Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

[op-ed snap] Citizen-led employment generation is what’s needed


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Alternative ways to generate employment in India


Migration a cause of social tensions

  1. Social tensions are rising as “two Indias” emerge from a demographic perspective
  2. The north and east have high fertility rates, low labour force participation and high marginal employment
  3. In contrast, the west and south have low fertility rates and, in some instances, is showing the shortage of manpower
  4. This is resulting in interstate migration, creating social tensions
  5. The west and south are resentful when they see “outsiders” stream in on packed trains
  6. The north and east are likely to experience increasing social strife when a digitally alive population fails to fulfil their aspiration
  7. Of every 100 additional employment requirement for the country in the coming decade, 80 will be in the 10 large states in the north and east where demography is still in its surge phase

Need for large-scale employment

  1. Creating large-scale local employment will be essential for inclusive growth, and is a key agenda for the country over the coming decade
  2. Employment opportunities will require a focus on smaller districts that house a majority of our population and still remain rural or semi-urban and in some cases tribal
  3. Employment generation requires district-level effort for job creation that links local entrepreneurs to markets, with solutions that use local resources

Approach to large-scale employment

  1. Employment generation is the task of citizens, society, and the private sector, not just the government
  2. Employment generation starts with the strengths, resources and capabilities of that region
  3. These resources require market connects, which generate revenues for a local entity, or which can highlight local assets, as with tourism
  4. This approach addresses the challenge of creating large-scale employment as an opportunity for inclusive growth
  5. The approach takes local leaders, local resources as the starting point of employment generation
  6. For instance, agro-processing, dairy, non-timber forest product, local tourism are resources that are specific to a region or a district and should be a starting point for employment generation

Taking forward this approach

  1. Underlying this approach is a change in mindset
  2. Most narratives for our 1.3 billion democracy sees citizens as passive consumers
  3. The approach starts by looking at citizens and local entrepreneurs as producers not mere consumers
  4. It then creates an enabling ecosystem that shifts the focus of economic value creation from larger cities to smaller towns using local resources from that area
  5. It uses market connects as the starting point
  6. Connecting local entrepreneurs to the market using local capabilities of that district is a key feature
  7. An initial assessment of districts understands which local resources will be of use to the regional, national and international markets
  8. The nature of the processing, manufacturing or in some cases services interventions are identified given this market connect
  9. The platform also identifies local entrepreneurs who are able to create and man the units, and strong finance connects are also facilitated
  10. The result is local direct job creation in those local enterprises as well as indirect job creation as local produce is collected, processed and exported

Way forward

  1. This approach can drive efficiency in the economy with lower cost, wider sourcing structures while providing employment to a large number of people in smaller districts
  2. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build India, keeping the citizen at its centre and utilizing the bountiful resources of our smaller districts where employment is most needed
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