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Automation will make 20 crore young Indians jobless in next 9 years

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Mohandas Pai

New Delhi, December 02: Are we heading towards a technology nightmare? It seems so, T V Mohandas Pai said, at least about 20 crore young people between the age group of 20-40 would have no jobs or have less jobs by 2025 due to increasing automation and improvement in technology.

“By 2025 there will be 200 million young people in the age group of 21-41 with no jobs or less jobs and nobody knows what to do with these people. Government policy does not know what to do as they don’t have proper data,” said Pai, who is the Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services.

“We are going to have demographic nightmare,” he said at AIMA’s National HRM Summit.

While automation will impair job creation, new class of job seekers is going to come in market and HR mangers would be required need to solve this problem.

Citing the disparity between the growth of agriculture and IT sector, Pai added that only today 52 per cent as against 62 per cent in last 10 years are employed in agriculture sector. While, people depending on service and industry sector is growing at 10 per cent.

“Disparity between people in agriculture and in service industry is widening and that is getting social attention all across India which has led to various agitation across states,” he said.

So the need of the hour is to out-mark the performance of machines companies like Foxconn have started deploying robots at work. Not to mention, driver less cars and trucks are also being made which are going to adversely impact jobs in the coming days. People who are creative would only be able to survive.

“Robots are taking over at large number of places. Robots don’t want appraisal, they don’t want work life balance. They work 24 hours. In Delhi, metro is going to be automated. Automobile industry which employees 1 in 6 people in the world is going to be automated,” Pai said.

He further highlighted how jobs are shrinking in banking sector due to automation of payment systems.

“Bank branches and employment are now shrinking in America. In India in last 15 years, banks have grown at 10-15 times in assets and liabilities but employment has grown 5 per cent. In India very soon there will be robo finance which will search all portals and give you bank loan quote in half an hour,” Pai said.

Make My Trip co-founder and CEO Rajesh Magow also had said the company has reduced work force at call centres over the years due to automation.

Info Edge Managing Director and CEO Hitesh Oberoi said that HR managers need to work as extended arm of CEOs and groom talent base to help organisation scale up their businesses.

Wefornews Bureau

India

Railways start work under MGNREGA scheme

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Indian Railways

Agartala, Dec 13 : The Railways, for the first time, have started utilising the government’s rural job flagship scheme – MGNREGA – to undertake railway work, a senior official said on Thursday.

“The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) has started works of widening railway embankment in Kishanganj area of Katihar division in Bihar and Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal under the MGNREGA,” NFR’s Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma told IANS.

He said that if the state governments of the northeastern states and concerned District Magistrates agree, similar works can be undertaken in the region where NFR has railway lines.

The NFR serves seven districts in West Bengal and five districts in north Bihar, besides the northeastern states, excluding Sikkim.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) mandates 100 days of employment in a financial year to at least one member of each rural household in the state.

Sharma said that in Kishanganj, the proposal of railway line embankment repair was sanctioned for 5.7 km of track at an approximate cost of Rs 13.4 lakh.

“Around 30 labourers are turning up on a regular basis and all are being provided with job card against MGNREGA. Similarly, the District Magistrate of Uttar Dinajpur had also sanctioned supplementary estimate of embankment repair for 8.3 km of railway track at an approximate cost of Rs 21.5 lakh under the rural job scheme,” he said.

He said that the joint initiative of NFR and the Bihar and West Bengal governments will be helpful in providing rural jobs and also the repair and maintenance of railway assets without any additional cost to the Railways.

The works proposed under the MGNREGA include construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings, developing and cleaning silted waterways, trenches and drains along the tracks, construction and maintenance of approach roads to railway stations, repairs to earthwork to the existing railway embankments, cuttings, clearing vegetation growth and plantations at extreme boundary of railway land.

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Universities should consult industry on designing courses to make students employable

Such initiatives hold the key to driving India’s innovative capacity forward and making the country more competitive.

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Enhancing employability

Even though the idea of globalisation has come under fire in the last few years, with increasing levels of discontentment over inequity in the distribution of gains, the benefits that the world economies have derived from it are often overlooked.

One unmistakable benefit has been the transfer of productivity-enhancing technology between nations and diffusion of innovation worldwide. The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook released in April this year also pointed out that globalisation has given a significant boost to the diffusion of knowledge and technology across the world through free trade, higher foreign direct investment and the international use of patents and copyrights.

Innovation has become the key to gaining greater market share and more and more countries are shifting their policy focus on building their innovative capacities to strengthen the competitiveness of their economies. Competitiveness is defined as “the ability of firms to compete, grow and be profitable in the long run”. Studies find an unequivocal link between innovative capacity and competitiveness of nations and regions. In fact, it is almost next to impossible for businesses to become competitive without innovating in its products and operations.

