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V2C10: Social Infrastructure, Employment And Human Development

TRENDS IN SOCIAL SECTOR EXPENDITURE

The increase in expenditure on the social services sector affirms the commitment of the government towards social well-being. The expenditure on social services by Centre and States as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 1.5 percentage points from 6.2% to 7.7%, during the period 2014-15 to 2019-20 (Budget Estimates-BE).

  • An increase was witnessed across all social sectors during this period. For education, it increased from 2.8% in 2014-15 to 3.1% in 2019-20 and for health from 1.2 to 1.6%.
  • The share of expenditure on social services out of total budgetary expenditure increased to 26% in 2019-20 (BE) from 23.4% in 2014-15.

Human Development

India’s rank in the Human Development Index (HDI) improved to 129 in 2018 from 130 in 2017, out of a total of 189 countries. The value of HDI for India reached to 0.647 in 2018.

  • With 1.34 percent average annual HDI growth, India is among the fastest-improving countries, and ahead of China (0.95), South Africa (0.78), Russian Federation (0.69) and Brazil (0.59).

EDUCATION FOR ALL

Sustainable Development Goal(SDG)-4 seeks ‘to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ by 2030.

  • In India, free and compulsory education starts at the age of 6 and ends at the age of 14 years under the ambit of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
  • The RTE norms provide for an all-weather building in elementary schools.
  • The school building should, interalia, consist of at least one classroom for every teacher and an office-cum-store-cum-Head teacher’s room, barrier-free access, separate toilets for boys and girls, safe and adequate drinking water facility to all children and playground.

As per U-DISE, 2017-18 (provisional), 98.38% of Government elementary schools have girls’ toilet, 96.23% of Government elementary schools have boys’ toilet, 97.13% of Government elementary schools have provision of drinking water facility, 38.62% of Government elementary schools have ramps, 58.88% of Government elementary schools have boundary wall, 56.72% of Government elementary schools have playground facility, 79.23% of Government elementary schools have library and 61.75% schools are having electricity connection.

As per the National Sample Survey (NSS) Report on Key Indicators of Household Social Consumption on Education in India 2017-18:

  • In 2017-18 there were about 13.6% persons of age 3 to 35 years who were never enrolled. The reasons they cite for not enrolling were ‘not interested in education’ and ‘financial constraints.’ Among those who were enrolled, the drop-out rate was as high as 10% at the primary level, 17.5% at upper primary/middle and 19.8% at the secondary level.
  • The poor and underprivileged sections of people prefer to engage themselves in economic activities for their survival.
  • The composition of various components of expenditure on education indicates that the course fees which is 50.8% at all India level (including tuition, examination, developmental fees, and other compulsory payments) among others contribute about half of the average expenditure of a basic course.
  • The second-largest component of average expenditure on education by the student books, stationery, and uniform where an average student in the rural areas is surprisingly spending more than 10 percentage points as compared to urban areas.
  • Students pursuing education in private aided institutions are spending significantly higher as compared to government institutions across rural-urban India.
  • Also, due to the absence of competition in government schools/institutions, the quality of education in government schools/institutions is low. As a result, more and more students prefer to enroll in private institutions.
  • The Government has initiated the process of formulating a New Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements of the population with regard to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics, and industry.

Programmes and Schemes in School education

  • The Department of School Education and Literacy has launched an Integrated Scheme for School Education – Samagra Shiksha w.e.f. 2018-19, which subsumes three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
  • Central RTE Rules have been amended to include a reference on class-wise and subject-wise Learning Outcomes.
  • The Navodaya Vidyalaya Scheme provides for the opening of one Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in each district of the country to bring out the best of rural talent.
  • NISHTHA – National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement, under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha in 2019-20 is being launched to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level
  • Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Program (DHRUV) was launched to identify and encourage talented students to enrich their skills and knowledge.
  • To broad-base technology-aided teaching and learning, States and UTs are being actively involved to contribute and use the Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) platform).

