IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 5th March 2018
India International Skill Centres (IISC)
Part of: Mains GS Paper II- Inclusive development
- Workers will now have a chance to explore employment opportunities in a number of countries, including in West Asia and Japan, as part of the government’s skill development programme.
- The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is working on establishing India International Skill Centres (IISC) to help those looking for jobs overseas get skills training.
- The IISCs will train the youth so that when they go abroad, they already have a skill.
At present, most migrant workers who go abroad lead a difficult life initially.
- The scheme is being run along with the Ministry of External Affairs, which provides a pre-departure orientation training on language, culture and processes.
Pact with Japan:
- The NSDC is also working on a programme to send youth to Japan, where they will be trained and will work for 3-5 years.
- The candidates will be trained in the newest technologies and live and earn in Japan for three to five years. The candidate will then have the choice to come back or to continue to work there.
As part of the Skill India Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has for long spoken of sending India’s surplus workforce abroad where skilled labour is required.
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Silent revolution in Organic living
Part of: Mains GS Paper II- Inclusive development
- Kottayam, the ‘land of lakes, latex and letters’ in Kerala and the first district in the country to achieve total literacy is now piloting a silent revolution in organic living, at the behest of the Mahatma Gandhi University headquartered there.
- The Inter University Centre for Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture at the University is driving the massive programme.
- Titled ‘Jaivam,’ this is a unique public education programme on organic means of living and chemical-free farm practices covering each household in the district.
- Jaivam will showcase the commitment of the university to transfer the knowledge generated in laboratories to the common man.
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TOPIC:General Studies 3:
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Creating enough jobs in India
India’s demographic dividend is both an opportunity and a challenge.
By 2020 its estimated average age of 29 and dependency ratio of 0.4 will be the lowest in the world.
But finding jobs for 12 million young people entering the labour force each year, and millions transferring out of low productivity agricultural jobs, is a major and continuing task.
- Allocation of labour is improving in areas where it is difficult to measure it.
- Productivity in the informal sector is growing at a higher rate compared to the formal.
- To some extent business is also migrating where labour is — to States and rural areas.
- The rapid growth in rural non-agricultural employment is one of the most promising ways rural incomes will rise. The rural share of India’s workforce may still be 70 per cent but agriculture now accounts for only 64.1 per cent of rural employment.
- India’s urbanisation is also proceeding faster than it is measured or recorded. Rapid growth in so-called census towns again suggests a rapid pace of non-rural employment growth.
These need to address current skills shortages and be flexibly adapted to the nature of the workforce and to industry requirements.
- Three-month training can equip first-generation literate rural school-leavers for retail malls.
- Three-month nano degrees can also re-train and equip industry workers with new skills.
Such short-term training can provide quality ladders, allowing workers to improve from whatever their level is and industry to find the required skills.
Removing two major bottlenecks-
- The completion certificate, government programmes require is difficult to get from the informal sector — this reduces the programme’s contribution in general and to upskilling the informal sector in particular.
There is a fear that government funds will be misused without formal certification.
Flexible big data and aadhaar-based verification should be designed and accepted.
- Industry training programmes are less effective because industry bodies do not agree to common standards. They tend to vary with their foreign collaborators’ needs.
Regulators must ensure standardisation so that in-house technical training in one industry is relevant in another.
In the medium term:
Numbers available for the 2000s show employment elasticity in Indian manufacturing was only 0.09 compared to a world average of 0.3.
- In order to change this, labour laws that induce industry to substitute towards capital need to be modified.
- Relatively low-skill labour-intensive industries could be encouraged. These include textiles, electronics, chemicals and food processing.
- Skill programmes must better match industry requirements.
- Apart from manufacturing, construction has a higher employment elasticity of 0.19. Stimulus to low income housing, and signs of revival of construction in general, will improve job creation.
- The service industry will continue to be a major employer. Health and education services are severely under-provided. Their expansion at all levels will improve the capability of the workforce even while providing jobs.
