February 2019
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[op-ed snap]It’s a wage crisisop-ed snap


Mains Paper 3: Economic Development| Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Nothing as such.

Mains level: The news-card analyses the issue that government  should focus on wage issue along with jobs crisis.



The debate around unemployment has gained prominence as suggested that uneployment is highest in last 45 years.

Change in wage structure since Independence

  • Low or zero marginal productivity in farms, self-employment or subsistence wage employment — has been India’s labour market shock absorber since 1947.
  • This shock absorber no longer works because Indians born after 1991 expect a living wage (that meets aspirations) rather than a minimum wage (that keeps mind and body together).
  • These higher wage expectations can only be met by transitioning people to higher productivity sectors, geographies, and firms.

Issues with current debate reagrding lack of Jobs

  • Indian who wants a job has a job but they don’t get the wages they want or need because
    • They work in unviable sectors (48 per cent of our labour force on farms generates only 13 per cent of the GDP)
    • unviable firms (our 6.3 crore enterprises only translate to 19,500 companies with a paid-up capital greater than Rs 10 crore)
    • unviable entrepreneurship (50 per cent of our labour force is not self-employed but self-exploiting),
    • unviable geographies (2 lakh of our 6 lakh villages have less than 200 people).

Wage Comparison within country and with other economies

  • High wages need a complex ecosystem of high productivity firms and individuals: IT firms employ only 0.7 per cent of India’s labour force but produce 7 per cent of India’s GDP.
  • A waiter in Chicago with skills similar to a waiter in Jaipur makes 20 times higher wages because of the productivity of the customers eating at the restaurant,
  • India’s 20 million manufacturing SME’s have at least 25 times lower productivity than Germany’s 200,000 mittelstand (SMEs).
  • GDP of 114 million Maharashtrians is more than 204 million people in Uttar Pradesh because Maharashtra is more formalised, industrialised, financialised, urbanised and skilled.
  • the GDP of 1.2 billion Indians till 2019 was lower than 66 million Britons because socialism — capitalism without competition and bankruptcy — led to nutty economics after 1947.
  • in the 1980s that India’s public sector steel industry employed 10 times more people to produce half the steel of South Koreans.

Changes and reforms in employment and wage structures

  • Six million new registered enterprises after GST and 30 million new social security payers in three years.
  • New monetary policy committee and fiscal discipline have blunted inflation from 8.33 per cent in 2014 to 2.19 per cent.
  • Our new bankruptcy law has started recycling assets of Rs 14 lakh crore.
  • Digital payments have exploded from 0.1 million the month before demonetisation to 650 million last month.
  • Infrastructure spending has doubled in the last five years accompanied by qualitative improvements in air connectivity, ports, highways and railways.
  • India has more than a crore new individual tax filers since demonetisation with a 45 per cent increase in returns with incomes below Rs 10 lakh last year.

Way Forward

  • The impatience of our young is changing India and her politics. And thankfully, our democracy means that the Chinese communist party strategy articulated in the 1980s — fill their stomachs but empty their minds — will not work in India.
  • India’s youth don’t aspire to replace self-exploitation with the patronising pessimism of loan-write offs, subsidies or income without work.
  • They recognise that a hard day’s work in a formal job provides dignity, strength, identity and purpose in addition to living wages.






[op-ed snap]Towards an efficient transport infrastructureop-ed snapPriority 1


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Various Infrastructure related schemes

Mains level: This newscard analyses initiative taken in improving Transport Infrastructure and overall impact of such initiative on growth.



The recent headway made in developing transport infrastructure will prove to be the biggest enabler for growth.

Growth in transport Infrastructure

  • At the highest ever pace of construction,  more than 35,000 km of national highways have been built in four and a half years.
  • World-class expressways such as the Eastern Peripheral Expressway and Western Peripheral Expressway or engineering marvels such as the Dhola Sadiya Bridge and Chenani Nashri Tunnel.
  • The Bharatmala Pariyojana is unique and unprecedented in terms of its size and design, as is the idea of developing ports as engines of growth under Sagarmala.
  • The development of 111 waterways for transport, FASTags, the promotion of alternative fuels such as ethanol, methanol, biofuels, and electricity, as well as innovative modes of travel such as seaplanes and aeroboats.