Programmes and Schemes in higher education

  • The government launched Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) which aims at building a strong professional cadre of teachers by setting performance standards and creating top class institutional facilities for innovative teaching and professional development of teachers in higher education.
  • Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) was established to provide a sustainable financial model for higher education institutions, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, AIIMS and other educational institutions of the Ministry of Health with the objective to fund projects to the tune of ` 1 lakh crore by 2022.
  • National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) announced a PPP Scheme for using technology for better learning outcomes in Higher Education. The objective is to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalised and customised as per the requirements of the learner.
  • The Department of Higher Education, in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, has finalized and released a five-year vision plan named Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP).
  • SWAYAM 2.0 was launched to offer online degree programmes with enhanced features and facilities by top-ranking universities.
  • Deeksharambh’ a guide to student induction programme and ‘PARAMARSH’ scheme is to mentor institutions seeking National Assessment and Accreditation Council accreditation are some of the other major schemes of Department of Higher Education launched in 2019.

SKILL DEVELOPMENT

General education improves knowledge of the people while skill training enhances their employability and equip them to tackle requirements of the labour market.

  • According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), 2017-18 only 13.53% of the workforce in the productive age-group of 15-59 years has received training (2.26% formal vocational/technical training and 11.27% informal training).
  • A large section among informally trained workers, about 55.9% received it either through self-learning (28.66%) or hereditary (27.24%) and about 38.51% have received it on-the-job.

Under the Skill India Mission, the Government implements the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2016-20, under which, 69.03 lakh (appx.) (38.01 lakh Short Term Training + 31.02 lakh Recognition of Prior Learning) candidates have been trained throughout the country as on 11thNovember 2019.

A wide range of reforms has been introduced to the Apprenticeship Rules, 1992 for expansion and outreach of apprenticeship policy.

STATUS OF EMPLOYMENT IN INDIA

As per PLFS estimates

  • The share of regular wage/salaried employees has increased by 5 percentage points from 18% in 2011-12 to 23% in 2017- 18 as per usual status.
  • In absolute terms, there was a significant jump of around 2.62 crore new jobs in this category with 1.21 crore in rural areas and 1.39 crore in urban areas.
  • Remarkably, the proportion of women workers in regular wage/salaried employees category has increased by 8 percentage points (from 13% in 2011-12 to 21% in 2017- 18) with the addition of 0.71 crore new jobs for female workers in this category.
  • Among the self-employed category (consists of employers, own-account workers, and unpaid family labour), while the proportion of own-account workers and employers increased, the proportion of unpaid family labour (helper) has declined, especially for females between 2011-12 and 2017-18. The proportion of total self-employed workers, however, remained unchanged at 52% during this period.
  • The distribution of workers in casual labour category decreased by 5 percentage points from 30% in 2011-12 to 25% in 2017-18 with the decline being in rural areas.

Formalization of Jobs

According to the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) Between 2014-15 and 2017-18, the total number of workers engaged in the sector increased by 14.69 lakh while total persons engaged (inclusive of employees and employers) increased by 17.33 lakh.

  • To indicate the extent of formalization of workforce by extending coverage of organized social security, the Government since September 2017 publishes the monthly payroll data indicating the number of new subscribers who have availed benefits under three major social security schemes, viz;
    • the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPFO)
    • Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESIC) and
    • the National Pension Scheme (NPS).
  • Of these, EPFO has more than 6 crore active members (with at least one month contribution during the year). EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organized/semi-organized sector in India. The payroll data of EPFO for 2019-20 as on 20th December 2019 shows a net increase of 55.6 lakhs as EPFO subscriber compared to 61.12 lakhs in 2018-19.
  • The estimates of share of workers in informal sector in non-agricultures and AGEGC (Agricultural sector excluding only growing of crops, market gardening, horticulture and growing of crops combined with farming of animals) sectors obtained from the NSO-EUS and PLFS 2017-18, also show a decline from77.5% in 2004-05 to 68.4% in 2017-18, with the decline being more pronounced among females.
  • To get a holistic picture of the extent of formal-informal employment in the economy the NCEUS (2007){National Commission for Enterprises in Unorganised Sector} definition was applied. It was observed that the proportion of workers in the organized sector increased from 17.3% in 2011- 12 to 19.2% in 2017-18.

