Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
General studies 3:
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Jobs & Economic Growth
Asia-Pacific Human Development Report just released by UNDP says that by 2050 more than 280 million people will enter the jobs market in India, a 33 per cent increase from current levels—but let us have a look at the numbers:
5 million New non-agricultural jobs were created annually between 1999-2000 and 2004-2005
An additional 7.5 million new industrial and service sector jobs were created annually between 2004-2005 and 2011-2012.
But only about 7 million have been added to the labour force annually since 2005—
Declining population growth rate
Rising educational levels
CARE Report: Points out that despite the economy growing at a good pace, employment seems to have grown meagrely, at 4.1 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively in FY14 and FY15
Underemployment— Only 60.5 per cent of persons aged 15 and above who were available for work for all the 12 months were able to get work during that year (that is, earning below acceptable or sustainable levels)
Open Unemployment Rate: Looms larger over the 7 million young people who are joining the labour force (10 times higher than that for those 30 years and above)
Unemployment for (in 2013)
15- to 17-year-olds is 10.2 per cent
For 18- to 29-year-olds is 9.4 per cent
Over- 30-year-olds is 0.8 per cent
Core physical sectors such as manufacturing, mining, construction and non-financial services had negative employment growth ranging from minus 3.8 per cent to minus 17.4 per cent in FY15
Creation of Jobs:
Growth in industrial and service sector jobs is of utmost importance for the demographic dividend to exist positively & profitably
As jobs grow, incomes rise and so do savings.
Based on higher savings, the investment rate to GDP grows, resulting in faster GDP growth
Creation of new non-agricultural jobs: Job growth leads to an increase in consumer demand which has the effect of sustaining GDP growth and reducing volatility in the output growth rate.
Increase in infrastructure investment
Became the most important sources of increased consumer demand
11th Five Year Plan: Infrastructure investment in the public and private sector together grew by $475 billion—
Employment in construction jumped from 26 to 51 million in 2011-12
Real wages increased
A consumer demand booming in both rural and urban areas
The combined demand and supply effects of investment plus job growth resulted in sustained economic growth at a rate unprecedented in India’s economic history
Present: 1.35 lakh jobs were created in 2015 (lowest figure since 2008)
Slow pace of job growth—
While the share of organised sector jobs is increasing, most of the job increases are still taking place in the unorganised segment of industry and services, and in informal jobs
While construction had been booming from 2000 to 2012, its growth dipped since 2012, and has begun to revive only since late 2015 as infrastructure investment revived. Since 2004-2005, for the first time in Indian history, 5 million agricultural workers have been leaving agriculture per annum, being mostly absorbed in low-skilled construction employment. With infrastructure investment tapering off during the fiscal years 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, construction employment growth is likely to have fallen sharply, compounding the already greater rural distress caused by drought in 2014 and 2015.
Education enrolment levels of youth joining the labour force have been increasing every year since 2010 or so. As a result, secondary gross enrolment ratio has increased from 62 to 79 per cent between 2010 and 2014. The educated youth are unlikely to join agriculture and will look for non-agricultural jobs in urban areas. The revolution in rising expectations is already causing social movements (the Patel and Jat agitations in Gujarat and Haryana, for instance).
Ministry of Labour is finalising the scheme to offer to pay 8.33 per cent of the salary as contribution for a pension scheme for new employees getting formal sector jobs. The scheme will be applicable to those with salary up to Rs.15,000 per month
Ministry of Commerce is customising incentives for labour-intensive export sectors
Has already initiated an Interest Equalisation Scheme and the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme to support declining exports, given that exports have been declining for 15 months
In the Budget, the government also announced that 100 per cent FDI in food retail will be permitted on the condition that the goods have to be manufactured in India
Stand-Up India scheme–
Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women entrepreneurs will get support such as free pre-loan training and facilitating loan and marketing.
There will be a Rs.10,000 crore refinance window to the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
The National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company will create a corpus of Rs.5,000 crore.
SIDBI will engage with the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other institutions to take the scheme forward.
Single-minded focus: Make livelihood creation central to development strategies— the leadership must bring rozgaar and employment to centre-stage in all their plans, achievements and articulations
Organised manufacturing is no longer the answer to generate large-scale employment:
Limited opportunities due to increased mechanisation and productivity
Specialised skills needed for select process areas
Encouraging people’s entrepreneurial instincts— Once the concept of ‘Start-up’ is more comprehensive, delivery of results under the Startup India or Stand-up India missions — will generate sustainable outcomes
Data consciousness needs to arise as close to 90 per cent of youngsters completing engineering or management studies are actually unemployable.
