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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 April 2017

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 April 2017


NOTE: Please remember that following  ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1;


Topic:  Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country

1) In your opinion, what are the reasons for very low (7%) voter turnout in recent by-poll election in Srinagar? It is argued that percentage of voter turnout has been an indicator of for or anti – India sentiments in the Kashmir valley since independence. Do you agree? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

The Hindu

Introduction :-

 After the higher voter participation in recent years in the Valley, the way the Srinagar by-election unfolded is indicative of a dramatic slide in the political situation. The killing of Burhan Wani, a ‘commander’ of the Hizbul Mujahideen, by security forces in July last year set off a new cycle of violence in Kashmir that does not seem to have ended to this day as stone-pelting is met with pellet guns.

Reasons for low turnout :-

  • By-poll elections in JK are generally less participatory and people are found less enthusiastic about them unlike assembly elections which are seen as a negotiating channel between centre and the state.
  • A perceived increase in militancy in last some months due to the death of Burhan Vani and subsequent up rise in violence.
  • Use of pellet guns in retaliation of stone pelting has resulted in loss of many lives and loss of vision for many. Anger of which is expressed by staying away from elections.
  • Rising fear of life among people due to burning of election polls and ATMs made them to feel safe at home.
  • Ongoing debate on the transparency of EVMs in India too might have alienated people.
  • Inability and inefficiency of election staff :-Almost 70% of the polling booths in Budgam district were abandoned by polling staff due to violent protests in several areas

Large voter turn outs have been referred as a mark of faith in the central government by successive ruling parties at the centre and any deviation from it as an indication of losing faith. But this argument is very roughly derived because usually there are many factors behind a low turn out. Like in recent elections low voter turn out is majorly due to some immediate reasons of insecurity rather than because of any anti-India sentiment. And only some exceptional areas have seen low voter turn out. In other areas it is normal.

Conclusion :-

The Srinagar election has put a huge question mark on the democratic process and the separatists – who may not represent all protestors – must certainly be feeling chuffed. Though anti India sentiments can’t be concluded with low voter turnout but deep feelings among people are definitely on path of being anti Indians if their grievances are not addressed soon.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

2) Discuss critically concerns raised against setting up of the proposed National Commission for the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC). (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :-

 Lok Sabha passed the 123rd amendment to the Constitution which will, when it becomes law, bring into being a ‘constitutional’ National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The current NCBC was created under an Act of Parliament in 1993. The new insertion into the Constitution (Article 338B) is identical to the Articles 338 and 338A that respectively created the national commission for SCs and another for STs. (The amendment also brings about changes to Articles 342 and 366.) Like the NCBC, the new body too will comprise of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members. The previous commission had powers to examine requests for inclusion of any community in the list of backward classes and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion, following which it advises the Union government. In its new form, the constitutional authority could give it more teeth.

CONCERNS RAISED :-

  • Union government has in one stroke brought BCs in league with the SC/STs as victims of discrimination, exclusion and violence. Though Article 338B keeps the socially and educationally backward classes as its subject matter, in practice the proposed system will treat the developmental issues related to BCs on a par with caste discrimination and untouchability suffered by SCs and even by STs It not only is illogical and lacks historical justification, but is fraught with several challenges
  • It places the NCSEBC on par with the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes (NCST). This effects two major changes: First, it shifts responsibility for amending the list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) from the government to Parliament; second, it effectively takes away the power that the states currently have to determine their own OBC lists.
  • The 123rd amendment delinks the whole folio of backward classes from Article 340 and brings it closer to provisions related to SC/STs. The government initially proposed to set up the “National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes” which is — in nomenclature, at least — closer to Article 340. By retaining the old generic name of NCBC and delinking the body from its soul (Article 340), the government set the stage for the whole scheme of special protections under the Constitution to crumble.
  • Once the 123rd amendment becomes law, Article 340 will be dead without being accorded the dignity of a repeal. It will be a pity. The article reflects the Constituent Assembly’s understanding on the matter which is relevant even today: there are classes, not castes, which suffer from social and educational backwardness, and the state has the burden of allocating adequate funds to ameliorate their conditions.