Implications of Transport Infrastructure Growth

  • An efficient transport infrastructure is the biggest enabler for growth.
  • Bharatmala and Sagarmala programmes y will improve both penetration and efficiency of transport movement on land and water, respectively.
  • They will help connect places of production with markets more efficiently, help reduce logistics costs, create jobs and promote regionally balanced socio-economic growth in the country.

Connectivity with the neighboring countries

  • Our road and sea transport networks are being developed for providing better, seamless and more efficient access not just within the country, but also to our neighbouring countries using an optimal mix of roads and waterways.
  • Afghanistan and beyond through Chabahar, or Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand through upcoming highways and waterways.

Priority areas in the development of transport infrastructure

  • Priority is also on improving the overall convenience and on-road experience of the road users.
  • This involves ensuring their safety, reducing congestion and pollution levels and providing roadside amenities.

Ensuring safety on road

  • Priority to rectifying accident black spots through engineering means,
  • Employing road safety features at the design stage for highways,
  • Conducting road safety audits, setting up driver training and post-trauma care centres as well as generating awareness.

 Addressing other concerns Such as Pollution and Traffic congestion accessibility to difficult areas

  • Ring roads, expressways and bypasses are being constructed around many big and small cities and towns to beat traffic congestion and reduce pollution.
  • Innovative solutions like seaplanes, ropeways, aeroboats and double-decker buses are being actively explored for adoption. These will bring down the traffic pressure and congestion on roads.
  • Seaplanes have already been tested, and trials are soon to be conducted on aeroboats.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with Austrian ropeway company Doppelmayr for building ropeways through congested cities and hilly areas.
  • Promoting alternative fuels like ethanol, methanol, biofuels and electricity.
  • The concept of ‘waste to wealth’ is being employed for generating alternative fuels.
  • Giving priority to the greening of roads and FASTag-based electronic toll collection, which will prevent congestion at toll plazas and bring down pollution.

Creating Employment Opportunities

  • Development of transport infrastructure will also create huge employment opportunities in the country, improving the socioeconomic condition of people.
  • In the roads sector, training is being given in construction-related trades,
  • While under Sagarmala, training is being provided in job opportunities that can come up in the maritime sector, in the factories that are slated to be built in port areas, the service industry, fisheries, tourism and many more.
  • the total number of seafarers employed in Indian and foreign ships has grown by 35% this year.

Managing water resources and clean rivers

  • Implementation of  over 260 projects in the area of sewerage infrastructure, industrial pollution control, solid waste management and riverfront management.
  • what we need is to manage our water resources well using innovative ideas.


  • India’s growth story should no longer be impeded by a lack of efficient transport infrastructure, and the fruits of this growth should reach everyone in the remotest part of the country.


[op-ed snap] Stress points of democracyop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Nothing much

Mains level: The newscard comprehensively explains instances of weakening of democratic values and institutions around the world and in India.



Steady undermining of institutional and knowledge structures  are posing a threat to the world and in India. In this election year in India, there is  need to keep a sharper eye on the weakening of institutions.

Examples Around the world

  • Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan are constantly projected as the faces of authoritarianism.
  • Many democratic leaders reveal a similar authoritarian streak, which adds to democracy’s woes.
  • International institutions such as the World Bank are facing the heat today for not conforming to the prescriptions of certain powerful members.
  • Brexit, and the Brexit debate, in the U.K. and Europe are enough examples of democracy going awry.
  • The U.S., which prides itself as a leading democracy is failing. Under President Donald Trump, arbitrary decision-making has replaced informed debate.
  • The decision of the U.S. to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, determination to build a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants, even risking an extended shutdown of the U.S. government are someof indication of erosion of democracy.

Situation in India

In a pluralistic, multi-party federal system, disdain for democratic conventions and the violation of well-entrenched behavioural patterns are causing irreversible damage to the polity.

