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

Why Federal Polity is the key to more jobs? 


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Real GDP Growth

Mains level: The Centre has to Work Through the States for Reforms

Why in the news?

India’s general election results were surprising, defying exit poll predictions. Despite high economic growth, voters, especially informal workers earning under ₹10,000 monthly, expressed economic concerns.

About the 8% Real GDP Growth in FY24:

  • Growth Not Inclusive: The 8% real GDP growth has not reached the majority of the population, especially informal-sector workers.
  • Rural Wages: There’s a contraction in real rural wages, highlighting the dire state of the rural economy.
  • Income Inequality: High economic growth has not alleviated income inequality, which is reflected in the election results.

The Plight of Taking the Masses into Consideration:

  • Economic Concerns: Despite the hype around economic growth, voters expressed deep concerns over the state of the economy.
  • Low Incomes: Over 90% of informal-sector workers registered on the e-Shram portal have a monthly income of ₹10,000 or less.
  • Election Results: Voters in poorer states have different perceptions; some still support the incumbent government in the hope of better employment and future prospects.
  • Policy Priorities: The new government must prioritize creating employment opportunities and addressing the economic challenges faced by the masses.

CASE STUDY: Bangladesh:

  • Role of NGOs: In Bangladesh, NGOs have significantly contributed to social development, especially for women.
  • Employment Generation: NGOs have provided skilled women power to the apparel industry, enhancing employment opportunities.
  • NGOs in India: The NGO sector in India has faced scrutiny and high-handedness. The new government should collaborate with NGOs for development programs and employment generation activities.

The Centre has to Work Through the States for Reforms:

  • Agricultural Sector: With a significant workforce employed in agriculture but contributing minimally to the GVA, reforms in agriculture and allied sectors are essential.
  • Animal Husbandry and Fisheries: Encouraging growth in animal husbandry, fisheries, and poultry can provide additional income to farmers.
  • Employment in Other Sectors: To address the surplus workforce in agriculture, employment opportunities must be created in other sectors like textiles, leather, construction, and food processing.
  • Incentives for Investment: Correcting past policy mistakes and providing incentives for investment in key sectors is crucial.
  • Infrastructure Development: Improving infrastructure in smaller towns can boost the handicraft, tourism, and hospitality sectors, generating higher incomes and better market access.
  • Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC): Utilizing ONDC to provide new opportunities for craftsmen to access broader markets.
  • Government Vacancies: Filling government vacancies transparently can address educated unemployment and prevent demotivation among young people.

Conclusion: Develop schemes that specifically cater to informal-sector workers, ensuring they benefit from economic growth. This could include social security measures, skill development programs, and financial inclusion initiatives.

Mains PYQ:

Q ”Economic growth in the recent past has been led by increase in labour productivity.” Explain this statement. Suggest the growth pattern that will lead to creation of more jobs without compromising labour productivity. (UPSC IAS/2022)

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