With the world innovating at breakneck speed, no country wants to be left in the lurch. Most significantly, China has laid out a plan to become an “innovative nation” by 2020 and an “international innovation leader” by 2030 in its current Five-Year Plan. Even countries like Saudi Arabia that have historically been heavily resource-dependent are making a conscious move towards higher innovation. These countries are beginning to recognise the fact that building a competitive advantage based on factor endowments (cheap labour in case of China and oil reserves for Saudi Arabia) cannot be sustained over the long run. A transition to a knowledge-based economy is imperative.

India can ill-afford to find itself lagging on the curve. The country had missed out on the first industrial revolution on account of being at the receiving end of colonial history. No other phase of innovation in history has transformed industry to such an extent. Only the digital revolution at the end of the 20th century came close. It is, therefore, a rare and opportune time for India to accelerate its development process and move into the next stage of growth by focusing on strategies to foster innovative capacity.

In recognition of the urgency to act, a roundtable on “Innovation for Prosperity” was organized by NITI Aayog and the Institute for Competitiveness last week to draw actionable policy recommendations for NITI Aayog to work upon to improve India’s innovation capacity. One of the most pertinent issues raised at the roundtable was the issue of industry-academia linkage in the Indian education system.

Around the world, universities are seen as hubs of innovation where experts from varied fields come together to share their ideas for developing new technologies, systems and processes. Such innovation originating from universities usually attracts huge demand from industry. This results in diversified products and market development, which leads to the nation gaining a competitive edge in the world markets.

Such industry-academia linkages are missing in the Indian economy. Universities are meant to play a dual role of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer. But the latter is found wanting in the Indian context. The problem resides in the abysmal quality of the country’s education system that focuses more on quantity than quality from a very early stage. For instance, the focus is always on the number of hours taught rather than the quality of education imparted in those hours.

At every level of education, students are never encouraged to think. Rote-learning is encouraged through an incessant focus on marks, which leaves no scope for thinking or innovation. Further, higher education is mostly outdated and hardly industry-oriented. Therefore, the human capital in India is barely equipped to innovate for industry. Another factor that hinders any industry-academia linkage is an utter lack of clarity on who owns the IP for collaborative innovation. Until these problems persist, any collaboration between industry and academia will be difficult to achieve.

One way to move away from the status quo is to encourage universities to consult industry while designing course curricula so that the graduates are more employable and innovative. The government can also play an enabling role in facilitating higher collaboration. It can provide tax incentives or subsidise setting up of research infrastructure in universities that can be used for industrial innovation. The government could also push for higher academic exchanges by funding the transaction costs involved in the process, which can particularly help in better understanding of what industry requires from academia.

Such initiatives hold the key to driving India’s innovative capacity forward and making the country more competitive.

(Amit Kapoor is chair, Institute for Competitiveness. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at [email protected] and tweets @kautiliya. Chirag Yadav, senior researcher, Institute for Competitiveness, has contributed to the article)

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Ratan Tata conferred steel industry’s lifetime achievement award

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Ratan-Tata
Ratan Tata (File Photo)

Mumbai, Dec 10: Eminent industrialist Ratan N. Tata was conferred the Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI) Lifetime Achievement Award for his association and contribution to the industry, an official said here on Monday.

The award was bestowed on Tata by Union Minister for Steel Choudhary Birendra Singh and other dignitaries on Sunday night, besides 450 delegates from 10 countries representing the industry attending the 2nd SUFI Steel Awards.

The other prominent awardees included Hall of Fame category’s ‘Steel CEO of the Year’ for Vipul Mathur, CEO, Welspun Corp. Ltd; Tata Steels Ltd. and Maharashtra Seamless Ltd sharing the ‘Steel Company of the Year’; and POSCO Maharashtra Steel Pvt. Ltd and Naresh Steel Industries Ltd. jointly bagging the ‘Emerging Steel Company of the Year’ honours.

In the special category, M. Junction won the ‘Digital India Award’, JSW Steels Ltd. got the ‘Make In India Award’ and Metal Street bagged the ‘Start-Up India Award’.

Addressing the gathering, Singh said that the steel industry needs in-depth research and motivation to stay ahead of competition globally, and accommodate the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“The government is pacing towards boosting and assisting the steel industry towards innovations and technology revolution,” said Singh.

SUFI President Nikunj Turakhia said that recognising the disconnect between the industry and government, the organisation has been instrumental in bridging the gap.

“We believe it is imperative that the contribution of those who have made the steel industry reach its heights today is recognized through these awards,” Turakhia added.

The SUFI Steel Awards with several categories added this year, were conducted in association with the Steel Group, Steel Scenario and ASSAR.

IANS

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