GENDER DIMENSION OF EMPLOYMENT

In an era of globalization, no country can develop and achieve its full potential if half of its population is locked in non-remunerative, less productive and non-economic activities (World Bank, 2011).

Female Participation in Labour Market

  • According to NSO-EUS and PLFS estimates, the female labour force participation rate (LFPR) for productive age-group (15-59 years) as per the usual status (ps+ss) shows a declining trend. Female labour force participation declined by 7.8 percentage points from 33.1 per cent in 2011-12 to 25.3 per cent in 2017-18.
  • The ratio of female to male labour force also remained constant between 2011-12 and 2017-18.
  • As per PLFS, female WPR for the productive age group (15-59 ages) stood at 23.8%(25.5% in rural areas and 19.8% in urban areas) in 2017-18 as compared to 32.3% in 2011-12.
  • Based on the activity status – principal (ps) and subsidiary (ss)- indicates that participation of females, especially in rural areas, who were engaged in subsidiary activities has drastically declined (from 25% in 2004-05 to 5.7% in 2017-18) as compared to females engaged as per principal status.

Factors Influencing Female Labour Force Participation

  • While women account for almost half of India’s population, their participation in the labour market is almost one-third as well as declining over several Survey Rounds:
  • In 2017-18, a higher proportion of young males (10.5%) were unemployed compared to young females (3%).
  • Among young females, around 52.3%were engaged in domestic activities in 2017-18 and this proportion has increased over the last two decades.
  • Similarly, in the productive age group 30-59, where females were out of education, the proportion of females attending domestic duties increased from 46 per cent in 2004-05 to 65.4 per cent in 2017-18.
  • For the productive age group (15-59 years) as compared to less than 1 per cent of males, about 60% of working-age females were outside labour market attending to domestic duties only.
  • It was found that those with middle level and secondary level education were engaged in domestic duties compared to highly educated women for all age sub-groups.
  • For the productive age group (15-59 years), only 5.3 per cent of highly educated women are engaged in full-time domestic duties while remaining 54.6 per cent of women attending domestic duties are up to secondary level educated.

A considerable amount of research work has been done to identify the reasons behind low and declining female labour force participation rates for India:On the supply side

It was argued that as more women in rural areas are now pursuing higher education has delayed their entry into the labour market (Rangarajan et. al., 2011).

The female LFPR could be low also due to cultural factors, social constraints and patriarchal norms restricting mobility and freedom of women (Das, 2006, Banu, 2016).

The relatively higher responsibilities of unpaid work and unpaid care work could also be constraining women participation in the labour market (World Economic Forum, 2018).On the demand side

The absence of job opportunities and quality jobs and the significant gender wage gap are restraining factors (World Bank, 2010).

NSSO-EUS data concluded that besides income effect, education effect and the problem of underestimation, what is left unnoticed is the structural transformation of the economy and its resultant impact on the female labour market.

Decline in animal husbandry, and in urban areas, a fall in international demand for products of labour-intensive industries hasled to the lowering of female LFPR in India.

Low female wages in the agriculture sector were driving out females engaged as unpaid labour.

The fall in employment in agriculture has not shown a concomitant increase in opportunities for women in the manufacturing sector where most women with middle to secondary levels of education and from middle-income groups are likely to look for employment (Chandrasekhar and Ghosh, 2011).

