Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 05 May 2023
- A workforce lacking digital skills
- Technology Will Advance Women’s Financial Inclusion
A Workforce Lacking Digital Skills
According to data from the National Sample Survey’s Multiple Indicator Survey and Labour Force Periodic Survey (2020–21), more IT or computer-based training is required across a range of industries.
GS Paper-3: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights, Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment
It is critical to restructure the entire system of digital technology skill development in order to adapt to the changing job market. Talk about (150 words)
- The World Economic Forum projects that by 2025, 97 million new jobs will be created as a result of technological advancements in artificial intelligence and other fields, which means that the number of new jobs will outnumber the number of jobs that will be lost.
- In the global economy, nations that can produce a highly skilled workforce in computer-based technologies will have an advantage. It is anticipated that more data-driven and machine-powered processes will be used in future jobs.
- It’s time to teach everyone computer-based skills because the rate of technological change is accelerating and there is a shortage of these skills.
- It is critical to restructure the entire skill development system in order to adapt to the shifting job market. With an eye towards new technologies and the nature of work in the future, it is crucial to concentrate on upskilling the workforce.
How far along is India in terms of digital skills?
- According to the NSS 78th Round data (2020–21), skill-building programmes are clearly needed, especially in the area of computer and IT skills. For instance, less than 42% of young people in the nation know how to copy, move, and use copy-and-paste tools on a computer. Likewise, only 10% and 8.6% of young people know how to use basic arithmetic formulas in a spreadsheet and make an electronic presentation using presentation software.
- Moving on to more difficult tasks, the data show that only 2.4% of young people are proficient in programming.Additionally, beyond these fundamental competencies, computer and IT skills are required. Artificial intelligence and automation in manufacturing and production processes are highly specialised fields that demand extensive training and experience.
- A skilled workforce is present in many fields, according to the recently completed Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in 2021, which offers insights into vocational and technical training.
- In contrast to other courses, the data show a disproportionately high percentage of young people (34.7%) enrolled in IT-ITeS vocational or technical courses.
Factors that cause young people in India to lack digital literacy include:
- Limited Access to Technology: Many young people in India do not have access to or have insufficient use of digital devices like smartphones or computers. Economical factors, a lack of infrastructure, or social barriers may be to blame for this.
- Language Barriers: Because India is a multicultural nation with many different languages, many digital resources aren’t available in local dialects. Youth who do not speak English well may find it challenging to access digital content as a result.
- Education System Quality: Digital literacy is not always a priority in India’s educational system, and many colleges and high schools lack the resources and qualified staff to teach digital literacy.
- For instance, 29% of people with IT training are unemployed, despite the fact that 30% of the workforce is trained in various fields, indicating either inadequate training content or poor training quality that lowers employability.
- Digital Divide: In India, there is a significant gap between urban and rural areas in terms of access to digital resources and opportunities for digital skill development.
- Cultural Barriers: Access to digital technology may be discouraged or restricted in some regions of India due to cultural barriers, particularly for girls and women.
- Lack of Knowledge: Some young people might not be aware of the advantages of digital technology or how to use it efficiently for work, communication, or learning.
What steps can be taken to resolve the problem?
- Create Digital Literacy Programmes: The first step in enhancing the workforce’s digital proficiency is to offer digital literacy courses that cover the fundamentals of using computers and the internet. Community centres, libraries, or even online platforms may offer these programmes.
- The government has implemented a number of skill-building initiatives in this regard, including the Skill India Mission.
- Provide Access to Digital Devices and Connectivity: Employees need access to digital devices like smartphones, tablets, or computers as well as internet connectivity in order to learn digital skills. Government and private organisations can assist by making these resources accessible at reasonable prices.
- Provide skill-based training: Many employees might not possess the necessary abilities to use digital tools or technologies. Offering programmes for skill-based training can aid in their development of the abilities required to function in a digital environment.
- For instance, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 4.0 and the Skill India Mission both seek to train and certify millions of people in a variety of vocational skills, including IT and digital skills, with an emphasis on cutting-edge technologies like robotics, mechatronics, and artificial intelligence.
- Work together with employers: Employers have a significant impact on how well their staff members are able to use technology. They can create internal training programmes or work with training organisations to offer training opportunities to their staff.
- Promote lifelong learning: As the digital world evolves, workers must stay current with emerging tools and technologies. Promoting lifelong learning among employees can help them keep abreast of the most recent advancements in the digital sphere.
- Everyone must receive mandatory IT training: Specialised IT or computer skills are now increasingly necessary for people in all industries to remain competitive in the global market.
Describe PMKVY 4.0.
- The Finance Minister announced that the Centre would launch PMKVY 4.0 within the next three years during the presentation of Budget 2023.
- The PMKVY 2.0 and PMKVY 3.0 launches took place in 2016 and 2020, respectively.
