation system.” This system can prove to be a boon, not only for the people of India but also for national security purposes. 

Also, IIT Bombay and Reliance Jio are developing the Bharat GPT. This will decrease Indian citizens’ dependency on GPT models like ChatGPT and Gemini and help create a self-reliant tech landscape. 

Globalisation is one of the best things that has happened in the world. However, its challenges are extreme and difficult to deal with without a proper infrastructure and a roadmap. In today’s world, keeping good ties with other nations and having backup options for almost every need as a nation is necessary.

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