Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination
Topic: BRICS Innovation Base
Why in News?
- China is considering establishing a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) innovation base to strengthen cooperation among the five-country bloc including India in sectors like 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital economy, industry and information technology.
BRICS on Cooperation
- China is vigorously promoting the resumption of work across the entire industry chain, and is keen to see more development in new industries such as 5G, AI and the industrial Internet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Brazil has allowed participation in 5G trials but yet to take a final call.
- Russia has said it would work together with China on 5G and are open to working with Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei, which has been largely banned by the United States.
- In South Africa, Huawei is providing services to three of its telecom operators in the roll-out of their 5G networks.
- India is unlikely to allow Chinese participation in 5G, particularly in the wake of recent moves to tighten investment from China and to ban 224 Chinese apps, citing national security concerns.
- Additionally, aggressive Chinese land-grabbing military misadventures and military provocations have provided enough ground for India to bar China from providing any kind of 5G communication equipment, as for India the national security is of prime importance.
India’s 5G Dilemma
- Banning Huawei does not guarantee a secure 5G network.
- China is not thereby removed from the complex global supply chains.
- Chinese companies play an extensive role in making 5G kit even when the primary vendor is not Chinese, for instance the prospective vendors Nokia and Ericsson both have factories in China, and if it wanted to China could infiltrate any vendors’ 5G supply chain.
- Regardless of whether a hostile state has component parts in the communication system it can still launch cyber-attacks, and so removing Chinese technology cannot safeguard India from Chinese cyber threat.
- Any decision to exclude Huawei must be accompanied by broader risk-management strategies that recognise that whilst China is prolific in its cyber-attacks, it is just one of many hostile forces that could compromise the integrity of the 5G network.
- Poor network designs that are vulnerable to attack from any hostile actors are a far more pressing concern for Indian security officials than state-sanctioned backdoors.
- The much-awaited Cyber Security Policy 2020 will be critical to strengthening the resilience of India’s future 5G network
China’s AI Domination Plan
- In the backdrop of China’s trade and technology rivalry with the US, Xi unveiled his grand ambition of making China a world leader in emerging technologies in 2030, the Chinese government has poured billions of dollars to develop commercial and military applications of AI, 5G, new materials, energy platforms, quantum computing and financial technologies.
- The first part of the plan runs up to 2020 and proposes that China makes progress in developing a “new generation” of AI theory and technology. This will be implemented in some devices and basic software. It will also involve the development of standards, policies, and ethics for AI across the world’s second-largest economy.
- In the second step of the plan which is up to 2025, China expects to achieve a “major breakthrough” in AI technology and the application of it, which will lead to “industrial upgrading and economic transformation”.
- The last step, which will happen between 2025 and 2030 sees China become the world leader in AI, with the industry worth 1 trillion yuan.
- India is still tied up in paper-works and drafting policies and understanding potential benefits of AI and trying to devise course curriculums for AI.