Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
How would the world be 30 years hence, in 2050 AD? The world is transforming rapidly, driven by technological advances which are inducing behavioural changes. Many appliances, technologies and thought processes in vogue today will undergo rapid changeovers. Many important technologies are rendered redundant and become extinct within few decades only. The only constant is change.
Fax machines, typewriters, cassette players, VCRs, cameras, alarm clocks and STD booths are examples of appliances which have been rendered redundant in the last few years. Similarly, ink pens, razor blades, photo albums, radio, telegram, CDs, incandescent light bulbs, Walkman, calculators, landline phones, cable TV, etc, are on the verge of disappearing.
With these rapid changes, what would the world be in 2050? One predictable change would be the advent of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles will lead to reduction of diesel/petrol vehicles, which in turn would lead to the vanishing of petrol pumps in the next few years. This would be followed by the introduction of automatic, driverless vehicles. Driverless vehicles would lead to non-requirement of drivers for vehicles.
The world will also see increased use of solar and wind energy, leading to less usage of fossil fuels for electricity requirements. Entire houses, shops, resorts and offices would run on standalone solar energy, totally off the grid.
Travelling would become much faster with bullet trains and hyperloops. Airliners will fly at hypersonic speeds (multiple times the speed of sound), which would allow commuters to cut down travel time in multiples. Commuters would be able to fly from Guwahati to Delhi in half an hour. Like cars and bikes, most families and individuals will own pilotless aeroplanes. There would be aeroplanes parked in garages of houses.
Other technologies/appliances that are likely to become redundant include ink signatures, keys, charging cables, paper money, debit and credit cards, etc.
Global warming will lead to rising sea levels and many low lying cities and countries like Maldives, Bangladesh and Mumbai may disappear underwater.
There would be several advances in medicines for treatment of dreaded diseases like cancer. Stem cell and nanotechnology research may lead to delaying of aging and curing of many diseases. Life expectancy is likely to go up, and there would be many persons above 90 and 100 years of age. However, there would be emergence of new diseases, more antibiotic resistant diseases or reemergence of infectious diseases like the coronavirus.
Thirty years hence in Arunachal, there would be overall development in roads, railways and airports. All district headquarters and major towns would be well-connected. There would be uninterrupted electricity supply, without voltage fluctuations, to all villages and towns. Arunachal would emerge as a major hotspot for tourists from the world over. Many industries would emerge in the state, leading to almost all products being manufactured in the state. Thirty years hence, the inner line permit system may be abolished and income tax would be paid by Arunachalees. Are you ready for the new world? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)