Initiatives to Improve Female Work Participation

To encourage female participation in the economy, various programmes/ legislative reforms are in place:

  1. Safety of Women at Workplace: The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 covers all women, irrespective of their age or employment status and protects them against sexual harassment at all workplaces both in public and private sector, whether organized or unorganized.
  2. Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme: This scheme aims to empower rural women through community participation.
  3. Provision of safe and affordable accommodation: To provide safe and affordable accommodation to working women, Working Women Hostels have been established.
  4. One-Stop Centre (OSC): This scheme facilitates access to an integrated range of services including police, medical, legal, psychological support and temporary shelter to women affected by violence.
  5. Female Entrepreneurship: To promote female entrepreneurship, the Government has initiated schemes like MUDRA, Stand Up India and Mahila e-Haat (online marketing platform to support women entrepreneurs/ SHGs/NGOs).
  6. Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK)is an apex micro-finance organization that provides micro-credit at concessional terms to poor women for various livelihood and income-generating activities.
  7. Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP): Under the scheme, women entrepreneurs are provided 25 per cent and 35 per cent subsidies for the project set up in urban and rural areas respectively.
  8. Deendayal Antyodaya YojanaNational Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY NRLM) – seeks to reach out to 8-9 crore rural poor households and organize one-woman member from each household into affinity based women SHGs and federations at village and at higher levels

HEALTH FOR ALL

The introduction of National Health Policy, 2017 for universal access to good quality health care services, and the subsequent launch of Ayushman Bharat, with its two components:

  • Health & Wellness Centres to provide comprehensive primary health care.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana (PMJAY) to provide health cover to 10.74 crore poor & vulnerable families up to INR 5 lakh per family per year for secondary & tertiary hospitalization, speaks about Government’s efforts for a healthy India.
  • The focus of healthcare is on four important pillars – preventive healthcare, providing affordable healthcare, building medical infrastructure and mission mode interventions for maternal health, child health and to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases.
India-Select Health Indicators
Sl No.Parameter199120012011Current Level
1Crude Birth Rate (per 1000 population)29.525.421.8(2017) 20.2
2Crude Death Rate (per 1000 population)9.88.47.1(2017) 6.3
3Total Fertility Rate3.63.12.42.2 (2017)
4Maternal Mortality Ratio (per 1,00,000 live births)NA(2001-03) 3.1(2011-13) 167(2015-17) 122
5Infant Mortality Rate (per 1000 live birthds) Rural Urban80 87 5366 72 4244 48 2933 (2017) 37 23
6Child (0-4 years) Mortality Rate (per 1000 children)26.519.312.2(2017) 8.9
7Life Expectancy at Birth Total Rural Urban(1991-95)   60.3 58.9 65.9(2001-05)   64.3 63.0 68.6(2009-13)   67.5 66.3 71.2(2013-17)   69.0 67.7 72.4

Preventive Health Care

  • To promote preventive healthcare, one and a half lakh Ayushman Bharat-Health & Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) are proposed to be set up by 2022. A total of 28,005 have already been set up (as on 14 Jan 2020) to deliver comprehensive Primary Health Care services.
  • Under Mission Indradhanush, 3.39 crore children and 87.18 lakh pregnant women in 680 districts across the country (including Gram Swaraj Abhiyan [GSA] & extended GSA) have been vaccinated.
  • New vaccines such as Measles-Rubella (MR), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), Rotavirus Vaccine (RVV) and Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) have been introduced. As on 31st December 2019, 32.42 crore children have been vaccinated with MR. A total of 218.96 lakh doses of PCV have been administered (till November 2019), since the introduction. RVV was introduced in 11 States and around 7.44 crore doses have been administered to children, till November 2019. Moreover, nearly 11.73 crore doses of IPV have been administered (as in November 2019) to children across the country since its introduction.
  • The government has adopted a multi-sectoral approach and is increasingly synergizing its efforts with other Mission Mode initiatives of the Government such as Eat Right & Eat Safe, Fit India, Anaemia Mukt Bharat, Poshan Abhiyan and Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan etc.
  • Recognising the threat of nicotine addiction among youth and children government recently banned all commercial operations in e-cigarettes. Large pictorial warnings and quit line numbers on tobacco packs and the resulting increased call volumes from 20,000 to 2.50 lakh calls per month at the quitline services.

Health Care Affordability

Access to healthcare has improved over the years in India.

