Industry 4.0

Collaborating with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies, SOMES (Society of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Students) conducted a program on “Industry 4.0” on Pulchowk Campus on Friday. With the Deputy HoD of Thapathali Campus, Sushant Raj Giri as the main speaker, the program focused on educating students on the Fourth industrial revolution; its effects, and opportunities in Nepal. JB Consultancy provided the required expertise and funding for the event. 

After three prior industrial revolutions each in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries respectively, the arrival of the 21st gave rise to a fourth one. Industry 4.0 focuses on evolving automated machines into autonomous ones, the difference being that autonomous machines are self-learning and utterly independent of humans. In contrast, automated ones need humans to set them up. The major components of Industry 4.0 are AI, machine learning, smart sensors, cloud computing, and IoT(Internet of Things). With remote surveillance through cloud computing, assessing the market needs through deep learning algorithms, and fault prognosis of machine components through health monitoring sensors, Industry 4.0 promises a higher production rate, better efficiency, and product optimization. 

Most of Nepal’s educated and skilled manpower in the industry sector either stagnate through long unemployment periods, settle for a job unrelated to their core competency or flee abroad in search of a better opportunity. Industry 4.0 can help to fill the gap between the availability and demand of such skilled manpower. 

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies aims to implement Industry 4.0 in Nepal’s agricultural sector first. To boost production rates and cut off the middlemen who cause price hikes, by directly connecting farmers and consumers, Industry 4.0 can help build an optimized Nepali agriculture market. 

The rise of autonomy has started to sprout in Nepal and its industries, among which Hongshi Cement seems to have a better understanding and application of the concept in comparison to its fellow Nepali counterparts. To compete with the global market production and product optimization trend and to have its citizens working in state-of-the-art technology industries, Nepal needs to comprehend, incorporate and implement “Industry 4.0” within its industries.

Dystopiating America

For a country that presents itself as the vanguard of liberty, America with its retrogressive bylaws serves an irony. Even with its herculean economy and militant omnipresence or maybe due to it, America finds it hard to stay afloat in a pool of progressive nations. In the past few months, the following have presented themselves as some of the major problems dragging America:

Legality of Abortion

On June 24, 2022, SCOTUS overturned the 50-year-old Roe v. Wade act that guaranteed women’s right to abortion, by a ruling of 5-4. Upheld by a 6-3 conservative majority, with Chief Justice John Roberts expressing that he would not have removed the Roe precedent altogether, abortion laws and their implementation have now been passed down to individual states.

Immediately after the decision, 13 states activated the trigger laws, banning or scheduling to ban abortions. While some states haven’t finalized the decision, a total of 26 states seem likely to ban it. After the announcement, Americans got polarized into groups of “pro-choice”, people protesting SCOTUS’ decision, and “pro-life”, people celebrating it. 

P.C. Gayatri Malhotra

Fetal viability, a fetus’ ability to survive outside the womb, is seen as the point where the rights of an unborn fetus are separated from its mother. Roe considered this time to be around 28 weeks. While new studies decrease the time frame to 22 weeks, some states such as Texas plan on limiting abortion’s legal time frame to just 6 weeks. Other conservative Republican states such as Louisiana and Kentucky have already considered abortion to be illegal throughout the term of pregnancy.

The consequence of overturning Roe v Wade became visible just three days after the decision as a 10-year-old rape victim had to travel to Indiana from Ohio for abortion procedures. She was six-and-a-half weeks pregnant at the time. Although there are exceptions for rape and incest victims to seek abortion legally even after the six-week time limit, the added procedures of police reports and lack of proper knowledge add complexity to the situation.

P.C. Gayatri Malhotra

Mass Shootings 

The scale of mass shootings is much larger than what the media portrays it to be in the United States. In the first half of 2022 alone there have been more than 250 mass shootings in the US. It’s only when the shootings get unavoidably macabre, the most recent being the Texas school mass shooting, that news agencies, and the general public raise their voices against them. Unregulated gun protocols and the ensuing ease of access let enraged and unstable people eject their rampage on innocent lives. 

P.C . Natalie Chaney

Immigration

Despite stringent regulations imposed, immigration still deems itself as one of the most demanding problems in America. A tractor-trailer carrying immigrants illegally from Mexico met a devastating mishap as 53 people parched into a sweltering death on 27th June 2022. Four people with charges of alleged smuggling have been arrested. Neither Trump’s wall nor Biden’s open border policies have been able to encompass the demanding problem of immigration. Rather than stopping immigrants, the Trump wall has become a source of accidents as more than 200 immigrants have gotten injured from jumping off the wall in 2021-2022. Although Biden immediately stopped the construction of Trump’s wall altogether, he still hasn’t found a viable solution. The number of immigrants trying to cross illegally to America is more than 100,000 a month. Presenting and imposing radically opposite decisions by Democrats and Republicans, immigration is one of the most polarizing topics in America. 

P.C. Mitchel Lensink

Conclusion

While the majority of Americans seem to prefer stricter gun laws and legal abortion, the discrepancy seems to stem from a conservative group of people in policy-making positions (Congress, SCOTUS) adamant at their decisions. Background checks on guns and medically relevant time frames for legal abortion should be set. The solution to immigration isn’t a simple one in that it shall require efforts from its neighboring countries, mostly Mexico and Central American countries. Although a sudden bipartisan agreement on immigration seems unlikely, each side must budge a little towards an optimal regulation.