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Conveniences should not become vulnerability: EAM S Jaishankar

Pune: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Thursday said that every time we look at the screen, we are learning something but somebody else is also learning something about us. Our habits, likes, dislikes, demands, and preferences are all being captured even if we are just looking at the screen.
EAM said that there is a need to make sure that conveniences don't become a vulnerability for India. EAM Jaishankar was addressing the "G-20 Festival of Thinkers Summit" at Symbiosis International Deemed University in Pune, where he said that the world economies are trying to cope up from the effects of the pandemic.
EAM said that we haven't fully appreciated how much the digital era has changed our lives.
"It has changed our lives because every time we look at the screen; we are learning something but somebody else is also learning about us. Our habits, likes, dislikes, demands, and preferences are all being captured even if we are just looking at the screen," he said.
Stating it is a serious deadly issue, EAM asked how the power among nations be determined in the coming generations.
"Centuries ago it was about wealth, military power, and gold, some also said that it was oil. Data is the new oil. It means, that every digital transaction contributes to artificial intelligence, contributes to the creation of capabilities which will determine the balance of power among nations" he said.
The big challenge today when it comes to anything digital is data security and data privacy. How it is voiced down, who sees our data, who monitor our data, who utilises our data, and what power do they have over you? he asked.
"In terms of goods, we need more reliable, resilient supply chains, in the digital world, we need more trusted, more transparent practices, to ensure privacy-respecting data. We have to make sure that the conveniences of life don't become a vulnerability for each one of us, and particularly for our nation," Jaishankar said.
While addressing the event, he said that the G20 is a gathering of the 20 biggest economies of the world and India has the privilege from last December having the presidency.
EAM Jaishankar said that the obvious things about the G20, 85% of the world GSP, 2/3rd of the world's population, and 75 per cent of the world trade, are known to all.
"In today's very divided, polarized and not-so-effective multi-lateral world, it (G20) is the most important international platform. It is a big deal to be sharing its responsibility. It is not just a collection of 20 nations, but it is a very special responsibility at a very difficult moment in international relations. And what India could do, will do in this one year and it will make a big difference in world politics" he said.
While pointing out the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he said that the world is in a very difficult state.
"World is also seeing the consequences of this conflict in the last year. We have seen energy and food crises more than double and for some countries, it has become difficult to access food, fertilizer, and fuels, he added.
"When we say that the world is difficult, it is not an exaggeration but an understatement," the EAM stated.
Jaishankar mentioned COVID as the second reason why the world is in a difficult state.
The pandemic left every corner of the world profoundly affected. There is not a society that has not seen a loss of a loved one, not a family which has been left unaffected. And the socio-economic cost of this pandemic is so big, the world is trying to absorb the terms of it.
When the pandemic started in 2020, global supply chains, and trade, in every corner of the world got affected. This has left a lasting scar on the global economy. It made us wonder if we are over-dependent on a particular geography of a country and if our supply chains are resilient.
He mentioned that no business in the world would survive on a single supply. The world economy has however slid into that position. Creating more resilient reliable supply chains and diversifying global production is essential. It is not just in terms of the economy; it is also in terms of health security. A whole set of issues came out of the pandemic.
The External Affairs Minister said that the world already had a lot of problems before the pandemic. The COVID and Ukraine conflict made it worse. A number of countries were already struggling with the model of globalisation.
"A lot of companies found that their economies were affected by dumping of goods from abroad which were done on a scale at which they could not compete. World already in difficulty had to deal with these issues. And all of that layer upon layer. These layers have created a degree of stress in the environment in which the G20 is taking place" he added. (ANI)

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