  • As per the latest National Health Accounts (NHA) 2016-17, the out of pocket expenditure (OoPE) as a percentage of total health expenditure has declined from 64.2 per cent in 2013-14 to 58.7 per cent in 2016-17. Primary healthcare accounts for 52.1 per cent of India’s current public expenditure on health as per the National Health Estimates, 2016-17. The National Health Policy, 2017 recommended spending at least two-thirds of the Government’s health expenditure on primary healthcare.
  • Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the world’s largest health insurance scheme, is a major step towards providing affordable healthcare to the identified poor.
  • Under the Free Drugs Service initiative, substantial funds have been given to States for the provision of free drugs.
  • Free Diagnostics Service initiative was launched to address the high OoPE on diagnostics and improve the quality of healthcare services.
  • Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadi Pariyojana (PMBJP) and Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme (PMNDP) are some of the new initiatives that address the issue of high OoPE on account of drugs and hospital care.

Medical Infrastructure

  • The doctor-population ratio in India is 1:1456 (population estimated to be 1.35 billion) against the WHO recommendation of 1:1000.
  • To address the shortage of doctors
  • In the last 5 years, the government has sanctioned 141 new medical colleges.
  • Norms for graduate and post-graduate seats in medical colleges have also been revised.
  • The maximum intake capacity at MBBS level has been increased from 150 to 250, the norms for setting up of Medical colleges in terms of requirement of land, faculty, staff bed strength, etc., have been rationalized.
  • As a result, the number of MBBS and PG seats has increased by 27,235 and 15,000 respectively.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was launched to augment the tertiary healthcare capacity.
  • National Medical Commission Act, 2019 was promulgated to enable constitution of National Medical Commission.
  • Introduction of a common entrance test NEET-UG for admission to all MBBS courses including AIIMS and JIPMER.
  • The government of India supports States in Health Systems Strengthening under the umbrella programme of National Health Mission (NHM).
  • The Government has also supported States to add nearly 2.51 lakh additional health human resources including 10,767 General Duty Medical Officers, 3062 Specialists, 61,660 Staff Nurses, 84,077 Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), 42,031 Paramedics, 414 Public Health Managers and 17,265 Programme Management staff on contractual basis.
Health Care Infrastructure
Facilities20142018
SC/PHC/CHC182709 (as on 31.3.2014)189784 (as on 31.3.2018)
Government Hospital (rural & urban areas, including CHC)2030625778
AYUSH Hospital & Dispensaries297333 (as on 1.4.2014)31986 (as on 1.4.2014)
Medical Colleges398 (2014-15)539 (2019-20)
Nursing Personnel2621981 (as on 31.12.2014)2966375 (as on 31.12.2017)
Pharmacists664176 (as on 26.6.2014)1125222 (as on 27.3.2019)
Doctors (Modern System)*747109 (upto 2014)923479 (upto 31.12.2018)
AYUSH Doctors736538 (as on 1.1.2014)799879 (as on 31.1.2018)

Mission Mode Interventions

  • In order to intensify efforts towards the achievement of SDGs, the Government has launched ambitious programmes such as Ayushman Bharat, marking a paradigm shift in the way health care is delivered.
  • The new paradigm recognizes and addresses the emerging challenges of NCDs due to changing epidemiology and also targets to sustain the efforts for RMNCH+A and communicable diseases through initiatives such as Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN), Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) and TB Harega Desh Jeetega.

HOUSING FOR ALL

  • As per the recent NSO survey on Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Housing Condition in India 2018, about 76.7 per cent of the households in the rural and about 96.0 per cent in the urban areas had the house of pucca structure.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) are two important schemes for achieving the target of housing for all by 2022.
  • More than four times the increase in the number of houses completed in a year under PMAY-G, from 11.95 lakh in 2014-15 to 47.33 lakh in 2018-19.
  • Under PMAY-U, against assessed demand of 1.12 crore, 1.03 crore houses were sanctioned, 61 lakh grounded for construction and 32 lakh have been delivered as on 1st January 2020.
  • Covering a range of social groups, comprising senior citizens, construction workers, domestic workers, artisans, differently-abled (Divyang), transgender and leprosy patients, the scheme has promoted social inclusiveness and improved upon women empowerment.