Instances of the decline of democratic convention

  • Centre-State relations are already under strain, and face the threat of still greater disruption.
  • There have been  unhealthy exchanges between the Prime Minister and some Chief Ministers which involve accusations such as fomenting riots and running extortion rackets.
  • Those in authority deem all information not acceptable to them as nothing but disinformation. Those opposed to the government, on the other hand, insist that the government suffers from a lack of probity.
  • The current  exchanges between the ruling dispensation and the Opposition over the purchase of Rafale aircraft are an example.
  • The Central government has effectively rejected a report by the well-regarded National Sample Survey Office — which showed that unemployment in 2017-18 was at a 45-year high — without giving any valid reason for doing so.
  • doubts are being raised about the validity of the government’s revised GDP estimates.
  • With regards to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), there has been perceived attempt to reduce its functional independence, to compel it to fall in line with the views of the government.
  • The Interim Budget announced on the eve of the 2019 general election clearly breaches certain long-settled conventions, by including many substantial measures that ordinarily would form part of a regular Budget.

Virtual Collapse of CBI

  • Touted as India’s premier investigation agency, its reputation has of late suffered a near mortal blow, mainly on account of internecine quarrels, as also external interference in its internal affairs.
  • Created out of the Delhi Special Police Establishment in 1963, the agency was earlier headed by persons with impeccable integrity and ability.
  • Over time, the quality of the CBI leadership and the tribe of proven investigators has witnessed a decline, which has impacted the image of the organisation.
  • The choice of Director, following the Vineet Narain case, by a committee headed by the Prime Minister, with the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition as the other members, has hardly helped the CBI maintain a reputation for independence.
  • The recent  drama between the Director and his No. 2, reflects the lack of institutional culture in the organisation.
  • Supervisory officers, who come and go, are most often not in a position to provide proper guidance to investigating officers.

Change in the work culture of CBI

  • Earlier the CBI used to carry out arrests of so-called accused persons only as a measure of last resort.
  • Iits investigating officers’ skills have declined, it is increasingly resorting to peremptory arrests, often on very slender evidence.
  • In many instances, the CBI has also been resorting to pressure tactics while questioning individuals,
  • CBI has even resorted to intimidatory tactics, taking recourse to a battery of investigators to question a witness, let alone an accused.
  • The recent incident where a battery of CBI personnel went to question the Kolkata Police Commissioner at his residence late in the evening, though he was only a witness, reflects the changing course of the CBI.


Across the world and in india, democracy is in obvious retreat, with authoritarian tendencies on the ascendant.This should be a matter of concern for one and all.



Explained: Effect on Bills when Parliament adjourns sine diePriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Polity | Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions & basic structure

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Lapse of any Bill in Parliament

Mains level: Law making procedures in India


  • As the final session of the 16th Lok Sabha adjourned sine die, 46 Bills, including the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the one on banning triple talaq, are set to lapse on 3 June when the term of the present Lok Sabha ends.

When does a Bill lapse in Indian Parliament? 

Depending on the status of the pending legislation, and where it originated, there are certain cases in which the Bill lapses on dissolution of Assembly.

I. Bills originated in Lok Sabha

  • Any Bill that originated in the Lok Sabha, but could not be passed, lapses.
  • A Bill originated and passed by the Lok Sabha but pending in the Rajya Sabha also lapses

II. Bills originated in Rajya Sabha

  • The Constitution also gives MPs in Rajya Sabha the power to introduce a Bill.
  • Therefore a Bill that originated in Rajya Sabha and was passed by it, but remains pending in Lok Sabha also lapses.
  • A Bill originated in the Rajya Sabha and returned to that House by the Lok Sabha with amendments and still pending in the Rajya Sabha on the date of the dissolution of Lok Sabha lapses.

When a Bill does not lapse

  1. Not all Bills, which haven’t yet become law, lapse at the end of the Lok Sabha’s term.
  2. A Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha, but not passed by the Lok Sabha, does not lapse.
  3. A Bill passed by both the Houses but pending assent of the President of India, does not lapse.
  4. A Bill passed by both Houses but returned by the President of India for reconsideration of the Parliament does not lapse.
  5. Some pending Bills and all pending assurances that are to be examined by the Committee on Government Assurances also does not lapse on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.

Exceptions for a Joint Sitting

  1. Apart from the aforementioned exceptions, another situation when a Bill does not automatically lapse with end of the final Parliament session is if the president calls for a joint sitting to vote on a Bill.
  2. Article 108 of the Constitution states that the president may, unless the Bill has elapsed by reason of a dissolution of the LS, summon both Houses to meet in a joint sitting for the purpose of deliberating and voting on the Bill.
  3. If at the joint sitting of the two Houses, the Bill, with such amendments, if any, is passed by a majority of the total number of members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed to have been passed by both Houses.
  4. However there is no provision of joint sittings on a Money Bill or a Amendment Bill.