Way Forward:-

The mandate of NCSEBC should be

 

  • Along with its previous functions of recommending BC inclusion in list must address the grievances of the SEBC communities.
  • It is advised to bifurcate the communities as “backward”, “more backward”, “most backward”, and “extremely backward” with the sub quotas to ensure that benefits reaches the most deserving rather than blanket reservation under one quota. This will also stop instances like Jat agitation, Patels agitation etc.
  • Greater transparency in functioning by introducing parliamentary concurrence for changes in BC list than just executive order.
  • It must have vision and agenda to not only include or exclude BC from list but to ensure overall development of each community which helps in bringing equality among all.
  • Must advice and guide Centre in policy formulation, monitor their effectiveness and progress of SEBC.
  • The members of the commission must be persons of repute earned through long and sincere service for backward classes and knowledge and experience of society, social backwardness and developmental processes relevant to advancement of SEBCs. They should not have any political affiliation.
  • Must instil confidence in the SEBC community through better representation of SEBC in the Commission.
  • Any inclusion or exclusion must be backed by objective data with overlying parliamentary scrutiny.
  • Must check any attempt by Advanced Communities to get listed as SEBC.
  • It should include a grievance redressal mechanism in its framework, which is absent in the present setup. This will establish a positive feedback system for the govt, where they can receive suggestions for better performance.

 


Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests 

3) What stakes does India have in the larger Indo-Pacific region? Critically examine if India’s is moving in right trajectory to play major role in the Indio-Pacific region. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :-

The Indo-Pacific, sometimes known as the Indo-West Pacific, is a biogeographic region of the Earth’s seas, comprising the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific Ocean, and the seas connecting the two in the general area of Indonesia. It does not include the temperate and polar regions of the Indian and Pacific oceans, and the Tropical Eastern Pacific, along the Pacific coast of the Americas, is also a distinct marine realm.

“maritime muscle flexing” by some countries and other factors have made the Indo-Pacific region “more contested and more volatile” India looks towards major stake in Indo pacific region. The region is witnessing a global power shift from the west to the east. The US rebalancing a rising China. The emergence of traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges. This maritime region has always been of immediate relevance to the resident stake-holder, but has now gained greater eminence during an era of major global churn. The Indo-Pacific is thus certainly passing through interesting times.

  • The region is “home to more than 60 per cent of the world’s population. The world’s leading and rising economic giants powered by demography and technology, the region has emerged.”
  • The Indo-Pacific is a centre of global manufacturing and service industry. And that it also had the world’s most important trade routes.The area accounts for about 60 per cent of the world’s global exports and imports in volumes. It may be safely asserted that Indo-Pacific is the fastest growing economic region of the world.
  • By 2030, the Indo-Pacific region is expected to account for 21 of the top 25 sea and air trade routes; around two-thirds of global oil shipments; and one third of the world’s bulk cargo movements. 
  • Reports predict that by 2050, half of the world’s top 20 economies will be in the Indo-Pacific. Some also predict that India, China, Indonesia and Japan will be in the top five economies in the world with the U.S. India’s own economic growth will be a key driver of energy demand.
  • In 2016 there had been reports of five incidents of piracy and 80 armed robberies in the region. Most of these attacks were claimed by terrorist groups based in the Philippines. Hence security stake become scrucial.
  • Asian Development Bank study that said the cost of  damages, from climate disaster in the region between 2010 and 2015, had amounted to in excess of 335 billion dollars. Increasing urbanisation, higher population density, climate change, pollution and illegal fishing pose threats to the region and its ecosystem and cause tension and insecurity. The Indo-Pacific region is prone to natural disasters that brought in their wake human suffering, while affecting and destroying the “economic capabilities and infrastructure in these countries.”

indo-pacific

Where does India stand in Indo pacific?

