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SYNOPSIS [24th August,2021] Day 162: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. Why are graduates from Indian universities considered unemployable by most firms? Examine. Where does the problem lie? How can it be addressed? Suggest.
Define in basic way what does term unemployability means and add statistics to substantiate.In next part mention the reasons for such a state of affairs and then give solutions for the given problems.In conclusion focus on various recent initiatives taken by Central and State governments to achieve this objective.
Unemployability means even if companies have job openings, they would not hire a candidate because they do not find him/her skilled enough of what is expected of a graduate. A recent report Says that,Less than half of the Indian graduates are employable, reveals the eighth edition of the India Skills Report (ISR) released today. In 2021, as many as 45.9 per cent of graduates are employable, a decline from 46.21 per cent in 2020 and 47.38 per cent in 2019, reveals the report.This is problematic given the phase of demographic dividend which the country is passing through and the mass poverty which needs to be overcomed.
Reasons for unemployability:
- Academic focus: undue emphasis on academic excellence and lack of practical industrial relevant knowledge development. For the same reasons, the companies have to train, retrain the freshly hired graduates which is an additional burden and hence prefer not to hire.
- Uncertainty among graduates: lack of focus and definite career path among graduates. As per a latest report, around 40% of the engineering graduates is preparing for various competitive exams in government sector which his not even relate to engineering.
- Curriculum: lack of industry-relevant curriculum. the courses being taught are not in tune with the industry’s requirements and has not kept pace with the disruptive changes in the industry.
- Sanction of new institutes: the ease of securing approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to set up engineering colleges and other higher education regulators has led to the mushrooming of institutes. Most of the education institutions including the better-known ones are understaffed and lack in qualified, competent and suitable faculty members. E.g. the number of approved institutes in Maharashtra alone is around 650.
- Skill set upgradation: The skills required changes very frequently and according change in curriculum updation is needed. E.g. When the IT/electronics field is moving towards Artificial Intelligence, Cloud computing and so on, the curriculum is centered around Microprocessor and microcontrollers.
- Teaching methods: Most of the institutions still follow traditional way of teaching without realizing that the information is available over the internet and the need of the hour is the application level teaching for practical purposes.
- Basic education: Problems of poor primary and secondary education which reflects in the learning outcome in higher education.
Recognising and accepting that there is a mismatch between education 4.0 and industry 4.0 will be the first step towards resolving the employability crisis in India. And the only way to facilitate employability is to change the entire ecosystem – perception, attitude, government policies, and the approach to education as well as employer’s investment in employees.
Ways to address unemployability:
- Strengthen the primary and secondary education providing a strong base to improve the learning outcome which would reflect in the application level learnability in the higher education.
- Curriculum: has to be revised frequently as per the changing technology in the sector.New subjects such as Artificial intelligence, robotics, new themes in humanities have to be part of curriculum.
- The focus of higher education teaching has to shift from theoretical knowledge assimilation to practical application level knowledge and thus integrating industrial requirements with academic learnings.
- Regulation of institutes: the higher education regulating authorities has to exercise restraint awarding approvals to start institutions without proper infrastructure, faculty and required relevant facilities.
- Spending: the spending in education sector has to be increased to 6% of GDP as per recommendation of various committees including the latest Kasturirangan which would improve the infrastructure of institutes.
- New initiatives like Hackathon, curriculum reform, anytime anywhere learning through SWAYAM, teacher training improve quality of learning. These need to be effectively implemented.
- Establish world-class multidisciplinary research universities. Create a master plan for every state and union territory. Each state must establish an integrated higher education master plan to provide an excellent education for all its residents. Also, Attract the best and the brightest talent to be faculty members.
- Tie-ups with industries to employ industrial relevant skills during graduation. E.g. several colleges in Tamilnadu has sessions of training imparted by professionals during college periods.
Thus, a complete revamp is needed to meet the present demand and address the future challenge that Higher education is about to face. The various steps taken including schemes like RISE, forming HEFA, Institutes of eminence,,New National Education Policy,Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), fellowship schemes, schemes to retain and attract talented faculties etc., are steps in the right direction.The employability will be an essential trait if India wants to progress from a developing to a developed nation and therefore it needs to be at centre of education discourse.
2. How do Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address the social sector? Examine. What is the proposed roadmap to achieve the targets related to the social sector? Discuss.
Mention what are Sustainable development goals and contextualise to the pandemic.In next part write how they are focused on social sector.Atlast provide what is India’s road map and policies in the social sector.Complement itbwith some challenges which India is facing in attaining these targets.Write a positive conclusion with showing how India is critical in the goals of SDG.
