What are the direct impacts of Covid19 for the future of engineering?

The pandemic is in some sense a blessing in disguise. It has exposed the systemic weaknesses of nations in handling disasters of scale in real time. The developed nations, despite their financial power and strengths of technology have taken a bigger hit as compared to the lesser privileged ones. The lessons for India are in the recognition of the combined failure of our systems, including political, administration, health care services, supply chain management, identification of hotspots, prediction in the spread and reach of the pandemic and in damage control. The need for massive technical efforts in reliable data collection and live updation, data processing and mining for inferencing, capability for rapid manufacturing of support devices such as protective gears, personal hygiene products, ventilators, supply chain logistics of essential services and many more.

The primary strengths of India are in its human resources, numerical strength of qualified professionals, capacity for R & D, strength in IT and communication technology, social and family values, spiritual lifestyle, modest living need to be capitalized to relocate itself in the new world order that will emerge after the pandemic has lost its sting. Indigenous R & D in all innovations in all branches of science and engineering, technology development, design of systems that can handle such problems in scale at real time is an God send opportunity for the nation to develop itself as a global player and a solution provider.

Dr. Anjan Sarkar,

Department of CSE, Techno India University, WB,

Ex Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT)

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