By Prof. Gurunarayanan, the Dean of BITS Pilani WILP
As India gears up for a new era in technology, learners in the field of education, including undergraduates, graduates, and skilled workers, are set to reap the benefits
As per the Government data, India’s 5G network has spread to 50 cities in two months from its launch in India. This is the era of fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity, characterised by high-speed and data, universally accessibly to masses.
Going forward, the 5G technology will likely improve India’s position as an economic and tech powerhouse from a global standpoint. Putting the country on a road to technological revolution, the 5G adoption is set to bring about transformation in crucial sectors such as agriculture, health, education, transport and logistics, leading to stronger networking, financial inclusion, and prosperity.
Education in the 5G era
Robust connections throughout the nation are required to enable equitable access to education for everyone. And the 5G technology can enable such connections, as it provides a wide range of benefits including providing seamless coverage, high data rate, low latency and highly-reliable communications. The service will enable learners to go beyond smart facilities and classrooms. They will experience virtual reality (VR) and Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies with the help of 5G service.
Concepts such as remote and virtual labs in programmes including analytics, management studies and finance will likely get greater support in the era of 5G. The power of 5G, combined with other developing technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), are expected to reshape the educational tools and institutions of the future, by improving the efficiency of the learning process and by allowing us to tailor our educational experiences to our own needs. Students and learners in the engineering space in particular, will find this immensely beneficial. Courses such as automobile or environmental engineering, which incorporate the latest technologies, bolster graduate students with specialisations in new and relevant fields.
5G and the Metaverse
As per the report by Fortune Business Insights from the previous year, the global Metaverse market size is projected to reach USD 1527.55 billion in 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 47.6% during the forecast period, 2022-2029. This would mean improved and increased participation in the virtual space from across sectors, including learning and skilling. Metaverse has the power to enhance experiential learning through several cutting-edge tools and techniques. Learners will likely see a marked shift as they move towards an entirely new world of high-quality teaching and learning resources.
A huge step has already been taken with the introduction of digital education, which has been able to do away with time and space restrictions. The development of the Metaverse in India will receive a boost as 5G will make immersive virtual experiences possible in the future. One of the most intriguing features of 5G is the capacity to communicate with others and exchange ideas using holographic technology.
This improved technology will allow for real-time data transfer among networks, giving learners quick access to knowledge and real-time collaboration opportunities with their peers. It will also enhance collaboration, and if the technology and tools are leveraged to their potential, this could also lead to the creation of innovative solutions and crucial breakthroughs in the field of science and engineering.
India, innovation, and a new world
There are ample opportunities that the technological revolution is set to bring in the days to come. According to NASSCOM, India is already the third largest start-up ecosystem with 200 active angels, more than 100 accelerators, 150 VCs, and around 77,000 start-ups. With technological overhauls such as 5G, skilled workforce will be able to secure jobs in conventional and non-conventional sectors and industries.
According to data estimations calculated by the Atlas VPN research team, India is set to reach 1 billion internet users by the year 2025. As of 2020 YTD, there are over 687.6 million internet users in India. Going forward, the 5G network will disrupt OTT consumption, bringing about a digital transformation and network visualisation across sectors. Accordingly, the all-pervasive technology will make education accessible to everyone regardless of their device and location.
Our current and future generations will likely have the chance to explore their aptitude and contribute their talent in some exciting fields, including those that may not even exist in this day and age. Looking at the way that technology is progressing, the era for all of us to leverage and thrive has apparently arrived.