SDGs are 17 set of goals as a blueprint to achieve an inclusive sustainable development for all set up in 2015 as part of UN general assembly resolution 2030. These goals are targeted in systematic sustainable development for all with indicators including health, livelihood, women empowerment, poverty elimination, zero hunger etc. These indicators are one of the key indicators in the social sector development.These goals gains more importance in the light of crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and marginalised, elderly, heath issues and overall socioeconomic sectors and indicators.
Sustainable development gaols (SDGs)and focus on social sector
- SDGs end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.
- SDGs determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.
- SDGs determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.
- SDGs determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
- SDGs determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.
Proposed roadmap to achieve the targets related to the social sector
- Several large-scale anti-poverty programmes have been implemented. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, for instance which provides 100 days of assured non -skilled employment in rural areas.
- In order to achieve the goal of housing for all by 2022 under PM Awas Yojna, direct financial assistance is being extended to poor households. Additionally, initiatives have been launched for providing pension and insurance to workers in the unorganized sector, widows and the differently abled. Over 130 million people have accessed life and accident insurance under these programmes.
- With respect to clean sources of cooking fuel, over 22 million families have been provided with Liquefied Petroleum Gas connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.This has been broadened in its scope in 2.0 with target on all vulnerable sections.
- In times of COVID-19 the PM Garib Kalyan Yojna, the Atmanirbhar Bharat package has helped people in sustaining in such adverse times.
- Stunting among children less than 5 years has declined from 48% to 38.4% between 2005-06 and 2015-16. During the same period, the percentage of underweight children has declined from 42.5% to 35.7%.
- More than 800 million people are covered in India by providing the food grains at affordable prices through the Public Distribution System. The Mid-Day-Meal Programme is providing nutritious cooked meals to 100 million children in primary schools. Additionally, food distribution governance is being strengthened through the digitization of ration cards and an online grievance redressal mechanism.
- Further, sustainable and climate-adaptive agriculture has been boosted by, inter alia, promoting organic farming and issuing of 62 million Soil Health Cards to farmers. A comprehensive plan is also being implemented for doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
- The National Health Policy, 2017 has specified targets for universalizing primary health care, achieving further reductions in infant and under-5 mortality, preventing premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases as well as increasing government expenditure on health.
- A composite index is being used to monitor and incentivise improvements in health services delivery across states in the country.
- The government is aiming to immunize all unimmunized and partially immunized children against vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020.
- Towards achieving universal health coverage, a health insurance cover of INR 100,000 is being extended to all poor families.
- While much more progress remains to be made, a number of indicators pertaining to the status of women in India have moved in the right direction over the years. For instance, 68.4% of women were literate in 2015-16, as compared to 55.1% in 2005-06. Additionally, 53% of women were independently using a bank or savings account in 2015-16, which is a significant improvement from 15.1% in 2005-06.
- Numerous measures have been put in place for promoting gender equality. For example, the Beti Bachao Beti Padao (Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child) initiative focuses on a comprehensive package of interventions for the girl child including those pertaining to education and protection.
- The Maternity Benefit Programme protects women from wage loss during the first six months after childbirth.
- Further, several programmes are being implemented for enabling greater participation of women in the work force.
- All forms of transportation – roads, railways, civil aviation and waterways are being rapidly expanded. Road connectivity and electricity are being brought to all villages.
- The Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. initiative is aiming to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to all village councils in the country.
- Over the last five years, there has been a consistent growth in installed electricity generation capacity. The installed capacity in non-fossil-fuel sectors has grown by 51.3% and more than doubled in the renewable energy sector (solar, wind, bio- and small hydro power).
- India is making efforts to become an Information Technology and manufacturing hub through its ‘Make in India’ campaign. These efforts have greatly accelerated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows and helped the country sustain an average growth of 7.5% during the last three financial years (2014-15 to 2016-17).
- Employment-intensive manufacturing segments are being boosted by providing easy credit to small-scale business entrepreneurs. Additionally, the ‘Start-up India’ programme promotes entrepreneurship and labour-intensive economic growth.
5)Monitoring and accountability
- Further the NITI Aayog has been made the nodal agency to gear the plans related to SDG which has brought various indicators and SDG index to evaluate and make states accountable towards the achievement of these targets.
- Various states have setup their own bodies towards implementation.
Challenges in achieving Sustainable development in India
- Financing Sustainable Development Goals: A new study estimates that implementing SDGs in India by 2030 will cost around US$14.4 billion. According to the available statistics, India has only 5% of the required funding to implement SDGs. Further, India’s budgetary spending is also less in essential sectors. India spends around 1.5% on health and around 4% on education. This is far below the required levels to see improvement
- High growth and redistribution of wealth alone is not enough to achieve SDG. For example, According to the United Nations MDG 2014 report, despite high economic growth, in 2010, one-third of the world’s 1.2 billion extreme poor lived in India alone.