  • These countries will vary in the extent to which they seek to formalize Indo-Pacific alliances. While we might expect the U.S., Japan and Australia to be more proactive in seeking formal arrangements, India is likely to be less willing, albeit still keen to work with these countries to ensure peace and stability.
  • For New Delhi, a degree of ambiguity and equivocality serves its interests in the region. Direct and vocal engagement with one group will not only run the risk of antagonizing China; it will diminish the freedom of action that India associates with its non-alignment policy.
  • Since the Indo-Pacific is primarily a maritime expanse, the presence and influence of the U.S. is a given, given the capabilities and reach of its blue-water navy. However, the nature of that influence going forward will certainly be different from the hegemony Washington enjoyed in post-war Asia.  
  • Dominance in logistics and maritime operations will give way to collective security and a balance of power. In this effort, the U.S. will find highly supportive partners (like Australia) and more reserved ones (like India).
  • Its hesitancy notwithstanding, India will invariably find itself a part of this collective security framework, within which it will need to work with countries like the U.S., Japan and Australia.
  • New Delhi will have to deploy some astute diplomacy by demonstrating that it can work equally well with China. For instance, China will need to be given considerable freedom in the Indo-Pacific region if India is expecting to enjoy unfettered navigation in the South China Sea.
  • In its new form, the Indo-Pacific offers leadership roles to India and Australia. The rise of India economically and militarily (especially its naval build up in the aftermath of the “string of pearls”) presents New Delhi with much more opportunity in the Indo-Pacific region than Washington enjoys. In taking up a leadership role in the Indo-Pacific region, India will find a stage on which it can practice its diplomatic arts.
  • For instance, apart from joining Australia in monitoring, patrolling and surveillance, India should insist on the adoption of a code of conduct for the Indo-Pacific. Given the volume of trade and traffic that passes through the area and the involvement of players like China, the U.S., India and Australia, the absence of such a code runs the risk of creating another South China Sea, which is riddled with disputes.

What is being done to protect interest in Indian Ocean

  • Trade : Sagarmala:Emphasis on port led development through its modernisation
    INSTC: Connecting India through Indian Ocean to Central Asia.
    Also India successfully shifted Hazard Risk Line from the western coast of India through strong negotiation. this will improve India’s competitiveness
  • Joint Exercises
    Joint Naval Exercise with various countries to contain the aggressiveness of China. For example Australia(AUSINDEX), Bangladesh ( Line of Credit for enhancing defence capabilities and joint exercise) S.( Pivot to Asia)
    Japan ( Agreement to protect Andaman and Nicobar islands)
  • Counter to String of Pearls:India has launched Iron Curtain/ necklace of diamonds to address China’s string of pearls.
  • Modernization of Navy:Being carried out under project 75i

Conclusion:-

 India should secure its economic and strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific by promoting the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and getting involved in the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Region Cooperation (IOR-ARC). India will also need to work closely with other powers in the region, like Japan and China. In short, New Delhi should base its Indo-Pacific policy on an inclusive (even if competitive) coexistence.

 


Topic:Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4) In the light of the latest (2016) University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines on MPhil and PhD, critically analyse how these guidelines would impact research and quality of education in Indian universities. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:-

The University Grant Commission has formulated new guidelines for MPhil and PhD students.

Indian universities is located at the top rung of a three-tiered structure. The bottom rung is made of undergraduates who account for the vast majority of students in higher education, and are enrolled in a range of disciplines in the arts, social sciences, sciences, technology, and so on. The second rung is expectedly much smaller and consists of student enrolled for two-year post-graduate degrees. The third tier, much the smallest, is that of research students who may either enrol directly in the PhD degree, or opt to do an MPhil degree (usually of two years duration) before eventually going on to the PhD.

The share of students opting PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) course in India stood below 0.4%, means 4 out of 1000 students in the age group of 18-23 years opting PhD programmes. A total of 1.17 lakh students were enrolled in PhD programmes across institutes, universities and colleges in 2014-15.

