April 2017

Decent Work and Economic Growth

The basic idea behind Decent Work and Economic Growth is "no one left behind". It aims to sustain an economic growth of 7% for even the least developed countries while providing full and productive employment for all men and women by 2030. The SDG 8 is considered primary and inclusive to various other UNSDGs like No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Industry, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure etc.
With programs like Make in India, Startup India, Skill India, Digital India which have flooded the Indian service and manufacturing sector, they have been the centre piece of creating employment opportunities for the country’s youth. India is thus harnessing the 360 million youth aged between 10 and 24 years, the largest in the world. It is the key to building a prosperous and resilient future for the country. According to the 2016-17 World Bank report, it only takes 29 days to start a business in India. This goes on to show that the country is taking long strides towards achieving its targets and ‘growth’ and ‘employment’ are the pillar stones for doing so.

Growth

India’s growth rate of 7.5% per annum is much commendable, however still distant from the desired 9-10% per annum. A major stake of the growth has surprisingly been of the service sector (53.66%) which is possible only for countries with more per capita income and less population. India should focus on the manufacturing sector for growth and creation of jobs and take examples from countries like China, Japan and South Korea in doing the same.
As mentioned before, a healthy, well nourished, educated and a more equal population is the need of the hour for a developing country like India. Even though 72% of the population is below 32 years of age, it fails to be an advantage because of issues like stunting which are yet to be fully overcome.
1) Industrialization
The manufacturing sector is vital for both, industrialization and economic growth. To support a large population like that of India, job creation should be given the utmost priority. Unfortunately for our country, a lower share of GDP comes from the manufacturing sector. Revival of the manufacturing growth is required and examples should be taken from the East Asian countries.
2) Agriculture
Agriculture, considered to be the backbone of the Indian economy, finds high dependence in the country. However, it accounts to only 17.32% of the GDP and is struggling to meet the 50% population that depends on it. Inclusive growth can be achieved by making the agricultural sector sustainable. It comes from a basic fact that the growth of agricultural sector does not lead to over exploitation or depletion of natural resources. A recent study by World Bank reveals that even though the poverty reducing impact in manufacturing sector was zero, the same on the agricultural sector was quite high.
3) Small and Medium Enterprise
Going by numbers, SME constitutes about 95% of all industrial units in the country and more than 40% of all industrial output. As special emphasis on job creation and employment has been put, SME generates 45% of all industrial employments and creates 40% of all industrial outputs.
There are many issues with the SME’s like financial gaps, adequate, timely and cost effective credit availability, access to equity, risk capital and financing innovation. In the non financing sector, issues pertain to infrastructure, marketing, procuring raw materials, designing the products and also quality services.

Employment

Informal economy cannot be confused with the informal sector. Informal economy consists of the unincorporated enterprises and those working in the formal sector but on contractual basis. In India, almost 92% of the population is working in the informal sector. Hence majority of the population lacks social security.
A highly industrialized state in the heart of our country is Maharashtra. Presently the government is aiming at starting Vocational Training Institutes called as VTPs along with the UNDP. Employment and gender equality, both are the primary focus of this plan. 30,819 out of the 50,335 of the students are women. They are spread across industries like hospitality and wellness as well as cooking and other trades like garments. Another innovative project called Skill Sakhis has been launched in Nagpur, Amravati and Aurangabad in which the girls are trained in a choice of her own trade and skill.
We, at Enactus MPSTME, are doing our bit in transforming lives of our beneficiaries who are spread across Kandivali and Oasis from Patched and Deonar and Juhu. Having already employed many of our beneficiaries, we are making sure that this cycle of employment and growth continues through our innovative Trainer Trainee Model. We teach the beneficiaries all year round, and at the end, we select the most able and competent among them to be the teacher.
We help them in setting their Small Scale Enterprises too by connecting them to potential buyers and providing them with a stable source for raw materials. We make sure the beneficiaries get their payments every month regardless of the sales. We cut financial risk by paying them a bare minimum. The additional income is given according to the increase in sales. For better employment we give them education through our special program of Capsule Schools. We make sure they have better work conditions by providing them with basic necessities like gloves and masks. In the end, our beneficiaries know how to manage their account and are made independent. Solution to one problem gives the pathway for a solution to many others. In our journey to provide decent work and economic growth to our beneficiaries, we have touched many other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and plan on continuing to do so. Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth are indeed the same fight and we are doing our bit.

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