- Resource consumption and behavioural change: Achieving SDGs also require behavioural change among individual. For example, using water effectively, reducing food wastage and sharing the remaining food with others, etc.
- Increasing population: The United Nations estimates that India’s population will reach 1.7 billion by 2050. In that case, the country is likely to face a widening ecological deficit even if its current per-capita levels of resource consumption remain the same.
- Pandemic induced impacts: Many research studies have pointed out that India’s progress in essential sectors was reduced during the pandemic. For example, Oxfam International released a report that highlighted increasing inequalities in India during the time of the Covid pandemic.
These goals reflect our evolving understanding of the social, economic and environmental linkages that define our lives.” India’s development mantra “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” (Collective Effort, Inclusive Development) and the associated national programs closely track the SDGs.The attainment of these goals by India will be critical for both India and the world, for world as India being billion plus population will have greater impact on the success of SGDs if achieved and for India as their attainment will eradicate most social problems existing in India today.
3. India’s e-commerce ecosystem needs to be democratised to ensure the equitable distribution of the benefits of digital revolution. Comment.
Make a general introduction with what is the total size pf e-commerce business in India and contextualise to demand of the question.In next part write what are the issues associated with the big techs like Amazon and Flipkart.In next part write how the ONDC envisaged can be a game changer in this direction.In conclusion take a positive stand on recent policies for a better future
India is vast market for e-commerce companies with over $800biliion potential in next few years.But there has been a concern in the minds of retailers, consumers and the government as well with the recent rise of 2-3 tech companies as intermediaries for the vast market of India.This could lead to tech monopolies in future.In macroeconomics monopolies they have proven to stall innovation and economic development. Economic development depends a lot in innovation. However monopolies block this type of innovation through blocking smaller competitors in illegal means.
According to Forrester Research, an American market research company, Flipkart had 31.9% market share, making it the largest online retailer in India. On the other hand, Amazon India isn’t far behind with a 31.2% market share.
Issues with e -Commerce platforms :
- Predatory pricing: The continuously going on offers and sales on Amazon and flipakart with their ability to negotiate the bulk orders in cheap hurts the regular brick and mortar shops.
- Data mining : A large quantity of data which is being generated can be used by these companies to not only target a customer effectively but to also copy the same products and sell on its platform.
- Anti-Innovation: The data mining and effective predatory buying of the rising tech companies who can be a threat to these companies have ensured that no other innovations can rise.
- Search bias : The search bias in favour of its own brands and products or affiliated products is anti democratic and against the net neutrality concept.
- Copying new products and then selling on its own websites is against the proprietary of original inventor.This has been mastered by Amazon in USA.
- Benefits large business only : With 2-3 main retailers who constitute 60-70 percent of all the orders on Amazon and one being its group companies cloud tail can be harmful to other small businesses.
- Price control and low wages : once the market is dominated by these companies they use their clout to effectively control the prices and wages of its employees as there are no other companies who could either hire or sell the products.
In view of all these concerns the government has envisaged an Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)which will bring innovation in the sector and democratise the field.
Processes in the ONDC
- Sellers will be onboarded through open networks. Other open-source processes will include those such as vendor and price discovery; and product cataloguing.
- The format will be similar to the one which is used in the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
- Mega e-commerce companies have proprietary processes and technology for these operations.
- Marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Zomato, BigBasket and Grofers will need to register on the ONDC platform to be created by DPIIT and QCI.
- The task of implementing DPIIT’s ONDC project has been assigned to the Quality Council of India (QCI).
These will be its benefits :
- Making a software or a process open-source means that the code or the steps of that process is made available freely for others to use, redistribute and modify.This will make platform technology available to all the retailers in India.
- If the ONDC gets implemented and mandated, it would mean that all e-commerce companies will have to operate using the same processes.This will mean that monopolistic practices can be curbed and further there can be an independent regulator of whole data created.
- This could give a huge booster shot to smaller online retailers and new entrants.
- This will spur innovation in the market as the new players with their niche products can enter a vast market where there will be no big tech giant who would copy its products and resell as its own.
- Further with the implementation of the proposed draft commerce rules India will be in the global camaraderie with US,UK who themselves are looking to curb the monopolies by the teach giants.
E-Commerce has immense potential in a country like India where still only less than 10 % people are shopping online.Therefore to avoid any monopolies by large tech giants which can curb innovation, competition, and harm the interest of small retailers the recent steps taken by India are in right direction.Further both ONDC and new draft e commerce rules will be harbinger of better consumer protection and corporate practices in future.