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Highlights of 50th WEF annual meeting 2020 held in Davos, Switzerland

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The 50th edition of the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting  was held in Davos-Klosters,in Switzerland from January 21-24, 2020. The theme for the year 2020 was  “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”. The WEF summit aims to engage world leaders to collaborate for global, regional and industrial development etc. The highlights of the summit in detail are as follows:New Releases & formations at WEF:

New Internet security principles:
On January 23, 2020 the World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced new internet security principles which will help nearly 1 billion users. The principles have been developed by a group of leading ISPs(Internet Service Providers) and multilateral organisations.

Key points:

i.These new principles will combat highly vulnerable cyberattacks and protect those 1 billion internet consumers spread in 180 countries.

ii.Impact of Cyber attack: The cyber attack of malicious activity online would cost the global countries an estimated amount of $6 trillion in 2021.

iii.New principles functions: These new principles by default, will ask the ISPs to protect consumers from cyberattacks and also to respond to known threats. Further ISPs will be needed to work more closely with  manufacturers, vendors of hardware, software & infrastructure to increase the levels of security.

iv.The new security principles will be endorsed by major ISPs like BT, Deutsche Telekom, Du Telecom, Europol, Global Cyber Alliance, Internet Society, Korea Telecom, Proximus, Saudi Telcom, Singtel, Telstra etc.

1st ever public blockchain based platform launched:
At the WEF, the 1st ever public blockchain track and trace platform built to help businesses respond to the demands of customers for ethical and environmentally friendly products.

Phase: This platform would highly be a safe collaboration provided by WEF and 1st movers Everledger, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Lenzing Group.

  • Currently working in pilot basis, call to pilot and co-design the second phase will be Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), EVRYTHNG and PlataformaVerde.

Blockchain for customers: It has been estimated that 90% of people/consumers like big brands. Despite blockchain providing sustainability, private blockchains however do not address customer transparency demand. Thus customers had to rely on blockchain solution providers.

1st global consortium for digital currency governance formed:
1st global consortium was formed and it works on designing a framework for digital currency governance that also includes stablecoins. The consortium aims to increase access of financial system through policy solutions being both inclusive and interoperable.

Key Points:

i.This blockchain consortium will have leading companies, financial institutions, govt. representatives, international organisations etc in making them work together for digital governance. The core of this initiative will be on efficiency, speed, transparency.

ii.A set of guiding principles will also be co-designed to support public and private organisations to explore more opportunities in the field of  digital currencies.

Agreements and MoU signed in the WEF:

India joins founding member of WEF reskilling initiative:
The republic of India has joined as a founding govt member of the WEF’s ‘Reskilling Revolution’. It is an initiative which aims to provide better jobs, education, skills and jobs 1 billion people by 2030. It initiative also aims to provide new skills to workers for the 4th industrial revolution.

Key points:

i.Foundings members: Apart from India, the founding member countries include Brazil, France, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, UAE(United Arab Emirates) and the US(United States).

ii.Business partners: Some of the business partners  of the initiative includes, Salesforce, ManpowerGroup, Infosys, LinkedIn, Coursera Inc. etc.

iii.By 2022, 42% of the core skills that are required to perform existing jobs are expected to change as per report titled ‘Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy’ by the WEF.  it also estimates that

  • By 2022, 133 million new jobs will be created to meet the 4th industrial revolution demands. Interpersonal skills and skills related to sales, human resources, care and education will be of high demand
  • 96 jobs across 7 professional clusters were reported to be fast emerging.
  • The jobs of the future are set to grow by 51% upto 2020 providing 6.1million job opportunities globally.
  • over 415 private sector companies pledged to provide more than 14.5 million career-enhancement opportunities for American workers over the next 5 years.

O.P Jindal Global University signs MoU with University of Zurich:
The O.P Jindal Global University (JGU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Zurich (UZH) in Switzerland for mutual cooperation in higher education and research. The MoU was signed by JGU Vice Chancellor C. Raj Kumar and the President of the UZH, Michael Hengartner.

Key Points:

i.JGU is situated in Sonipat, Haryana. It was the youngest university in India and in the world to have been made to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World university rankings 2020.

ii.JGU is also the only Indian private university in the top 150 ”young” universities in the world in the QS Young University Rankings 2020.

Madhya Pradesh made investments worth Rs 4,125 cr at WEF:
Madhya Pradesh(MP) govt has made investments worth Rs. 4,125 crores at WEF from various investors.  The investments were mainly on food and renewable energy sectors.The MP govt. Chief Minister Shri Kamal Nath Singh along with other officials held discussions with potential investors.

