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Job creation will drive next phase of reforms

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On the 25th anniversary of India’s economic reforms, a general consensus seems to have emerged within the country and without that the next phase reforms must address what has so far eluded agreement among the principal stakeholders: land and labour. Make in India will not happen if these two main factors of production remain entangled in political one-upmanship.

The government has made some overtures in the domain of land reforms, but the issues surrounding it have not yet fully crystallized. Unless there is clarity and consensus around land reforms, including land acquisition for implementing government’s industrialization and infrastructure development projects, the vision of converting India into a global manufacturing hub will remain unrealized. It is essential to pursue efforts towards a comprehensive land reforms policy relentlessly to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.

In the field of labour, the exercise for rationalization and consolidation of labour laws undertaken by the government in the last two years has suddenly taken a breather. Despite earlier attempts to push the agenda forward, the feeling that the main stakeholders were not taken fully on board has provoked angry reactions among the major trade unions, which have threatened a nationwide strike in September. Recognizing the possible implications of unilateral action, the Prime Minister has reportedly decided to proceed more cautiously in future by taking the workers’ representatives into confidence.

Industry lobby FICCI had set up a special tripartite group to consult the stakeholders and make suitable recommendations for the government’s consideration. As convener of the special group, I held extensive consultations and submitted my report making a host of recommendations. Among other things, I advocated gradualism and proposed an incremental approach to labour law reforms in place of the wholesale reforms that were being attempted.

There really is no alternative to dialogue, compromise and consensus in the realm of social re-engineering. The efforts may appear tardy and frustrating at times, but sustainable results can be achieved only if we are able to hone the strategy of tactical retreat with a view to eventually finding the winning formula that will be acceptable to all.

The rolling back of government’s publicly announced EPF policies earlier this year is a case in point. The massive street protests in Paris in April and May 2016 against the French government’s labour reforms that were perceived as pro-capitalist portend social unrest that may become intractable if such sensitive matters are not handled with understanding and empathy.

The fact that recent amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act encountered widespread criticism from academia, social activists, international organizations like Unicef and others exposes the absence of broad-based dialogue and consensus building that is the cornerstone of progressive and sustainable labour reforms architecture.

Despite all the wishful rhetoric over the last two years of the present government, it is now common knowledge that enough jobs — especially decent quality jobs — are not getting created in the economy, particularly in the organized manufacturing sector. The government would do well to ensure that the frustrations of youth poised to enter the job market are effectively contained. Towards this end, the recent announcement about massive injection of funds for skilling and re-skilling potential job seekers is most opportune.

The concerned department and agencies of the government must quickly respond by setting up capacity and infrastructure to absorb the funds and put them to best advantage. The youth are impatient and care must be taken to ensure that the burning embers are not allowed to be stoked by “indosceptics” who have a problem for every solution.

Clearly, job creation is the single most important direction to follow in the next phase of reforms. If adequate numbers of jobs are available in the marketplace, the resistance to labour reforms on the part of the traditional trade union movement will surely mellow.

Meanwhile, the government should re-establish confidence and trust among employers’ and workers’ representatives by organizing impartial and meaningful tripartite consultations on labour reform proposals that are doable. There is no point in biting off more than you can chew. The priorities and pace of reforms must be carefully calibrated so that the achievements can endure in the long run.

The government has three more years to go in its first term. There is sufficient time to readjust the trajectory so that results start showing before it must inevitably return to the hustings. Alarm bells are not ringing just yet, but a gentle reminder is not out of order.

Startups News

First 6 startups graduate from NetApp Excellerator programme

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Bengaluru, Dec 12: Data storage and management company NetApp on Tuesday announced the graduation of its first cohort of six start-ups as part of the NetApp Excellerator programme.

The programme is designed to help enterprise startups achieve their full potential through mentorship with one of NetApp’s largest R&D teams.

The six start-ups — Lightmetrics, Adya, Vaultedge, Vitacloud, Enclouden and Scalend — demonstrated their achievements and progress to venture capitalists, NetApp executives and prominent industry leaders.

“We leveraged expertise from across NetApp to help the six best start-ups selected from the 250 applications received. In addition, we got them the best-in-class global industry experts to help them qualify the target markets better and supplement their technical capabilities,” said Ajeya Motaganahalli, Director and leader of the NetApp Excellerator programme.

Now as alumni, the startups will have continued access to mentorship and go-to-market opportunities with NetApp as well as eco-system connects.

“NetApp mentorship helped us focus our market research, and identify the right market and target customers we could go after,” said Ravi Madhira, CEO, Scalend Technologies.

Applications for the second cohort are now open, the company said.

“We will continue to support the start-ups through the NetApp Excellerator programme and provide them with the best ecosystem to achieve success,” added Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, NetApp India.

IANS

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Naga youths have huge potential: Union minister R P Rudy

The minister landed in Nagaland to inaugurate the International Yoga Day on June 21 at Dimapur.

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Rajiv Pratap Rudy

Dimapur, June 20 : Union Minister of State (I/C)for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy today said that Naga youths have huge potential and the ministry has realised their entrepreneurial skills.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy on visit in state of the art Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra in Dimapur. N.E has potential for producing outstanding skilled manpower

The minister landed in Nagaland to inaugurate the International Yoga Day on June 21 at Dimapur.

He said that there is huge demand for such youths across varied sectors in the country.

The ministry will work closely with the Government of Nagaland to create avenues for growth of the youths of the state.

The minister also met Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya at the airport lounge in Dimapur and discussed the progress of work in the state under the “Enhancing Skill Development Infrastructure in NE States & Sikkim” scheme and other schemes under skill development mission.

Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy visit on Women ITI in Dimapur, Nagaland.

The minister also said that the ministry is in the process of setting up two ITIs, one at Kiphire district and the other at Longleng district.

The ministry is waiting for the state government’s response to provide the land in order to set up the institutes.

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Brutally wounded woman becomes prosperous entrepreneur

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Bharati Sumaria

New Delhi, April 12: Bharati Sumaria, a successful business lady, running her own four factories with the turnover of more than Rs. 4 crores even after beaten by her unemployed husband.

A middle-class household studied till 10 and married to a person who beat her violently. She often needs to be hospitalised with scars and wounds on her body. She was not allowed to go out of the house and interact with people.

Soon, she gave birth to a girl and then to twin boys who later on encouraged her to learn new things and do something in life. In the year 2005, with her brother’s suggestion and father’s support, she set up a small factory which first produces toothbrush and tiffin boxes. After four years, she started another unit where they would make plastic bottles. Her work was satisfactory and soon she began getting orders from big giants like Bisleri, Cipla etc.

In the year 2014, her husband again attacked her, that was the last time as her children told him to never return.

Wefornews Bureau

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