Development via virtual world

The global economy is bound to take an unprecedented change now. This is the change, that would modify and reshape the human civilisation itself, as the economic change will now prefix the social change and not the other way around. Whether that change will be a bane or a boon, can’t be delineated at the moment with certainty. But what the certainty of the uncertainty is that the change is bound to come.

One of the most pertinent change that the world could experience on the wider scale might be that of the emergence of the virtual world and the virtual economy, in particular. This change has always been there in the pipeline, so as to move the mankind to the next higher level of civilisation. But what the aberration would be now, is that the nations would strive hard to achieve the objective of virtualising the world bypassing the other major or minor objectives. Along with this change, the world will experience the new economic order, structured on the framework of the virtual reality. This new avatar of ‘virtual economics’ will impact the economics at the global level in a complicated way, the real impact of which, would be difficult to delineate.

No doubt, the phenomenon of ‘virtual economics’ has been in existence for quite some time now for example, in the form of cryptocurrencies, e-commerce, etc. but the present situation of the covid will more likely to penetrate this concept to the general masses both at the global level and more particular, at the national level.

Indeed, the developed economies will be at the forefront in comparison to the developing world. But these distinctions will not be myriad as we have observed in the traditional industrial developments and rather, the distinctions between the two worlds would cease to exist, based upon few reasons. First of all, Virtual world demands fewer physical necessities in comparison to the real world as its function mostly rest upon the wireless systems. Secondly, in the virtual world, the principle needs to be mutually compatibility rather than mutual exclusivity. The by-product of this rule would be the transparency in the dissemination of the seeds of the development. Virtual economics, or more particularly, virtual world in this way, can assist in meeting and fulfilling the objectives of the development in a more rapid pace. Further, though many nations of the world do not have the proper infrastructural network in essence but they do possess the requisite framework and structural networks for the functioning of the virtual world. For example, the mobile phones and the internet systems connects virtually each and every individual of the world to one another. This can pave the wave for the effective e-commerce transactions. Moreover, the economics will bound to function well, if the number of trading and transactions between the consumers and the producers will increase. The dissemination of the information at the rapid pace around the world will help in bridging the gap between the developed and developing worlds.

At this formative stage of the virtual world phenomenon, there are few lessons that India, particularly, needs to focus and delve upon. Foremost, India is still in the inception phase of her infrastructural development, therefore, the little tilt of fulcrum towards the virtual phenomenon, will lead to the development of the nation in leaps and bounds. And moreover, the nation is itself, providing the background for such take-off in the sphere of investment in the form of digital economy, financial inclusion, virtual identifications through computer networks etc. By choosing such a path, India will be more beneficial as compared to any other nations for the multifarious and varied reasons. Primarily, we have high population growth that has been dispersed geographically across the length and breadth of the nation and only through some virtual mechanism, most of the people can be addressed efficiently and effectively in a short span of time. For example, telemedicine can provide the up-to-date medical information to the far-flung areas. Further, education through virtual classroom will help in the educational attainment of the children in their natural settings in the remote areas. Moreover, virtual economy can assist in the burgeoning of the small and medium enterprises by incorporating the concept of profitability and productivity in a more efficient manner. This will help tremendously in two major ways. First, it will mitigate the rural-urban disparity to a considerable extent as SME’s have the vast geographical spread. Secondly, it will assist in reducing distress migration from the rural areas to the urban cities. Finally, India is predominantly an agriculture-based economy, and it is exactly the place where the virtual world has enough room to move its elbow. Simulation techniques and Virtual reality (VR) can help our illiterate farmers to know the impacts of certain hybrid plants and the farm techniques in a quite efficient manner that can help them transforming themselves into a successful farm manager by imbibing in them the new technology of cultivation, for example, hydroponics.

As the Corona pandemic is bound to guide the economy of India to an unprecedented path, it will be beneficial to move the economy through the prism of the virtual world. Many economists have had cited the growth theories, for example, the theories of the endogenous and exogenous growth models, regarding the path of the economic development of the nation. But the creation of such growth models didn’t take the exogenous variable like that of corona pandemic into account. So, now the time is not just ripe, but it is the time of utmost necessity, that we make the growth story of India unprecedented in nature.

“History repeats itself” is the common dictum about which almost each and everyone is aware of. But history has also left behind the trails of lessons which only few tries to ponder over. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 taught us that, there is the need of the equitable development, so that overcrowded and overpopulated cities could be avoided so as to contain the rapid spread of such pandemics. Also, there is the need of the penetration of the bottom-up approach in the democratic system, both in letter as well as spirit, so that many SHGs like organisations and civil society can come forward in case of such eventualities. If such SHGs are assisted by the virtual technology, its efficacy and efficient would unfold many times.

Indeed, there is also the flip side of the story, like that of the threats relating to the cyber security. But if one carefully scrutinises, the benefits of virtual world outweighs the losses, and more so, for a developing nation, like ours, where the suitable atmosphere exists, for example, the predominance of service sector, large market base, prime geographical location, among others.

There is no doubt that the world will experience a change in the post-COVID-19 world, but that change, if moved alongside the prepared frame work of the planned development, like that of the virtual world, will help in meeting any vicissitudes in the future. This is utmost essential, as the human civilization is progressing, and with progress, it is also unraveling something uncertain and unknown, and until and unless we keep modifying and upgrade the limited resources at our disposal, we are making ourselves highly susceptible to that uncertainty. 

About the author


My name is Vipal Bhagat, going to be doctorate in applied economics. My aim is to analyse and interpret the current economic happenings around us, according to the core and basic principles of economics.

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