Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Growth in India and other developing countries is consolidating. But the most concerning aspect is the jobless nature of growth. For a country having second highest population with high dependency on agriculture jobless growth is road to disaster. Policy makers should address the same at the earliest.
Bulging demography and changing realities:
Over the next 10 years, some 130 million young people will join the labour force across India.
There are two realities in this respect that cannot be ignored: the petering out of the IT story and the oil boom, both of which will add to the numbers of the unemployed.
Disruptions caused by the 2008-09 global economic and financial crisis led to significant job losses in India.
The Trump administration’s protectionist policy will have some ramifications for jobs in the years ahead.
Increased automation in manufacturing too has hurt the employment scenario.
To address concerns:
The Government needs to redraw various labour and industrial laws, and build a consensus on what a comprehensive employment generation policy ought to be.
Alternative employment avenues need to be created, requiring reallocation of labour and capital.
While recognising that there are too many people dependent on agriculture, it is necessary to accept, in view of the recent history of jobless growth, that manufacturing cannot absorb this slack.
It is important, therefore, to focus on agro-based industries in rural areas, besides employment-intensive, export-oriented sectors such as garments and leather.
Rising employment in agro-industries, requiring relatively low levels of capital, can create demand for consumer goods. Hence, it would be a misnomer to isolate agriculture from the jobs story.
Programmes such as Make in India and Skills India should develop a rural focus if entrepreneurs other than small retailers and restaurants are to emerge in the countryside.
Meanwhile, organised retail has the potential to absorb thousands of people.
As for the role of labour laws in holding up jobs in the organised sectors, provisions need to be in place to rehabilitate displaced workers.
Small-scale industry needs to be encouraged by making ‘ease of business’ work for them.
Role of Government:
For the world’s second-most populous nation and the seventh-largest economy, India has no reliable data on jobs.
The Annual Survey of Industries provides data for workers and employees in 2.3 lakh factories covered by it.
The Labour Bureau has begun tracking employment positions on a quarterly basis in eight sectors — manufacturing, IT, construction, trade, hospitality, healthcare, transportation and education.
The last report, released in March, states that just 32,000 additional jobs were created in July-October 2016 compared to the preceding quarter in these eight sectors.
There is an urgent need to have a system in place to collect such data, to know how we’re faring.
India always boasts of having the youngest and largest working age population in the world. An inability to create jobs for them will prevent the country from reaping the much-touted demographic dividend. Hence it is necessary to ensure growth is job oriented, holistic and inclusive to make sustainable.
Connecting the dots
Jobless growth is a curse to any economy. Critically analyse the same in light of increasing unemployment and growing service sector in India.
TOPIC:General Studies 2
Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
General Studies 3
Indian Economy and issue
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Happiness Quotient and Growth correlation
Development is a subjective aspect and is measured in multiple indicators across the world. GDP as a measure of development has long been discredited though it remains an important metric. The World Happiness Report and its revelations have important lessons for India.
About the report:
The first World Happiness Report was published in April, 2012, in support of the UN High Level Meeting on happiness and well-being.
Since then the world has come a long way. Increasingly, happiness is considered to be the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy.
In June 2016 the OECD committed itself “to redefine the growth narrative to put people’s well-being at the center of governments’ efforts”.
In February 2017, the United Arab Emirates held a full-day World Happiness meeting, as part of the World Government Summit.
Now on World Happiness Day, March 20th, the launch of World Happiness Report 2017, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and now supported by a generous three-year grant.
The key determinants of happiness are economic variables (income and employment), social factors (education and family life), and health (mental and physical).
The six indicators the report uses to validate what people feel are GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support, trust, freedom to make life decisions, and generosity.
These matter more than GDP and healthy life expectancy put together.
Indian economy and status:
The recently released World Happiness Report 2017 takes a look at where countries stand on the quality of people’s lives measured on a scale of 10 (best) to 0 (worst).
It helps policymakers look beyond maximising national and per capita incomes, important as they are, and create a pathway to take happiness forward.
India ranks an appalling 122 among 155 countries considered.
This puts it behind not just China (79) but Pakistan (80), Bhutan (97), Nepal (99), Bangladesh (110) and Sri Lanka (120). India is truly the unhappiest country in the region.
The US ranks 14, way behind the top ten happiest countries in the world.
The top ten have remained fairly consistent over the years, comprising mostly the small or medium West European democracies (leaders are Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, with Sweden at 10).
All have very free markets, big government, high social spending and high tax rates.
They also score well on governance (low perception of corruption).
While these rankings are based on universal factors, the report also studies variations across countries.
In a study of the US, Australia, Britain and Indonesia, it was found that in western societies, mental illness is more important than income, employment and physical illness.
In Indonesia, mental health is important but less than income.
Having a partner is crucial in western countries.
Education has a positive effect in all countries, except Australia.
Relative income, rather than absolute income, matters more.
A study of British data suggests that policies can be most effective by focusing on children.
The emotional health and behaviour of a child anticipate his chances of well-being as an adult.
The best predictor for the child is the mental health of the mother.
Also critical is the social ambience of primary and secondary schooling.
Work and happiness are interrelated. Throughout the world employed people evaluate the quality of their lives much higher than unemployed.
Rising unemployment negatively affects everyone, including those who have jobs. Blue collar work is correlated with less happiness.
Well-paying jobs are more conducive to happiness but other things also matter — work-life balance, autonomy, variety, job security, social capital, health and safety risks.
High levels of worker well-being may lead to gains in productivity and firm performance.
In sum, policies that focus on both quantity and quality of work support well-being.
The report devotes a chapter to China which through the nineties and till the mid-2000s went down the happiness slope, and recovered only thereafter. But even so, at present it is probably less happy than a quarter century ago.
Through this entire period, it took tremendous strides in per capita GDP growth.
Increasingly, the happiness quotient and not economic factors is being seen as a true indicator of social progress. The pursuit of happiness is perhaps the most cherished goal of humankind. Traditionally considered subjective, therefore immeasurable, it is increasingly being considered the proper measure of social progress. Hence policies and development actions should be focused towards perceptible change.
Connecting the dots
Increasingly, the happiness quotient and not economic factors is being seen as a true indicator of social progress. Critically discuss how happiness quotient can be taken along with economic factors for true social progress.
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