New Guidelines:-

  • Fixing the eligibility criteria for PhD admission:  The new PhD/Mphil regulations have streamlined the eligibility conditions for PhD admission. Candidates for admission to the PhD programme shall have a Master’s degree with at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade ‘B’ in the UGC 7-point scale Further, a relaxation of 5% of marks, from 55% to 50%, or an equivalent relaxation of grade, is allowed for those belonging to SC/ST/OBC (non-creamy layer)/Differently-Abled and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the Commission from time to time. This minimum criteria has become the basis framework for the PhD guidelines of the universities.
  • As per the UGC regulations 2016 for MPhil and PhD degrees, the maximum duration to complete an MPhil course is two years and for PhD it is six years.
  • Women candidates and persons with disability (more than 40% disability) can be allowed a relaxation of one year for MPhil and two years for PhD in the maximum duration. Women will also be eligible for maternity leave/child care leave once in the entire duration of MPhil/PhD for up to 240 days.
  • All universities and institutions, including deemed to be universities, will admit MPhil/PhD students through an entrance test. They have been authorised to outline separate terms and conditions for PhD entrance test for students who qualify UGC-National Eligibility Test (including Junior Research Fellow)/UGC-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research NET (including JRF)/State Level Eligibility Test/Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering/teacher fellowship holders or those who have passed MPhil programme. A similar approach can be adopted in case of entrance test for MPhil programme.
  • The guidelines also state that there will be a Research Advisory Committee, or an equivalent body, for each MPhil and PhD scholar. The research supervisor of the scholar will be the convener of this committee. This committee will review the research proposal and finalise the topic of research. It will also guide the research scholar to develop the study design and methodology of research and identify the course(s) that he/she intends to do. Besides, it will periodically review and assist in the progress of the research work of the scholar. The scholar will have to appear before the committee once in six months to make a presentation of the progress of his/her work for evaluation and further guidance.
  • Currently, both conventional and open learning universities for MPhil/PhD programme follow the same process for shortlisting candidates for admission to the MPhil and PhD programmes.
  • A candidate is usually allowed to join the programme once her/his research acumen is tested, either through a written examination or oral examination. A research supervisor is allocated and the topic of research is defined.
  • Hereafter, the interaction is essentially between the researcher and the supervisor, though occasionally fellow researchers and other faculty members also get into the picture and interact with the researcher. Once the work is completed, essentially to the satisfaction of the researcher and the supervisor, it is subjected to evaluation by independent examiners followed by viva-voce examination. The award is declared after the researcher has successfully cleared the evaluation.
  • With the new regulations in place, now there is no question of comparison between MPhil and PhD in conventional and ODL modes
  • No PhD programme through Distance Mode:  The new PhD regulations have made it clear that no institute can provide PhD pgrogrammes via distance education mode. University, institution, deemed to be a university and college shall not conduct MPhil and PhD Programmes through distance education mode. However, the regulations mentioned that part-time PhD will be allowed provided all the conditions mentioned in the extant PhD Regulations are met.
  • Maintaining PhD students data base annually: As per the new PhD regulations, the university  will have to maintain the list of all the PhD registered students on its website on year-wise basis. The data base should include the name of the registered candidate, topic of his/her research, name of his/her supervisor/co-supervisor, date of enrolment/registration.

Impact of guidelines:-

Positive:-

  • It could lead to lesser workload on faculty members.
  • Easier to impart one-one guidance and increase quality of education offered.
  • More competition for seats may lead to higher quality of students.
  • Lesser strain on research capacities of universities.

Negative:-

  • Lesser seats may lead to lesser students opting for research and lesser research topics being taken up every year.
  • A lot of universities research capacities maybe underutilised.
  • Professors and faculty may be having lesser number of researchers than they can handle.
  • Corresponding decrease in quota seats may lead to lesser number of disadvantaged students going on to become researchers.
  • May lead to shortage of teaching staff in Indian universities as fewer researchers become part of the academic pool.

Conclusion:-

The guidelines suggested by the UGC are ambiguous at best and the way ahead would be for it to clarify reasons for decrease in the number of seats for these courses, future course of action and steps to be taken to meet the demand of India’s up and coming researchers in order to create a free fair and equitable atmosphere where all eligible students have equal opportunity to pursue research in their field of choice

 


Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, 

5) Do you think states in India should have greater freedom to pursue cross-border economic partnerships with neighbouring countries and beyond? Discuss. (200 Words)

Livemint

Paradiplomacy-

  • John Kincaid of Lafayette College had coined the term “constituent diplomacy” in 1990 to denote the “international activities of a foreign-policy character undertaken by the constituent governments…and local governments (mostly municipalities) of federal countries and decentralized unitary states, as well as by citizen organizations and non-governmental organizations”. It is also variously referred to as “paradiplomacy” or “sub-national diplomacy”. The practice of constituent diplomacy has been observed across Europe and North America but it has increasingly been adopted in the rest of the world as well.
  • Paradiplomacy can be employed with a variety of aims which can range from bringing in a decentralised dimension to international debates to internationalization of domestic issues by bringing regional issues on the global stage, promoting trade, tourism, cultural ties and even post-conflict reconciliation to local political activism being sought for international support. Subnational relations can also be conducted to promote and attract investments seeking region-specific economic advantages.
  • China is a good example- With an authoritarian political set-up, one would assume China’s foreign policy to be highly centralized. It is indeed. But Chinese provinces also have their own foreign affairs offices (FAOs) and foreign trade and economic cooperation commissions (FTECCs) to deal with international partners. Many Chinese cities have opened overseas offices to attract investments and promote trade. Provincial governments play a big part in setting the agenda of the sub-regional initiatives that China is a part of.

