• IPC 2017

Let’s Walk-the-Talk!

By GovernanceToday
In Editorial
February 10, 2017

You smile with them. You talk to them. Because the money they are earning today will one day build you a house also. I have learned now to laugh and smile with these rich people…

This is not mere an expression. Such individual actions form part of a collective intimate work culture. From the standpoint of developing policies, frameworks, transformative values, emphasis should fall on empowering, rather than protecting.

The United Nations Development Programme’sHuman Development Report points out that while India’s working age population increased by 300 million between 1991 and 2013, the economy could employ only 140 million. Now, very large numbers of young people, even when educated and skilled, cannot find decent jobs. By 2050, another 280 million people will enter the jobs market making India the most “job stressed” country in the world.This is fuelingfurther unrest in the country. Several national and global forces are converging to change the landscape for jobs.

For all the economic or employability turbulence today, the significance of new economy enterprises should not be underestimated.We need to urgently plan for the future – for making available varied work opportunities as well as for creating relevant skilled workforce.

Establishing policies and programs for literacy and skills training of domestic workers is the first and an essential measure towards fostering the profesionalisation of domestic work and enabling the domestic workers to enhance their career prospects both within and outside the domestic sector.

A new paradigm is called for today to spur extreme competitiveness of the economy, whilst ensuring that the environment is nourished and large-scale sustainable livelihoods are created – an approach we can call ‘Responsible Competitiveness’. Making societal value creation a core purpose of business spurs innovation that can contribute substantially to enriching economic, environmental and social capital.

Converging complexities that are shaping scenarios for jobs require systemic ways to address them. Ministries work within their authority silos, and experts think within their intellectual domains. But, drivers within a system cross these boundaries.

Of the major drivers that are shaping the market for jobs, the first is technology. We have seen how new technology driven enterprises are creating new opportunities for work these days, be it in e-commerce or in travel and transport. The second driver of change in employment patterns is the emergence of new forms of enterprises. Then is demand for social security. And the most powerful driver is skills. Progressive industrial countries are concerned with re-skilling their workers for Industry 4.0, whereas India is still trying to catch up to meet the needs of Industry 2.0 and mass production, or even Industry 1.0 like tailoring and others. However, with rapidly changing industry patterns, are  we not prepared for Industry 4.0 at the same time!

This will require a paradigm shift in policies, practices and innovations for skills development, which has started happening. To the extent, that job-consuming innovation is now “collar blind”.

Enterprising social segment is not just a problem solver, but it goes the extra mile of revolutionising the entire picture. An enterprise in the domestic work sector would be nothing less than a revolution that would change the way India treats a domestic worker. An enterprising initiative would challenge the existing systems and would start changes from within. It is setting new standards in the recruitment, training and placement and empowering the domestic worker to take her career upward. It should be about creating a model that would not only be looked upon by the whole world, but also should be helping people to say that “our lives have been touched”.

It is time that the collective energies of the nation are harnessed to build such new segments of Indian enterprises of tomorrow. The two-pronged focus should be, on one hand, to attract investments and continue to strengthen our industry clusters, and on the other hand, encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs, venturing into new growth areas that can bring in more employment opportunities and create jobs. It is then that India’s growth story will create much more value in the economy and ensure growth with equity and employment. In that lies the hope for millions of Indians, their collective dreams and aspirations for a better future.

Best regards
Ajit Sinha

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