Lack of a comprehensive and practical education leading to a gap in ‘right-skilling’ vis-à-vis the true needs of the economy
Requirement of a separate ‘Ministry of manpower’- where training and end-user needs for human resources are truly convergent
Agro Subsidy-nama— Need to appreciate and encourage double incomes based on output and intellect, and not through subsidies
Government may be able to leverage returns through its own spending on creating agri-related infrastructure
Distribution and logistics-based infrastructure initiatives—be given a financial boost
Aggregation of land parcels through pragmatic policy
Profitable Staple crops: Requires improved quality of seeds and better irrigation (will boost up outputs & farm incomes)
Massive expansion in fruit and vegetable output & a vibrant food processing industry will help in balancing out seasonal spikes and improve the longevity of produce while reducing its national waste
Industrial policy- Ease of doing business improvement and infrastructure investment increases should improve the economic environment— International evidence is that when consumer demand grows consistently, whether from domestic or international markets, that is when jobs grow
Connecting the Dots:
Does there exist potential for the government schemes to create the required number of jobs? Critically examine.
Discuss the idea of providing incentives to employers for creating jobs.
Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
General studies 3:
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Online voices of offline people
Only 36% of news on the Internet is about women in India.
Social networking platforms such as Twitter are male-dominated, with men taking up 64% of news space. However, when it comes to online reporters, India outnumbers most countries with 59% women, while neighbouring Bangladesh does not have a single woman involved in reporting news online.
Across Asia, only 9% of the news on the Internet concerns women.
These figures are from the Global Media Monitoring Project report published by an online portal—Who Makes The News. This portal monitors and reports on gender-related issues in the media.
What does above mentioned data indicate?
The data clearly shows that age-old discriminatory practices against women in the mainstream media are now being passed on to online media as well. And this discrimination in the media comes from the discrimination practised in our society.
Is access to media only related to gender discrimination or does the discrimination go beyond gender?
Discrimination practised in our daily lives is gradually becoming a part of the digital medium.
Mainstream media’s coverage of scheduled castes and adivasis, who constitute over a quarter of India’s population, has historically been inadequate. Mostly, it appears only after heinous atrocities, when dalit children are burnt alive, when a panchayat orders a low-caste rape victim’s nose chopped off, or when an entire family is hacked to pieces.
What role does being economically weaker, caste, place of residence, and religion play?
Dalits, tribals, socially backward, financially weak, and communities that are geographically remote are always ignored over political news (from the Centre or state capitals), sports news, business news, celebrity gossip and even news about big brand/company names.
Mainstream media is gradually being taken over or controlled by corporate entities, making their neutrality and ethical responsibility questionable.
Can digital media change the way news and views disseminated and act as alternate media and reduce the ill effects of mainstream media?
Yes, as the penetration of the Internet, and access to computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, alternative media is getting more space.
The need for printing, publishing and distribution means high cost.
Alternative media houses, alternative journals and even alternative voices in the digital space, on the other hand, have managed to significantly reduce the cost of production and still reach out.
Facebook and twitter are used as alternate channel to put forth unheard stories of dalits, tribals and the socially backward
What are the challenges and opportunities of the digital media?
The challenge is to make digital media perpetually democratic and universally accessible, without discrimination.
It challenges traditional, mainstream media to reconsider how they operate.
Social media often releases information about which mainstream media might not have been aware, and information that mainstream media might have tried to ignore.
It can offer a wider, more diverse perspective on life than that covered by traditional media.
It challenges mainstream media’s editorial standards, and makes editors think again about their values and ethics.
It offers mainstream media opportunities to tap into conversations, learn about social change, and connect with those who were previously out of reach.
Whether or not digital media (read alternative media) will become the voice of the unheard, it must avoid becoming party to the discriminatory approach that is seen in mainstream media.
The challenge is to make this digital media perpetually democratic and universally accessible, without discrimination.
Connecting the dots:
Is digital media acting as a new platform to pay attention to voice of the voiceless and address the issues which are not mentioned in the mainstream media?
Real wages for rural labour contracted in past two years- Whatever be the reasons, the fact is that the past two years have been a disaster for rural labourers, who constitute one of the most vulnerable sections of the society
India gets right to tax capital gains in amended Mauritius tax treaty-Tax treaty also provides for a limitation of benefit clause that will ensure that only genuine Mauritius-based companies get benefits