Benefits of states playing role in cross-border partnerships (Paradiplomacy)-

  • As globalization has eroded traditional boundaries, the Central government by itself is not well-equipped to meet the challenges posed by new political, economic and social forces. It is here that subnational involvement in international affairs can help push forward India’s stand on key issues. In a country as sizeable as India (a subcontinent), there is a definitive need for decentralization of foreign policy implementation and in selected areas of diplomacy.
  • It can be argued that states are often better equipped than the Central government to undertake diplomatic measures in areas of trade, commerce, foreign direct investment, education, cultural exchanges and also outsourcing of business.
  • Another factor that brings the importance of paradiplomacy to the surface is that there might be cases where the Central government will differ with state governments on ideological and political grounds, which makes it likely that some judgments of New Delhi may not be viewed in the best interest of states and vice versa. In addition, given India’s size, provincial governments are often better placed to enhance diplomatic relations with other governments in their neighbourhood because of geographical, cultural, historical and economic reasons. For instance, West Bengal can have more successful paradiplomatic relations with Bangladesh and Bhutan than an MEA official stationed at the country’s capital. Similarly, Kerala has vested interests in engaging in diplomatic relations with the Gulf countries as a large number of the state’s residents find jobs in those countries.
  • An important factor giving paradiplomacy an upper hand over regular diplomacy being conducted from the core is that it makes space for issues to be addressed keeping local sentiments in mind. A case in point is that of fishermen from Tamil Nadu arguing for fishing rights in what are disputed waters for Sri Lanka, citing historical and traditional rights, while Sri Lanka is unsympathetic to the cause and retaliates sternly to any such claims. It is here that bilateral relations being conducted between states could help more than negotiations that are held at the Central level. A local involvement of the Tamil Nadu government will be more prudent in tackling issues related to not just fishing rights for residents but also of reservations and/or remittances for refugees, and human trafficking.
  • Hosting the Global Investor’s Summit held biennially in Gujarat, the state has been able to showcase itself as the ideal investment destination in India. The global summit called Vibrant Gujarat earned Gujarat not just an enthused participation and acknowledgement from foreign dignitaries but also opened the floor for prospective investors to explore opportunities to indulge in business activities. It is undeniable that Gujarat, through its subnational engagements has increasingly attracted not just economic investments but is also now paving the way for cooperation on sustainable development – a cause which countries across the globe hold close to their hearts. Gujarat has been able to substantially add to the nation’s larger interests by working on economic diplomacy at the federal level.

Paradiplomacy has the potential to not only strengthen the federal structure of the Indian state but also radically alter the trajectory of Indian foreign policy by helping regional governments to realise their potential in the conduct of cross border relations.

Way forward-

  • While paradiplomacy throws up fresh challenges for the Indian government, the involvement of state governments in the domain of foreign policy certainly addresses the issue in greater depth. The Centre needs to come up with effective institutional mechanisms to introduce paradiplomacy in the country. While one way of doing this is through the creation of consulates or consular offices in individual states, another way of bringing paradiplomacy to see the day’s light is through the setting up of federal foreign affairs offices under the supervision of the MEA. To this end, officers stationed at these regional offices can be trained to better handle security issues and can also be groomed to work to take the Centre’s goals forward and not work against the national good. Thus, better coordination between the MEA and local offices by means of regular consultations and bureaucratic interactions is effective in taking the goal of paradiplomacy forward.

Conclusion-

While New Delhi needs to adopt a firmer stand on matters of core national interest, it also needs to give the state governments greater freedom to pursue cross-border economic partnerships. It is actually possible to marry cooperative federalism to collaborative sub-regional cooperation.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life 

6) Many car makers around the world have recalled their cars over faulty airbags. What is the mechanism behind working of an airbag? What threats does faulty airbags pose to passengers? (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Context-

Recently companies like Toyoto recalled their vehicles to repair faulty airbags. This led to questioning of installation of faulty airbags and their harmful impact for diver and passengers.

