Tech aids positive change, but human commitment crucial for sustainable solutions: Nasscom Foundation's Nidhi Bhasin
Nasscom Foundation's TechForGood India Conclave 2024, scheduled for January 18, aims to bring together diverse stakeholders to discuss, collaborate, and commit to actionable strategies for achieving gender equality, bridging urban rural divide, and tackling climate change.
Technology is a catalyst to address climate change, but it requires a conscious effort from individuals and industries to reduce consumption and adopt sustainable practices, said Nidhi Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer of Nasscom Foundation, in an interview with YourStory.
"Technology alone won't solve our challenges; it requires conscious efforts from individuals. We need to consider sustainability in our daily actions, whether it's in travel, commuting, or starting businesses. While technology can be a powerful tool, human commitment is essential for meaningful solutions," Bhasin added.
However, she believes that proliferation of technology, coupled with increased interconnectedness, holds significant promise for hastening human advancement.
With Nasscom Foundation's TechForGood India Conclave 2024, scheduled for January 18, she aims to bring together diverse stakeholders to discuss, collaborate, and commit to actionable strategies to achieve sustainable development goals laid out by the United Nations.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) encompasses a comprehensive set of objectives aimed at fostering global progress. These goals include ending poverty and hunger, ensuring health and well-being, promoting quality education, achieving gender equality, managing water resources sustainably, ensuring access to affordable energy, fostering economic growth and decent work and more.
The foundation emphasises the need for collaboration among different organisations to avoid duplication of efforts, share resources, and collectively work towards achieving SDGs.
"Any technology which has a social impact, and when you talk about having any economic or social impact, specially in a country like India, has to be aligned to the SDG goals," Bhasin said.
The Tech for Good India Conclave aims to spotlight and tackle key challenges obstructing progress towards the SDGs such as limited infrastructure, institutional support, unequal growth and substantial $5 trillion funding gap that global south needs to overcome.
According to a recent report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), only 29% of rural India has access to the internet, compared to 64% of urban India. Nidhi believes that in rural India, where the majority of the population resides, lack of digital inclusion has a significant impact on economic opportunities, education, healthcare, and financial inclusion.
"The focus of our conversations this year is going to be about bridging the gap and ensuring technology reaches the last mile. See, we are talking about an inevitable India. But none of that can be achieved unless we ensure that the rural India is a part of it," Bhasin said.
Additionally, the event will host Tech Baithak, a tech clinic aimed at NGOs and social impact organisations seeking expert guidance on digital marketing, digital operations, open-source scaling, and cybersecurity.
With the increasing role of AI in various industries, Nasscom foundation has also renewed it's focus on upskilling and training individuals, especially those in marginalised communities, to ensure they are not left behind in the rapidly evolving technological landscape. The association is planning to release content aimed at nursing AI fluency for the marginalised communities.
Bhasin believes that merely reshaping the narrative is not enough. The goal is to turn discussions into tangible initiatives that address challenges such as limited infrastructure, institutional support, and the substantial funding gap in achieving SDGs.