DRINKING WATER AND SANITATION

  • The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti launched the 10 Year Rural Sanitation Strategy (2019-2029).
  • Since the launch of the SBM-G in 2014, over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural areas; over 5.9 lakh villages, 699 districts, and 35 States/UTs have declared themselves Open Defecation Free (ODF).
  • Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2019survey covered 17,450 villages in 698 districts across India and includes 87,250 public places and around 2.5 lakh citizens were interviewed for their feedback as part of the survey.
  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) has delivered over 3.5 lakh water conservation measures in 256 districts. An estimated 2.64 crore people have already participated.

CONCLUSION

The efforts of the government with the motto of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas have improved access to social services. Scaling up development programmes for improving connectivity, providing housing, and bridging gender gaps in socio-economic indicators is of paramount importance for sustainable development. India’s march towards achieving SDGs is firmly anchored in investing in human capital and inclusive growth.

Questions
 1.Consider the following statements about the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan”:
1. It has a main focus on water-stressed districts.
2. It involves water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
Jal Shakti Abhiyan was launched to accelerate progress on water conservation activities in the most water-stressed blocks and districts of India. An important part of the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ is that it will focus on five aspects – water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation.

2. Consider the following statements about the “National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT)” portal:
1. The objective is to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalised and customised as per the requirements of the learner.
2. EdTech companies would be responsible for developing solutions and manage the registration of learners through the NEAT portal.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) announced a PPP Scheme for using technology for better learning outcomes in Higher Education. The objective is to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalised and customised as per the requirements of the learner. This requires the development of technologies in Adaptive Learning to address the diversity of learners.

EdTech companies would be responsible for developing solutions and manage the registration of learners through the NEAT portal.

3. Consider the following pairs of the initiatives taken by the government in the education sector and their respective purposes:
Initiative Purpose
1. SWAYAM 2.0 – To offer online degrees
2. PARAMARSHA – To mentor institutions seeking National Assessment and Accreditation Council’s accreditation
3. Deeksharambh – A guide to the student induction programme

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?
A. 1 only
B. 2 and 3 only
C. 3 only
D. 1, 2, and 3

Ans. (D)
SWAYAM 2.0 was launched to offer online degree programmes with enhanced features and facilities by top-ranking universities. ‘Deeksharambh’ a guide to the student induction programme and ‘PARAMARSH’ scheme is to mentor institutions seeking National Assessment and Accreditation Council accreditation are some of the other major schemes of the Department of Higher Education launched in 2019.

4. With which of the following aim the ” Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Program (DHRUV)” was launched?
A. To identify and encourage talented students to enrich their skills and knowledge.
B. To introduce ICT technology in school curricula
C. To introduce courses on emerging technologies in school academics
D. None of the above

Ans. (A)
The new Programme DHRUV ‘will act as a platform to explore the talent of outshining and meritorious students, and help them achieve excellence in their specific areas of interest may it be science, performing arts, creative writing, etc.

The Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme has been started to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge. In centres of excellence across the country, gifted children will be mentored and nurtured by renowned experts in different areas, so that they can reach their full potential. It is expected that many of the students selected will reach the highest levels in their chosen fields and bring laurels to their community, State and Nation.

5. With reference to the recently launched Human Development Index 2018, consider the following statements:
1. India’s rank in the Human Development Index (HDI) improved to 129 in 2018 from 130 in 2017, out of a total of 189 countries.
2. India is ahead of all other BRICS countries in terms of the average annual HDI growth.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
Human Development Index (HDI) is released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). India’s rank in the Human Development Index (HDI) improved to 129 in 2018 from 130 in 2017, out of a total of 189 countries. The value of HDI for India reached to 0.647 in 2018.

With 1.34 per cent average annual HDI growth, India is among the fastest-improving countries, and ahead of China (0.95), South Africa (0.78), Russian Federation (0.69) and Brazil (0.59).

6. SWAYAM 2.0 was recently launched by the government of India to:
(a) offer online degree programmes by top ranking universities.
(b) facilitate transition from vocation to higher educational courses.
(c) encourage student exchange between educational institutes.
(d) involve young talents in specific research projects.