- For PMKVY 4.0, the youth would have access to skills related to Industry 4.0, such as AI, coding, mechatronics, drones, 3D printing, and more.
- In addition to PMKK and the empanelled private Training Centres of NSDC, the skill training delivery network under PMKVY 4.0 is being expanded to include Schools, Colleges, Industrial Training Institutes, and vocational infrastructure spread across various Ministries institutions.
In order for the workforce to compete in the digital economy, a significant portion must undergo significant skilling, upskilling, or reskilling because digital transformation affects all industries
Technology Will Advance Women’s Financial Inclusion
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has helped India make significant strides in the last-mile delivery of banking services to underserved communities.
GS Paper-1: Role of women and women’s organization
Women in India are opening more bank accounts than ever before, but they aren’t actively working in the formal financial sector. Why is this happening, and how can it be fixed? (250 Words)
Pradhan Mantri’s stance PMJDY, or Jan Dhan Yojana
- On August 28, 2014, it was introduced.
- Goal: Ensure that every household has access to banking services, and that every adult has access to credit, insurance, and pension services.
- Unlike earlier financial inclusion initiatives, PMJDY focuses on households and sub-service areas with 1,000–1,500 households.
- Incorporates both urban and rural areas.
- Additional Services
- RuPay debit card with a built-in $1 lakh insurance policy.
- $30,000 in life insurance.
- A $5,000 overdraft facility.
- Take note: The process of ensuring that vulnerable groups have access to the financial products and services they require at prices they can afford in a transparent manner from institutional players is known as financial inclusion.
- Since the launch of the system in 2014, there have been an increase in bank accounts opened in the nation, going from 147 million in March 2015 to 462 million in June 2022.
- According to a report by the Bank for International Settlements, this is the country that opened the most bank accounts in the same time period, up 45%.
- Women control 56% of all these new bank accounts.
- Closing of the Gender Gap: From 17% in 2011 to 6% in 2017, India achieved remarkable financial inclusion and significantly closed the gender gap.
- Actual Use of Bank Accounts: The majority of women only use their PMJDY accounts to withdraw the benefit transfers they are entitled to from the various government programmes; they rarely use them to save money, establish credit, or use any financial services like insurance and loans.
Reasons for Limited Engagement:
- The majority of women typically work and shop four kilometres from their homes.
- Privacy and Confidentiality: Women often worry about their privacy and confidentiality, which makes them hesitant to talk to total strangers about their personal finances.
- Socio-cultural Barriers: Women may experience social and cultural restrictions, such as discrimination, gender norms, and mobility restrictions, that prevent them from accessing financial services.
- Financial literacy: Women may not be as financially literate as men, which makes it challenging for them to comprehend and use financial products and systems.
- Collateral deficiency: Women may lack the necessary assets as security for loans, which makes it difficult for them to access credit and other financial services.
How Can Women Participate More Actively In Financial Markets?
- Promoting Digital Payments: o Actively encouraging women to use digital payments is one way to increase the number of women who participate in the financial markets.
- Women wouldn’t need to physically visit a bank branch to use financial services if they could be offered over mobile devices.
- Digital payments give women a greater sense of control over their financial information by providing a level of privacy and confidentiality that is far superior to what would have been available at a bank branch.
- Active Service Design: Fintech companies and financial institutions must work together to actively design their services to meet the needs of women at all societal levels.
- By not doing more to cater to female clients, the financial services sector annually loses out on about $700 billion in revenue.
- Market participants must gain a deeper understanding of the unique difficulties that women frequently encounter and develop products that directly address these issues.
- Gendered Lens: o To ensure that they are not merely superficially repackaging a generic financial product and serving it to women, they must actively take into consideration their sincere concerns about limited mobility and access to information. They must apply a gendered lens to each stage of the product delivery cycle.
- Particular Challenges for Women: o It is important to acknowledge that the issues that women face can have a different impact on their financial lives than those that men experience.
- For instance, despite the fact that women typically live longer, they also have higher medical costs, making traditional retirement planning inadequate for the needs of the average woman.
- Digital and Financial Capabilities: It’s critical to make sure women have the financial and digital skills necessary to effectively use digital payment tools.
- In rural areas, this would entail fostering the ecosystem of business correspondents by teaching them how to support their clients more effectively and provide them with services beyond basic banking.
- Redesigning Digital Payment Solutions: o It is simple to redesign digital payment solutions to enable privacy and confidentiality as well as to specifically address the issues of mobility and information access, which are major roadblocks to women’s financial inclusion.
- Partnering with women’s organisations: o These organisations can help to build trust and relationships with women in the community and provide a platform for financial services firms to engage with them. o Financial services firms can partner with women’s organisations to provide financial education and services to women.
Financial services companies can undoubtedly make a significant contribution to closing the financial inclusion gap for women by creating goods and services that are specifically catered to their needs as well as by offering support and training to encourage women to become more financially literate and involved in the financial system.