What happens to Bills that have lapsed?

  • If a Bill is elapsed by virtue of one or more of the conditions explained above, it will have to be reintroduced in the new Lok Sabha (as is or with amendments) should the new government feel the need for it.

Alternative: Promulgating an Ordinance (Art.123)

  • The lapse of a Bill in Parliament still does not prevent the incumbent government from issuing an Ordinance to bring forth the legislation it intended to through the lapsed Bill.
  • According to the Constitution, the government of the day can bring in Ordinance if the Parliament is not in session and if the president is convinced of the urgency of the matter that it can’t wait till the House comes in session again.
  • The Constitution does not explicitly bans a government nearing the end of its term from doing so.
  • Since the lifespan of an ordinance in six months, or till the Parliament’s next session (which in this case will be after the election of 17th Lok Sabha) any ordinance promulgated by the current government is likely to outlive its tenure.

Noteworthy Bills lapsing with current Lok Sabha

  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
  • The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill
  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016
  • Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  • Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018
  • The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016
  • DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill

With inputs from:


PRS India

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Pakistan

Explained: What is MFN status, how can India hurt Pak by withdrawing itPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: IR | India & its neighborhood relations

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: MFN status, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, WTO

Mains level: India-Pakistan trade relationship


  • In a major terrorist attack, 40+ CRPF personnel were martyred in J&K’s Pulwama district when a terrorist attacked with an explosives laden vehicle into one of the vehicles of the CRPF convoy.
  • In response to the effect, India withdrew MFN status accorded to Pakistan.

MFN status to Pakistan

  1. India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996, a year after the formation of WTO.
  2. Pakistan still hasn’t granted India with MFN status. On the other hand, it came up with a dissimilar but globally popular Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) agreement.
  3. The reason Pakistan has chosen to adopt the NDMA with India is due to political mistrust and a history of border conflicts.
  4. On November 2, 2011, the Pakistani cabinet decided formally to accord India MFN status. But that decision remains unimplemented.

Trade between India and Pakistan

  1. Bilateral trade between India and Pakistan stands at $2.61 billion.
  2. The major commodities and goods in which both countries trade include cement, sugar, organic chemicals, cotton, man-made filaments, vegetables and certain fruits and tubers, mineral fuels, mineral oils, salts, earths, stone, lime, dry fruits, steel and plastering material.
  3. In FY17, India-Pakistan trade was a mere $2.29 billion, or about 0.35% of India’s overall trade.

Does MFN mean preferential treatment?

  1. In literal explanation, MFN doesn’t mean preferential treatment.
  2. Instead it means non-discriminatory trade that ensures that the country receiving MFN status will not be in a disadvantageous situation compared to the granter’s other trade partners.
  3. When a country receives MFN status, it is expected to raise trade barriers and decrease tariffs.
  4. It is also expected to open up the market to trade in more commodities and free flow of goods.

Pros of MFN

  1. MFN status is extremely gainful to developing countries.
  2. The clear upsides are access to a wider market for trade goods, reduced cost of export items owing to highly reduced tariffs and trade barriers.
  3. These essentially lead to more competitive trade.
  4. MFN also cuts down bureaucratic hurdles and various kinds of tariffs are set at par for all imports.
  5. It then increases demands for the goods and giving a boost to the economy and export sector.
  6. It also heals the negative impact caused to the economy due to trade protectionism.


  1. The decision by India to withdraw MFN status to Pakistan is intended to isolate Pakistan diplomatically and squeeze the country’s industry.
  2. Even though the low volumes of trade limit the impact that such a step can have, the stoppage of input materials such as chemicals and cotton from India will push up costs of production for the relevant Pakistani industries.
  3. However, it will also give a handle to extremist elements in Pakistan to scale up the rhetoric against India.


What is MFN Status?

  1. Most Favoured Nation is a treatment accorded to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries vis-a-vis other trade partners.
  2. Article 1 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), 1994, requires every member country of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to accord Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to all other member countries.
  3. Under WTO rules, a member country cannot discriminate between its trade partners.
  4. If a special status is granted to a trade partner, it must be extended to all members of the WTO.