Solution: A
SWAYAM is a program initiated by the Government of India and designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality. The objective of this effort is to take the best teaching-learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged. SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.

  • This is done through a platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from Class 9 till post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. All the courses are interactive, prepared by the best teachers in the country and are available, free of cost to any learner. More than 1,000 specially chosen faculty and teachers from across the country have participated in preparing these courses.
  • The courses hosted on SWAYAM are in 4 quadrants –
    o video lecture,
    o specially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed
    o self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and
    o an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts. Steps have been taken to enrich the learning experience by using audio-video and multi-media and state of the art pedagogy/technology.
  • SWAYAM 2.0 was launched to offer online degree programmes with enhanced features and facilities by top-ranking universities.

7. Consider the following statements with reference to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO):
1. It manages social security funds of workers in the organized and semiorganized sector in India.
2. It has launched a Universal Account Number for portability of Provident Fund accounts of its members.
3. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Finance.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 2 only
(d) 1 and 3 only

Solution: C
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is a statutory body formed by the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.

  • EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organized/semi-organized sector in India.
  • For portability of Provident Fund accounts, EPFO launched a ―Universal Account Number” Service for contributing members.

8. Regarding Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. All rural families and selected urban families are eligible under this scheme.
2. Beneficiary families will get an insurance cover up to Rs 5 lakh per year for secondary and tertiary hospitalization.
3. An autonomous entity, the National Health Agency (NHA) was constituted for the effective implementation of the scheme.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Solution: C
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is a part of the Government‘s vision to ensure that citizens, especially the poor and vulnerable groups have universal access to good quality hospital services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence of using health services.

  • PM-JAY provides an insurance cover up to Rs 5 lakh per family, per year for secondary and tertiary hospitalization. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • PM-JAY covers more than 10 crore poor and vulnerable families across the country, identified as deprived rural families and occupational categories of urban workers‘ families as per the latest SocioEconomic Caste Census (SECC) data. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • For a focused approach and effective implementation of PM-JAY, an autonomous entity, the National Health Agency (NHA) was constituted. It is established as a registered society under the Society Registration Act, 1860. The State Governments are expected to similarly set up State Health Agencies (SHA) to implement PM-JAY. Hence statement 3 is correct.

9. With reference to the female participation in the labour market in India, consider the following statements:
1. Female labour force participation has been steadily increasing over the last decade.
2. Female labour force participation rate is higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution: B
Statement 1 is not correct: Female labour force participation declined by 7.8 percentage points from 33.1 per cent in 2011-12 to 25.3 per cent in 2017-18.

Statement 2 is correct: Though female LFPR is higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas, the rate of decline was also sharper in rural areas compared to urban areas. As a result of this, gender disparity in India‘s labour market has increased which is reflected from a declining trend in the ratio of female to male labour force participation rate except for urban females.

In urban areas, female labour force participation more or less remained constant. Therefore, the ratio of female to male labour force also remained constant between 2011-12 and 2017-18

10. With reference to the current distribution of the labour force, arrange the following in the descending order of their respective share in employment:
1. Self Employed
2. Casual Labour
3. Salaried

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1-2-3
(b) 2-1-3
(c) 1-3-2
(d) 3-1-2

Solution: A
 Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation launched the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) during April, 2017. It was launched with the objective of measuring quarterly changes of various labour market statistical indicators in urban areas as well as generating annual estimates of these indicators both for rural and urban areas. According to its findings, the distribution of workers by all ages in usual status (PS+SS) by statuses in employment is as follows:

  •  Self Employed – 52.2% – Workers who own and operate an enterprise to earn their livelihood
  • Casual Labour – 24.9% – workers who are paid according to the work done. eg construction workers, farm labourers.
  • Salaried – 22.8% -When a worker is engaged by someone or an enterprise and paid his or her wages on a regular basis Subsidiary status – who have worked for not less than 30 days Principal status – working for more than 182 days in a year

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