The Indian Medical Council that creates entry barriers and chokes the expansion in the supply of doctors and nurses needs to be reformed.
New teaching facilities should be judged on the basis of accreditation and outcomes rather than infrastructure, and competition encouraged.
- The quality of primary education needs to improve.
- Tackling automation-
It is feared automation will destroy jobs especially low-skill ones. For example, robots are being developed to cut cloth so that textile production can also be automated. Answering robots are already replacing workers in call centres.
But historically, although technological change makes some occupations obsolete, it also creates new jobs, and raises income levels. Mechanical jobs get taken away, but new complex tasks are created. Rising levels and quality of education are essential for the mastery and creation of new highly productive jobs that should define the India of tomorrow.
Connecting the dots:
- In India, finding jobs for 12 million young people entering the labour force each year, and millions transferring out of low productivity agricultural jobs continues to be a challenging task. Discuss the measures to tackle this challenge.
General Studies 1:
- Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
General Studies 2:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
Section 24, LARR Act: Controversies
The government acquired land from private parties have long been the subject of heated dispute, often resulting in violent conflict.
A constitution bench of five judges has been set up to look into land acquisition law.
The Land Acquisition Act of 1894:
The colonial law had codified powers of eminent domain in strikingly draconian fashion. Landowners were placed at the state’s mercy.
Government was accorded vast discretion to expropriate land for supposed public use.
Requirements of due process were scant.
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (LARR Act):
- The number of safeguards that the law legislates has made the process of acquisition manifestly fairer.
For instance, it compels a social and environmental impact assessment as a precondition for any acquisition.
- Besides, it also acknowledges a need for a system of rehabilitation and resettlement for those whose livelihoods are likely to be affected by the transfer of land.
- The law provided for greatly enhanced compensation, consent of those whose land was sought to be acquired, and detailed rehabilitation and resettlement provisions (including employment, land for land, and other beneficial schemes). In other words, it changed the relationship between the state and the individual by empowering the latter against the former.
- It also included a retrospective clause. Section 24 of the new Act provided that under certain circumstances, acquired land could be returned to affected families.
At least partly, these protections intend to alter the traditional relationship between the state and the citizen.
Compensation is the key: Section 24 of the LARR Act
This clause concerns acquisitions made under the 1894 law, where compensation payable to a landowner from whom land had been taken prior to the year 2009 has already been determined.
In such cases, the new law stipulates, the state ought to have not only taken possession of the land but also paid the amounts determined as due, failing which the entire proceedings will lapse. This means that even where the state has put the land acquired to some use, its failure to pay the holder compensation would render the entire proceeding nugatory.
The state argued that each of the landowners from whom land was acquired had specifically been told about the quantum of money that they were entitled to receive. Since they neither disputed the amount fixed nor came forward to receive the money, the government claimed it deposited cash payable by it into its own treasury. According to it, this action was sufficient to negate the operation of Section 24.
Indore Development Authority v. Shailendra, 2018:
Ruled that in cases where a landowner refuses compensation, a payment into the government’s treasury was sufficient, and that there was no attendant obligation on the state to deposit this money into court.
The Supreme Court decision in the Indore case does two things:
- One, it relaxes the existing definition of compensation paid from the active requirement of offering the compensation and depositing the same in court. Now, an offer followed by deposit in the government’s own treasury is sufficient to qualify as compensation paid.
- Two, on the subject of physical possession, it lays down that the period where the government is prevented from taking possession of the land due to the operation of a stay order or injunction shall not be counted towards the stipulated five-year requirement.
Given that it is at variance with other Benches on the issue, this has now led to the constitution of a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court to decide whether the Section has to be interpreted expansively or in a narrow sense.
A test had to be laid down to determine in which cases land could be returned to the original owners. The Supreme Court of India need to protect the individuals and make legislative safeguards stronger.
Connecting the dots:
- Discuss the issues pertaining to Section 24 of the land acquisition act.
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