WHAT IS INFRASTRUCTURE?

DailyPost 1890
WHAT IS INFRASTRUCTURE?

We all understand roads, railways, airports, energy etc as the infrastructure on which a country can be build. Sometimes, it doesn’t yield the results expected out of it, for a variety of reasons. The superstructure might not match to a level so as to deliver the best possible results. In 2021 when Data has become the biggest asset globally, can the definition of infrastructure remain the same? Should the infrastructure elements become more exhaustive and also change or upgrade as per the changing times? The critical question remains; does conventional infrastructure have the capability to change our world. What can be called a complete infrastructure, singularly or in any sector, needs to have a much deeper look.

What is complete infrastructure, the critical information infra behind the running of the infrastructure, the man machine interface, the element of cyber security, the capability to create and use data. DeepMind AI was able to reduce Google Data Centre cooling bill by 40%. This is just one such example. The replicating this research element on our critical infrastructure; either the cost and drudgery comes down or the efficiency increases phenomenally, or both. Critical infrastructure unfortunately is believed to be a one time deliverable, on a funding of similar nature. The incremental change overall or momentous changes in a couple of its elements is not a matter of any concern, to anybody. No effort is generally made in this direction.

While we are going on way to glitzy expressways and airports, does the judicial infrastructure need or deserve any change? CJI has been talking of this of late. Can one of the main pillars of Indian democracy and guardian of our freedom and justice function without the basic infra more so at the cutting-edge level?  Adhoc, unplanned and after thought is the way it is being described now. What the country loses on the count is left to any sane mind’s imagination. Add digital infra to that basic infra, which is must for its functioning, and you can see the monumental change happening within its fold  and to our lives. The physical, digital, financial and thought infra has to gel to make the best out of what the constitution has provided to us. Can access to justice and pendency not improve in this manner?

Waste of infrastructure created private or public is a waste of national assets. The private higher education is suffering from this ailment. The building and other hard infrastructure is of no use or cannot be put to use, if not supplemented by what an institution runs on; good quality faculty, academic resources ending up in high quality of education. Is the supply chain not a critical infrastructure?*  Remember the cryogenic containers issue during the Covid-19 second wave. The health infra in most parts of the country remains in shambles, try visualizing the scenes during the second wave. Is this the infrastructural revolution we are looking for? Might be roads and airports are bringing some thrill, cheer and business to the middle class and the rich India, at what cost? Is it at the cost of  education, health and justice? A small cost and the right effort towards  the true understanding of infra can change our lives.

LITTLE TWEAKING OF OUR UNDERSTANDING OF INFRASTRUCTURE CAN TRANSFORM IT TO OUR REQUIREMENTS.

Sanjay Sahay

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