Benefits of MFN

  1. MFN essentially guarantees the most favourable trade conditions between two countries.
  2. These terms include the lowest possible trade tariffs, the least possible trade barriers and very crucial to trade relations– highest import quotas.
  3. The WTO rules allow discrimination in certain cases like in cases when a country signs free trade agreements in a region.
  4. In that situation, a country may grant special favours and trade concessions to a country as compared to non-member countries of that group.


  1. The main disadvantage is that the country has to give the same treatment to all other trade partners who are members of the WTO.
  2. This translates into a price war and vulnerability of the domestic industry as a result.
  3. The country is not able to protect domestic industry from the cheaper imports and in this price war, some domestic players have to face heavy losses or growth restrictions.
Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

Minimum wage: what it is, how it is fixedPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Minimum wage determination criteria

Mains level:  Minimum wages for workers


  • Central trade unions have called a nationwide strike today to protest the government’s announcement of a hike in minimum wages for workers.

Why are the trade unions not happy?

  1. The government has announced a 42% increase in minimum wages for unskilled non-agricultural workers in central sphere.
  2. Employees of the central government and allied departments and undertakings, for category ‘C’ areas from Rs 246 a day to Rs 350 a day — or Rs 9,100 for a month of 26 working days.
  3. A, B and C category areas are determined broadly on the basis of their urban/rural profile.
  4. The trade unions had demanded statutory minimum wage for all workers of not less than Rs 18,000 per month.

Who will benefit from the increase?

  1. The minimum wage revision will be applicable to central government employees in its scheduled employment, in line with the provisions of the Minimum Wage Act, 1948.
  2. Currently, there are 45 scheduled employments under the central sphere, including agriculture, stone mines, construction, non-coal mines, and loading and unloading, and around 1,679 employments of states.

How is the minimum wage determined?

  1. The norms for determining the minimum wage were recommended by the Indian Labour Conference in 1957.
  2. It decided that the minimum wage should be need-based, and should ensure the minimum human needs of the industrial worker.
  3. Five norms were suggested:
  • Three consumption units for one earner in a standard working class family, with the earnings of women, children and adolescents in the family being disregarded.
  • Net intake of 2,700 calories for an average Indian adult of moderate activity.
  • Per capita consumption of cloth of 18 yards per annum, which would mean for the average worker’s family of 4 a total 72 yards.
  • Rent corresponding to the minimum area provided for under the Subsidised Industrial Housing Scheme for low-income groups.
  • Fuel, lighting and other miscellaneous items of expenditure to constitute 20 per cent of the total minimum wage.

SC Judgement

  1. In 1991, the apex Court, in Raptakos & Co. Vs its workers, ruled that children’s education, medical requirement, minimum recreation including festivals, ceremonies, provision for old age and marriage, should constitute 25%, and be used as a guide for fixing the wage.
  2. These six criteria are considered by the central and state governments to fix the minimum wage.
  3. The minimum wages include basic and variable dearness allowance, which is revised twice a year based on Consumer Price Index (Industrial Worker).

Why is there a disparity in minimum wages across India?

  1. Based on the recommendations of the National Commission on Rural Labour in 1991, a National Floor Level Minimum Wage was proposed in order to have a uniform wage structure across the country.
  2. In 1996, the NFL Minimum Wage was fixed at Rs 35 per day, which was revised in subsequent years and currently stands at Rs 160 per day.
  3. Since this Wage does not have statutory backing, it is not mandatory for states — although they are advised to fix minimum wages at not less than the National Floor Level Minimum Wage.
  4. Some states such as Kerala and Delhi already have a higher minimum wage for unskilled labourers than what has been announced by the government.
  5. However, in the absence of legal backing, the lowest minimum wage drops very low.
Women Safety Issues – Marital Rape, Domestic Violence, Swadhar, Nirbhaya Fund, etc.

Parliament passes law removing leprosy as ground for divorcePriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of the vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018

Mains level: Preventing discrimination being faced by leprosy patients in the society


  • Parliament has passed a Bill removing leprosy as a ground for divorce under five personal laws including the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018

  1. The bill seeks to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce in five personal laws – Hindu Marriage Act, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, Divorce Act (for Christians), Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act.
  2. The Bill eliminates leprosy as a ground for dissolution of marriage or divorce.
  3. The condition under Section 18 (2) (c) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, that a Hindu wife is entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance if the latter is suffering from a virulent form of leprosy has been omitted.

