The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday set up the new, emerging and strategic technology (NEST) division within its organization.
The new division is expected to facilitate collaboration between domestic technology based entities and their foreign counterparts, assist in the formation of foreign policies and study the international ramifications of these emerging technologies and on India’s national security amongst other tasks.
Amongst the various advantages expected from this action, policy related to technology and its international aspects will be dealt with by this division. This will streamline such policy decisions into a single window mechanism and improve the ease of doing business amongst others.
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can positively influence Indian diplomacy as it seeks to expand its global footprints. India is already successfully using its IT power to educate and provide affordable healthcare solutions to the entire African nation (E-Vidhya Bharati And E- Aarogya Bharati). New opportunities are bound to emerge from these new technologies.
Finally, as the Indian diaspora continues to grow, these technologies will enable the diaspora to contribute to the nation with their expertise and will also help the Ministry of External Affairs, improve its consular services and will ensure the welfare of the citizens abroad.
The Ministry will have to exercise caution in performing its tasks, even as a World Bank report in 2017 warned that 67% of the current jobs in India are threatened by emerging technologies.