Role of Technology in India’s foreign relations
Starting with the basic concepts of Technology and International Relations, we outline a conceptual framework showing the impact of technology on international relations, including the contest for power, dominance and control. The increasing importance of technology related issues in foreign relations of countries and on global issues such as climate change, energy and environment is outlined.
We review India’s technological development since independence, especially in strategically important areas. In particular some key recent technology issues that have become important in India’s foreign relations are analyzed. Some of the most recent challenges that have arisen in regulating technology, such as preventing access by terrorists, spread of mass destruction weapons, protecting intellectual property rights, are outlined. The importance of technology in international relations is likely to grow in future, posing challenges for India’s foreign relations.
MEA Distinguished Lecture Series on India's Foreign Policy
“Role of Technology in India’s foreign relations”
IIT Roorkee, 28 Sept 2010
Technology is as old as human civilization. Man has constantly tried to enlarge knowledge, and apply it in diverse ways to meet his needs. This practical application of basic knowledge is what we call technology. Throughout history, the search for knowledge and its application through technology have been important determining factors in the progress of human society. In the competition for dominance and control, societies which forged ahead in mastery of basic knowledge and technology were able to succeed, sometimes far beyond expectations.
This paradigm changing, force multiplying effect of technology has been responsible for major historical changes and relations among societies in the past. Examples are numerous. The discovery of agriculture allowed for the feeding of larger populations, and development of complex societies. The Mongols used a composite bow which was compact and more powerful, and could be used on horseback. Babur used cannons from Turkey to win the battle of Panipat in 1526. The impact of technology on warfare and military balance was particularly striking, allowing relatively smaller forces to prevail because of superior technology. This phenomenon continues even in modern times, when the first atomic bombs caused the immediate surrender of Japan.