Why such move?

  1. The Law Commission in its report had recommended repeal of laws and provisions which were discriminatory against leprosy affected people.
  2. Besides, India is a signatory to a UN Resolution which calls for elimination of discrimination against persons suffering from leprosy.
  3. The proposed law follows a National Human Rights Commission recommendation a decade ago to introduce amendments in personal laws and other statutes.
Industrial Sector Updates – Industrial Policy, Ease of Doing Business, etc.

Government to continue credit linked capital subsidy schemeGovt. Schemes


Mains Paper 3: Indian Economy | Planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Various initiatives for supporting MSME Sector

Mains level: Facilitating MSMEs in India


  • The Central government will continue the “Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Upgradation Scheme” for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) beyond the 12th Plan period for three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

CCLS for Technology

  1. The objective of the Scheme is to facilitate technology up-gradation in MSEs by providing an upfront capital subsidy of 15 per cent (on institutional finance of upto Rs 1 crore availed by them).
  2. This is provided for induction of well-established and improved technology in the specified 51 sub-sectors/products approved.
  3. The major objective is to upgrade their plant & machinery with state-of-the-art technology, with or without expansion.
  4. The Scheme is a demand driven one without any upper limit on overall annual spending on the subsidy disbursal.

Nature of assistance

  • The revised scheme aims at facilitating technology up-gradation by providing 15% up front capital subsidy to MSEs, including tiny, khadi, village and coir industrial units, on institutional finance availed by them.
Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

[pib] Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM- SYM)Govt. SchemesPIB


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre & States & the performance of these schemes

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Pradhan Mantri Shram- Yogi Maandhan Yojana

Mains level: Pension Scheme for Unorganised sector workers


  • The PM Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM)will be rolled out by the Ministry of Labour and Employment from. 15th Feb, 2019.

PM Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) 

  1. PM-SYM will be a Central Sector Scheme administered by the Ministry of Labour and Employment and implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India and CSCs.
  2. LIC will be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
  3. The amount collected under PM-SYM pension scheme shall be invested as per the investment pattern specified by GoI.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. The unorganised workers mostly engaged as home based workers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, cobblers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washer men, rickshaw pullers, landless labourers, etc. whose monthly income is Rs 15,000/ per month or less and belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years are eligible for the scheme.
  2. They should not be covered under New Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
  3. Further, he/she should not be an income tax payer.

Salient Features of PM-SYM

Pension Pay out

  1. Once the beneficiary joins the scheme at the entry age of 18-40 years, the beneficiary has to contribute till 60 years of age.
  2. On attaining the age of 60 years, the subscriber will get the assured monthly pension of Rs.3000/- with benefit of family pension, as the case may be.

Family Pension

  • During the receipt of pension, if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension.
  • Family pension is applicable only to spouse.

Contribution by the Subscriber

  • The subscriber’s contributions to PM-SYM shall be made through ‘auto-debit’ facility from his/ her savings bank account/ Jan- Dhan account.
  • The subscriber is required to contribute the prescribed contribution amount from the age of joining PM-SYM till the age of 60 years.

Matching contribution by the Central Government  

  • PM-SYM is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme on a 50:50 basis where prescribed age-specific contribution shall be made by the beneficiary and the matching contribution by the Central Government.
  • For example, if a person enters the scheme at an age of 29 years, he is required to contribute Rs 100/ – per month till the age of 60 years.
  • An equal amount of Rs 100/- will be contributed by the Central Government.

Enrolment Process

  • The enrolment will be carried out by all the Community Service Centers (CSCs).
  • The subscriber will be required to have a mobile phone, savings bank account and Aadhaar number.
  • The eligible subscriber may visit the nearest CSCs and get enrolled for PM-SYM using Aadhaar number and savings bank account/ Jan-Dhan account number on self-certification basis.

Facilitation Centres

  • All the branch offices of LIC, the offices of ESIC/EPFO and all Labour offices of Central and State Governments will facilitate the unorganised workers about the Scheme.