Data Driven New Global Order – UPSC GS2

Strategic Implications of the Data revolution:
  • Data has created a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship between military and civilian systems. Today cybersecurity has become national security. Thus, it demands a new military doctrine and a diplomatic framework.
  • Data has blurred the line between domestic and foreign policy and calls for establishing new global rules.
  • Further, a growth in smartphone-based e-commerce is generating massive amounts of data. It would give a sustained productivity advantage to Asia.
  • Data streams have acquired a central position in Global trade. Further, a country’s economic and national power is dependent on data.
These factors allow India to negotiate new rules as an equal with the U.S. and China. The rules must be formulated keeping in mind the new dynamics.
Status of Major countries:
  • China
    • It has made use of data streams and emerged as the second-largest economy.
    • It also has a $ 53 trillion mobile payments market and acquires a global share of 50%.
    • It has formed a joint venture with SWIFT for cross-border payments.
    • China also suggested foundational principles for interoperability between central bank digital currencies at the Bank for International Settlement.
    • However, it is still highly dependent on semiconductors and unable to avoid US sanctions on banks, 5G, and cloud computing companies.
    • Thus, it is trying hard to overcome this weakness by
      • Distorting dollar-based trade through its e-yuan
      • Launching a $1.4 trillion science and technology strategy
  • U.S:
    • The conventional deterrence capabilities of US have reduced. It now puts more focus on diplomacy than military power to resolve conflicts with China.
    • The country appears to be losing its dominant position to China in the global order.
  • India:
    • In the mobile payments’ sphere, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) volume is expected to cross $1 trillion by 2025.
    • The goal is to create a $5-trillion economy by 2025.
    • It faces a challenge of :
      • Balancing engagement with major powers and
      • Retaining its data for innovation and competitive advantage.
Factors showing India’s crucial position in shaping the new global order:
  • The US wants to invest heavily in India and leverage the Indian markets, a strategy similar to China’s belt and initiative. Further India is seen as a reliable partner to curb Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific.
  • New Delhi’s Indo-Pacific vision is premised on ‘ASEAN centrality and the common pursuit of prosperity’.
  • The EU is also determined to enhance its influence in the Indo-Pacific region. This automatically induces the grouping to improve its relation with India.
Way Forward:
  • India is part of both U.S. and China-led strategic groupings which gives it a robust development potential.
  • Further, the country must be prepared to play a key role in moulding rules for the hyper-connected world. This would help it in realising its potential of becoming the 2nd largest economy.

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