News Excerpt
Ministry of External Affairs has announced the setting up of a new division on New and Emerging Strategic Technologies (NEST).

About
•    It will act as the nodal point for all matters connected to new and emerging technologies, particularly the current domains of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, genetics (for example, genome editing CRISPR technology) or next-generation telecommunications including exchange of views with foreign governments and coordination with domestic ministries and departments.
•    It will help in assessing foreign policy and international legal implications of emerging technology and technology-based resources.
•    It will help in safeguarding Indian interests in multilateral engagements like UN, G20 etc. where rules governing the use and access to such technologies are discussed.

Why NEST?
    Challenges of Technopolitical Bipolarity: The recent, dilemma India faced over choosing between telecom equipment of Chinese origin or of non-Chinese origin in 5G telecom equipment. It has exposed India to the grey spectre of growing global technopolitical bipolarity.
    New Dimension in modern conflict: It validates a new dimension of modern conflict which are:
o    Fight between belligerent futuristic technology systems
o    Emerging technologies from technical giants’ countries will become the flashpoints for larger conflicts.  
    Address Vulnerabilities: India cannot remain vulnerable of being used as Sandbox for foreign players to test and operate their dual-purpose (i.e. assistive and antagonistic) technologies on its citizens or within its territories. Therefore, it requires, meticulous scrutinization of the imports and assimilation of emerging technologies into the nation’s defence and civilian research and development infrastructure.
    Dedicated Assessment: It will help in assessment of important aspects of technological cooperation such as the control, ownership, and beneficiaries of investment made in/out of the India’s high-tech sector.
    Strategic Safeguards: Most countries, have introduced or strengthened regulations to safeguard strategic sectors, mostly in new and emerging technologies, from overseas investors with potentially inimical intentions. For example US has increased the scope of its Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States of America (CFIUS) which looks after the impact of FDI made on the national security.
    Export Portfolio: It will also act asa key element in the entire security policy conveyor belt, comprising three Cabinet Committees – on Security, Economic Affairs, and Investment and Growth.Its analyses and recommendations can then be amalgamated with those of other ministries in this cabinet committee, which can comprehensively review imported technologies, build and evaluate domestic technological capabilities, and create a robust export portfolio of emerging technologies.


PEPPER IT WITH
Indo-Pacific Region, FDI in Defence Manufacturing, Defence Industrial Corridors