Key Points:

i.Investors: Daawat Food Ltd, which has a plant in Mandideep, near Bhopal, MP received Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth Rs 125 crore from Saudi Arabia Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC).

ii.Wind projects in MP: 2 central wind projects of capacity 325 MW(Mega Watt) were approved by SoftBank Energy (Japan) and another by Actis (England).

iii.690 acres of land is already available at 9 different places in MP and will be set up as data centre business. Nearly 75% of the rebate in the cost of setting up units on government land may also be given to interested companies as part of the  investment.

Karnataka pacted with WEF for ‘Centre for internet of ethical things’:
The govt of Karnataka signed a pact with WEF to start “Centre for Internet of ethical things”. The centre will provide competitive and a level playing field for investors and industrialists.The centre will also keep a check on misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) and enhance ease of doing business.

Key Points:

i.Signatories: Madhya Pradesh State Industry Minister Jagadish Shettar;Chief Secretary TM Vijaya Bhasker and Industries Secretary Ramana Reddy were also signatories to the informal pact.

ii.IoT: Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology term used for the linkage of data, sensors on devices and machines and analytics on a platform.

Malaysia govt agency pacted with WEF to focus on drones:
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) signed a pact with WEF to focus on drones. The aim of the pact was to co-design and pilot policy principles. Through this pact, the risks from drones will also be mitigated. MDEC will also specifically work with WEF’s Aerospace and Drones portfolio as part of the collaboration.

Key Points:
i.The global drone services market is expected to reach $63.6 billion by 2025 as per Drone Service Market report and also the Asia Pacific region is also expected to grow at the highest Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the same period.

Awards and Honours:

Tata Steel Kalinganagar honoured:
The Tata steel Kalinganagar (TSK) in Jajpur district of Odisha, was honoured at the WEF 2020 for its recent admittance to the Global Lighthouse Network(GLN) of WEF. The GLN is a group of corporations aiming to apply the 4th industrial revolution technologies. The award was given to Tata Steel’s Chief Executive Officer(CEO) and Managing Director(MD) TV Narendran.

Key Points:

i.In 2019, TSK became the 1st and only Indian manufacturing plant that was included in the WEF’s Lighthouse Network. It is also to be noted that Tata Steel’s IJmuiden plant in the Netherlands is already a member of this network.

ii.Tata Steel Kalinganagar: TSK was commissioned in 2016 and was spread over 3000 acres. TSK is the largest single-location greenfield steel project in India.

26th Crystal award honoured to Deepika Padukone:
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone was honoured with 26th Crystal award 2020. The award was given to honour her for her campaigning to raise awareness on mental health.

C Vijayakumar, CEO, HCL Technologies named chairman of World Economic Forum’s IT Governors Community
Chief Executive Officer of software exporter HCL (Hindustan Computers Limited) Technologies, C Vijayakumar has been named the Chairman of the IT industry Governors community of the World Economic Forum, which convenes CEOs of global technology companies.

Indian delegations in the summit: 

i.Piyush Goyal led Indian delegation:
The Indian delegation to the WEF summit was led by Union Minister of Commerce (MoC) Shri Piyush Goyal. Shri Goyal also participated in an informal WTO (World Trade Organization) ministerial gathering.He also held a meeting with CEO (Chief Executive Officers) of companies, attended round table conferences on ‘Accelerating Investments in Indian Railways’.

  • Indian delegation: Some of the members of the Indian delegations include Union Minister of State(MoS) for Shipping and Chemical and Fertilizers, Mansukh  Laxmanbhai Mandaviya; and Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh; Finance Minister of Punjab, and the IT(Information Technology) Minister of Telangana.

ii.Mansukh Mandavia’s participation:  
Shri Mandavia had bilateral meetings with Minister of Qatar, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)  Kitack Lim. He along with Shri Goyal, attended meeting with CEOs

  • Mahatma Gandhi bust to be set up: After obtaining consent from Shri Mandaviya, a bust of Mahatma Gandhi has been decided to be set up at the headquarters of  IMO in London coinciding with Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

iii.O P Jindal Global University VC at WEF summit: 
The Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Dr. C. Raj Kumar, attended the WEF summit and held talks on 3 separate sessions. It is also to be noted that Kumar was the only Vice Chancellor from India invited to speak at WEF.

iv.ASHA at WEF 2020: 
Entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and founder of Motwani Jadeja Foundation Asha Jadeja Motwani has come up with a new initiative named ‘ASHA’ at WEF 2020 inorder to lead India’s contribution towards addressing global challenges.

  • The ASHA initiative is led by Motwani Jadeja Foundation and Motwani Institute for Thought Leadership in Innovation (MITLI). The global think tank MITLI was for the first time introduced in the forum.
About World Economic Forum(WEF):

Headquarters- Cologny, Switzerland
Founder- Klaus Schwab
Founded- January 1971
Motto- Committed to improving the state of the world.