European Newspapers, Live TV Channels & Radios Online

Media List of European Countries Read European Newspapers, Latest News, Watch Live TV Online World Newspapers List, Media Directory Online Newspapers List World Newspapers List Countrywise Newspapers List Breaking News List of World Newspapers by Circulation World's Top Newspapers List World Famous Newspapers List USA Newspapers UK Newspapers, Latest News, Online Newspapers, News Today, Breaking News, Live TV Channel List, World Media Directory

South Africa’s Massive Jumps into 4IR

all media link

By Ashok Ramsarup :: Countries around the world are grappling with the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) in the 21st century. Generally what this means the advancement in the technological era is moving at a rapid pace as technologies such as Artifical Intelligence and Data Science takes the world by storm.

As South Africa progresses towards the digital era, President Cyril Ramaphosa intends that the country be the loop with the announcement of an eight-member Ministerial Task Team under the auspices of the High Education, Science and Technology Minister – Dr Blade Nzimande – to usher in a novel plan in post-school education and training (PSET).

Shortly before her departure to another portfolio, former Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr NalediPandor announced the nominations to President Ramaphosa.  One of the nominations that made the task team included   KwaZulu Natal academic 55-year-old Dr Surendra Colin Thakur of the Durban University of Technology.

Dr Thakur has a wealth of knowledge in the 4IR. He is BankSeta Research Chair in Digitalisation. He is also the Director of the NEMISA KZN e-Skills CoLab which is tasked with e-skills in general. He said this involves the e-enablement of government services for effective service delivery, with the main focus on e-democracy and e-participation.

He was also responsible for conceptualising and introducing  InvoTech, an innovation incubator at the university,  where one of his patents is being registered.    Dr Thakur is also a renowned international E-Voting expert, an emerging expert in Social Media and a national authority on Big Data.

Since the advent of the first industrial revolution which began in the 18th century in Europe,  workers at the time experienced urbanization during the steam engine era that drove the textile industries.

The second industrial revolution experienced the rise of steel, oil, and electricity, which subsequently lead to innovations such as the telephone, the light bulb, and the internal combustion engine.

The digital technology, including the introduction of computers and the internet, was introduced in the third industrial revolution in the 20th century.

Dr Thakur said:  “The emergence of new technologies, including robotics, nanotechnology,  biotechnology, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles and Artificial Intelligence are importance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution to connect the world through the technological advancements.

“It’s an honour and privilege to serve on the Ministerial Task Team. It is an affirmation that the technology advocacy work that I do is aligned with national priorities.

“We at the Durban University of Technology along with the Information Technology department are already preparing 200 KwaZulu-Natal educators for the Internet of Things, through a skills transfer programme that is matched with an innovative resource and technology transfer. This is a massive honour for me as part of DUT. It shows that DUT is relevant and an active member within the technology space. The hard work begins,” said Dr Thakur.

He adds that the challenge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is that the rate of technology is proceeding at a rapid rate that is beyond one’s ability to comprehend.  However, Dr Thakur said the Fourth Industrial Revolution is here to stay and it will have some dire consequences unless and until everyone changes the way they think and function.

Dr Thakur said the task team was given until January 2020 to submit their ambitious plans to the Minister on their findings as to the possibilities of billions of people connected via mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited.

He said universities can play a huge and it can become a platform for social change around the world.   “Our fundamental aim is to encourage people from all walks of life, especially the young who are motivated to make a meaningful contribution to solving social issues and universities can achieve the 21st-century goals,” concluded Dr Thakur.

Ashok Ramsarup is award-winning senior journalist of South Africa 🇿🇦 

all media link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *