GS (M) Paper-3: “Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.”
Focus on Manufacturing
Why should India focus on manufacturing?
- Being one of the fastest growing economies of the world, there is still scope for improvementin the manufacturing sector whose contribution to the national income will increase the GDP growth numbers significantly.
- Employment generation for the India’s growing young population.
- Success of the Make in India target – to increase the GDP numbers from current 15% to 25% in 2022 & Generate 100 million additional jobs through the manufacturing sector.
Factors affecting the boost in manufacturing sector:
- The formula of accelerating growth by boosting manufacturing sector was successful for Japan in the 1960s & 70s, South Korea in the 1980s and China in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These countries sustained double-digit GDP growth riding on the vibrant manufacturing sector.
- However, for India, the conventional approach needs to be scrutinized in the current socio-economic & political context.
- Manufacturing exports have declined rapidly with the economic slowdown, anti-globalization sentiments & changing political dynamics where the countries are fiercely protecting their domestic sector.
- They are unlikely to welcome a surge of imports from India, even if they are attractive for consumers or business.
- In such scenario, the manufacturing growth have to mainly depend on the domestic demand where export-led manufacturing expansion or even service expansion is unlikely to happen.
- With the advent of technology, the traditional demand & supply cycles have been disrupted.
- Moreover, the use of artificial intelligence and smart robots is transforming manufacturing processes and manpower is fast being substituted by automation, not just in manufacturing but servicing as well.
- But the technology helps in the expansion and generation of new services and solutions.
- For example, in the automotive context, thanks to digitization and sharing, new mobility solutions such as vehicle aggregators are emerging.
Consequences of new trends:
- The innovation and growth achieved would lead to an increasing confluence of traditional manufacturing and service into novel ‘solution’ sectors.
- As sooner or later, the traditional manufacturing sector would not be sufficient to generate the requisite employment and the shift towards solution sectors have already started.
Implications on employment:
- Irrespective of skill, knowledge, experience, the employed population will be affected.
- Because of technology, changes and emergence of new business models, job content will change much faster than in the past.
- Ability to learn and adapt would matter more than deep domain expertise and agility would matter more than experience.
Skilling India agenda:
- The above changes call for a fundamental orientation of our education and skilling ecosystem — the teachers, students, infrastructure and the orientation.
- The foundation of learning in schools should be on building learning curiosity, challenging established norms than rote based learning approach.
- Vocational trainings should focus on softer skills, ability to work in teams, continuous improvement and professional training on latest IT and technology tools.
- A professional should be psychologically and emotionally prepared to undergo 2-3 career transitions over the working life.
- The entire ecosystem should also be prepared for part time and freelance employment models.
- Under the overall umbrella of an agile skilling approach, the specific technical and vocational skills would need to be identified early and capacity built quickly.
- Changes should slowly but surely be made to the entire economic value-chain.
- The skilling agenda is massive but the first step would be to fully acknowledge the fast approaching new reality and to be prepared.
GS (M) Paper-2: “Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.”
Missing Girl Children
The ratio of the girl child continues to be less compared with the boys in India.
Statistics of missing girl child in India:
- In a fast-growing India there are fewer girls as a ratio of total births, as a result of parental preference.
- The data from the Civil Registration System of the Registrar General of India points out with a fall in sex ratio at birth from 898 girls to 1,000 boys in 2013, to 887 a year later.
- This depressing trend is consistent with evidence from the Census figures of 2001 and 2011.
- The overall data shows that particular districts and panchayats falling well below the national ratio.
Supreme Court’s reactions:
- It has prompted the Supreme Court to take note of the situation, and the National Human Rights Commission to ask for an explanation from State governments.
- It has conveyed to Parliament, girls stand a poor chance at survival because there is a “socio-cultural mindset” that prefers sons, girls are seen as a burden, and family size has begun to shrink.
Steps taken by government:
- The BJP-led government responded to the silent crisis with the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’campaign, which focuses on the prevention of sex-selective abortions, creation of opportunities for education and protection of girl children.
- The scheme is set to enter its third year in January; there should be a speedy assessment of its working, particularly in districts with a poor sex ratio where it has been intensively implemented.
Assessment can be made from the state Tamil Nadu regarding growth of girl child:
- A wider assessment needs to be made on why States such as Tamil Nadu with a strong social development foundation have slipped on sex ratio at birth (834), going by the CRS data for 2014.
- The cradle baby scheme was started in 1992 in Tamil Nadu to raise the survival chances of girl children by encouraging mothers to give them anonymously for adoption.
- Yet, the latest numbers, together with the persistence of the programme after 24 years, and 260 babies being abandoned in just one centre over a six-year period, make it clear that national policy has achieved little in real terms.
Steps to be taken:
- Enforcement of the law that prohibits determination of the sex of the foetus
- Massive social investments to protect both immediate and long-term prospects of girls — in the form of cash incentives through registration of births, a continuum of health care, early educational opportunities and social protection.