[Model Answer QP2022 GS4 Ethics] Online methodology is being used for day-to-day meetings, institutional approvals in the administration and for teaching and learning in the education sector to the extent telemedicine in the health sector is getting popular with the approvals of the competent authority. No doubt, it has advantages and disadvantages for both the beneficiaries and the system at large. Describe and discuss the ethical issues involved in the use of online methods particularly to the vulnerable section of the society.

The digital revolution is without a doubt the most significant event in information dissemination since Gutenberg’s printing press and arguably marks a much bigger shift in human communication.

Online methodology in Administration

1. Public services are becoming more accessible and accountable through blockchain-powered systems, and less bureaucratically burdensome as a result of AI assistance.
2. Big data can also support more responsive and accurate policies and programmes.

Online methodology in Education Sector

1. In education, virtual learning environments and distance learning have opened up programmes to students who would otherwise be excluded.

Online methodology in Health Sector 

1. In the health sector, for instance, AI-enabled frontier technologies are helping to save lives, diagnose diseases and extend life expectancy.

The ethical issues involved in the use of online methods particularly to the vulnerable section of the society.

  1. Exclusion and not Inclusion:  Many of the people left behind are women, the elderly, persons with disabilities or from ethnic or linguistic minorities, indigenous groups and residents of poor or remote areas. For example, according to the United Nations globally, the proportion of women using the internet is 12 percent lower than that of men. This may lead to exclusion and inclusion errors in using digital platforms for governance and administration. 
  2. Rising inequities: Reports by groups such as McKinsey suggest that 800 million people could lose their jobs to automation by 2030.
  3. Connectivity and misinformation: Social media connects almost half of the entire global population. It enables people to make their voices heard and to talk to people across the world in real time. However, it can also reinforce prejudices and sow discord, by giving hate speech and misinformation a platform, or by amplifying echo chambers.
  4. Accessibility and Quality of Education: Students in rural areas and from disadvantaged families lack access to technology, Internet access, and educational resources
  5. Digital Divide: Rural India is suffering from information poverty due to the digital divide. It only strengthens the vicious cycle of poverty, deprivation, and backwardness.
  6. Prejudices and Medical Profiling of individuals: The misuse of medical records of individuals and using these information to stereotype people of certain ethnicity, region etc. 
  7. Cyber Crime and Data Theft: Affects Vulnerable sections more than others. 
The UN Secretary-General has warned of a ‘great fracture’ between world powers, each with their own internet and AI strategy, as well as dominant currency, trade and financial rules and contradictory geopolitical and military views. Such a divide could establish a digital Berlin Wall. Increasingly, digital cooperation between states – and a universal cyberspace that reflects global standards for peace and security, human rights and sustainable development – is seen as crucial to ensuring a united world. 
Technologies can help make our world fairer, more peaceful, and more just. Digital advances can support and accelerate achievement of each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – from ending extreme poverty to reducing maternal and infant mortality, promoting sustainable farming and decent work, and achieving universal literacy. But technologies can also threaten privacy, erode security and fuel inequality. They have implications for human rights and human agency. Like generations before, we – governments, businesses and individuals – have a choice to make in how we harness and manage new technologies.
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