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Sixth Panel: Automation, Artificial Intelligence & the Future of Jobs

  • Multipurpose Hall (Ground Floor, Kamaladevi Complex, IIC Main building) 40, Max Mueller Marg New Delhi, DL, 110003 India (map)

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Current and anticipated developments in technology, such as advances in automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, are leading to concerns about their impact on jobs. Many employment streams we are familiar with today may be rendered redundant in the next few decades. There may be new jobs guaranteed by the technologies of the future, but they require different skill sets and educational curricula. Are our societies prepared to adapt these changes? What will be the likely impact on a country like India, where for several years into the future, millions of jobs will have to be found for a young and expanding demography? This session on ‘Automation,  Artificial Intelligence &  the Future of Jobs’ will debate these issues.

Chair: Dr R Chidambaram, former Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India


Ms Anna Roy- Advisor, NITI Aayog

Mr Rajat Gupta- Senior Director, McKinsey & Company

Mr Sanjeev Bikhchandani- Founder and Executive Vice-Chairman, Info Edge (India) Limited –

Dr A Didar Singh- Senior Fellow, Delhi Policy Group and Member ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work

The talk will be livestreamed on the IIC website; streamed through Facebook-live on the Metamorphoses Facebook page; and video recordings will be available on YouTube, as well as disseminated through social media channels hosted on the Metamorphoses website. The promotional video for Metamorphoses can be accessed here.

Questions will be taken on a special number through SMS, provided at the venue, and selected ones will be answered given time constraints. 

Dr Rajagopala Chidambaram is Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet. He is also  President of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Trivandrum; Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras; and Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change and Chairman of the High-Level Committee for establishing the Integrated National Knowledge Network. He completed his Ph.D at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and is a Fellow of all the major science academies in India as well as the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) in Trieste, Italy.

Dr Chidambaram joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 1962 and became its Director in 1990. He was Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and also Secretary to the Government of India at the Department of Atomic Energy from February 1993 to November 2000. In addition, Dr. Chidambaram was Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1994–95 and has been a member of its Commission of Eminent Persons. In 2008 he was appointed by the Director-General of the IAEA to prepare the report The Role of the IAEA to 2020 and Beyond. He has contributed to the development of many sectors of India’s nuclear technology and has more than 200 research papers published in international  refereed journals.

Dr Chidambaram has won many awards including the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award bestowed by the Government of India,  in 1999. 

Anna Roy is presently an Advisor in NITI Aayog. Anna has held various positions like Deputy Director, Joint Director, Director in Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and also Ministry of Civil Aviation during the period from 1996 to 2012. She was Officer on Special Duty to the Finance Minister from February-July 2009. Previously, she was Director, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

She is a post graduate in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, started her career as a lecturer of Economics in Delhi University during 1988 to 1990. She joined the Indian Economic Service in 1992. She was a Research Officer in the Planning Commission, Transport Division in 1993. She was also a Research Officer in the Project Management Unit, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance from 1993 to 1996.

Rajat Gupta leads McKinsey’s energy and materials work in Asia, helping companies in emerging markets transform their performance, achieve breakout growth, and become global leaders.

Rajat is a leader in McKinsey’s global energy and materials sector. Since joining McKinsey, Rajat has lived on three continents and served clients in 15 countries, including China, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Rajat has worked with leading companies in the metals, chemical, infrastructure, mining, power, oil, and telecommunications sectors. He brings particular expertise in operational transformations and change programs, leveraging digital tools in these areas. Rajat has also served clients on business building (including digital businesses), marketing, organization, and strategy. He leads McKinsey’s relationships with two of India’s top five conglomerates, serving them across the globe. Rajat also leads the firm’s work with the central government, working across multiple ministries—such as those for aviation, railways, roads, and shipping—on major programs and transformations.

Rajat is committed to building long-term relationships with Indian companies based in emerging markets, helping them transform their performance and grow to become global leaders. For example, his involvement with a leading Indian metal company spans 20 years of building better operations, creating a stronger performance culture, and engendering marketing excellence across Asia, Europe, and India. Today, the company is a global leader in its industry.

Passionate about sustainability and resource productivity, Rajat has published work on poverty, carbon abatement, and water in India; been on the jury for several awards; and served on several industry and government committees on sustainability. He is on the board of the Indian think tank CSTEP and the governing board of the Childline India Foundation. Rajat leads McKinsey’s social-responsibility efforts through Generation, the world’s largest demand-driven skilling initiative, and is a member of the McKinsey Global Institute advisory council.

Rajat was awarded gold medals for securing first place in both his MBA and engineering degrees at two of India’s top schools.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani is the founder and executive vice chairman of Info Edge which owns, a job portal, as well as the co-founder of Ashoka University.

Info Edge is the most profitable web business in the country running other websites in addition to Naukri, spanning real estate, matrimony, and education. In 2005, was reported as being India’s largest web-based employment website.  

Along with his partner Hitesh Oberoi, Mr Bikhchandani won the Ernst and Young – Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2008 for Business Transformation. He also won the Dataquest Pathbreaker Award and the Teacher’s Achievement Award for Business in 2008. He is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship at conferences and at business schools. 

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College and a PGDM from IIM-Ahmedabad. He has earlier worked in marketing at Lintas India Limited, at HMM Limited (now known as Glaxo SmithKline), and at a senior management position at CMYK Printech Private Limited (owner of The Pioneer newspaper). 

Dr A Didar Singh, author and former civil servant (IAS) served as Secretary to Government of India from 2009 to 2011 and as Secretary General (from 2012 to 2017) of India’s largest apex business chamber, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

Dr Singh is presently Senior Fellow at the Delhi Policy Group and at the Society for Development Studies, Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Dr Singh also functions as Chair of the Diaspora group of KNOMAD (Knowledge Network on Migration), of the World Bank and in 2017 was named as Global Fellow at IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He is presently a Commissioner of the ILOs ‘Global Commission on the Future of Work’ (2017-19).

Dr Singh has a Bachelors and Masters in History from St. Stephens College, Delhi; a Masters in Development Administration from Birmingham University, UK; and a PhD in e-Commerce from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Dr. Singh has four books and several publications to his credit and has given talks and lectures in over 30 Institutions and Countries around the world.

Metamorphoses is a modest effort to try and bridge the gap between digital technologies, which are transforming our lives, and our understanding of their multiple dimensions. It will unfold in a series of nine interactions covering different aspects of the digital revolution.

This series will examine the impacts of digital technologies on the human psyche and on societies – exploring ways in which some of the negative elements may be mitigated. There will be a peep into the future – of what machine learning and artificial intelligence may bring to human experience – and the moral and ethical dilemma associated with these. It will also delve into issues relating to data privacy and cyber security as well as the emerging legal regime to regulate this critical domain.