Mechanism of working of Air-bags-

Airbags soften the impact of collisions by keeping occupants from coming into contact with the steering wheel, dashboard, front glass and other parts of the automobile. To do this, airbags need to inflate quickly. They are inflated with gas created by igniting propellants. The propellant — such as those used in space rockets or in detonators used for mining blasts — is compressed into candy-size pellets and placed in a metal tube called an inflator. When a crash occurs, the tablets are ignited and convert from solid to gas, which shoots out of the inflator and into the airbag in milliseconds.

The crucial thing about an airbag is that it has to be small enough to fit into the steering wheel and other tight spaces, and has to deploy with just the right amount of force. That’s where propellants come in. Each of the world’s five main airbag manufacturers has developed its own trademark chemical compound to act as proprietary propellant.

The real problem-

Ammonium nitrate — among the world’s most widely used commercial chemical explosives that is nearly as powerful as dynamite but costs about a tenth that of tetrazole — was the Takata Company’s third generation propellant (Takata is the largest company of manufacturing airbags). While it delivered as an explosive, the problem with ammonium nitrate was that changes in temperature could induce changes in its stability.

Ammonium nitrate is a strong oxidant that reacts with combustible and reducing materials. It has a critical relative humidity of 59.4%, which is the value of relative humidity of the surrounding air, above which the material absorbs moisture, and below which it does not. Beyond the critical relative humidity level, the propellant tablet could break down into powder form. Since the compound as powder combusts faster than as a denser pellet, airbags in which the propellant had disintegrated due to temperature or humidity changes tended to have far greater combustion qualities, and were prone to deploying faster and with greater punch.

This is at the heart of the problem with Takata airbags using ammonium nitrate-based propellant. If the propellant ignites with explosive force, the airbag’s inflator — the metal cartridge in which the propellant pellets are loaded — could rupture, and a spray of shards can rocket out into the passenger cabin. This could act as fatal blow and could cause death or severe injuries to the passengers.

bomb

 


Topic: Employment; Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

7) How the growing integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies and robotics in all our core industrial sectors is threatening jobs? In this scenario, how should government create more jobs? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

Automation threatens 69 per cent of the jobs in India, while 77 per cent in China, according to a World Bank research which has said that technology could fundamentally disrupt the pattern of traditional economic path in developing countries.

How the increasing Automation is threatening the jobs?

  • Various automation technologies are in the process of overhauling the mass employment-generating but low-skilled blue-collar labour markets. They could also threaten skilled white-collar workers. For instance, JP Morgan Chase and Co. recently developed a programme called COIN, a learning machine that interprets legal agreements in just a few seconds, a task that consumed 3,60,000 work hours for lawyers and loan officers annually. Similarly, an American medical school tested IBM’s AI technology Watson to analyse 1,000 cancer diagnoses. In 99% of the cases, Watson was able to recommend treatment plans that matched the suggestions of well-renowned oncologists.
  • As the world gets more competitive, as manufacturing gets more competitive, it will use more automation, robotics, technology.
  • New technologies like AI and Robotics improve the functional efficiency drastically than manual methods. Thus large industries will increasingly shift towards the automation in the quest of higher productivity.
  • Information technology (IT), IT-enabled services (ITeS) and security services, followed by banking, will be the first sectors to feel the heat, wherein manual transactions and processing jobs will become obsolete. Huge numbers of services jobs in these sectors will be made redundant as a few lines of code will be able to perform the same tasks efficiently and effectively, according to PeopleStrong (HR solution firm).
  • Increasing Automation also reduces the proportion of creation of new jobs. This could hurt India in longer run.

The other side of the coin-

  • Impact of Automation will be felt where the jobs cost the highest in the next 10-15 years. If India grows at 8% a year, with a labour productivity increase of 1.5% a year, jobs should grow at a rate of 6.5% a year. With automation, jobs may grow within a band of 4-5% a year for the next 10 years,” according to T V Mohandas Pai, former human resources head at Infosys Ltd and chairman of Aarin Capital.
  • The cost of initial automation and robotics is high. In a country where wages are much lower than such costs, impact will be felt at a slower pace and much less than elsewhere.
  • Further increasing Automation may not affect Indian agriculture due to factors like land fragmentation and dominance of small and marginal farmers.

Way forward-

  • Skill upgradation and training to cater the need of the industries.
  • Incentivizing and encouraging automation in sectors where it is critically necessary.
  • Focusing on increasing the efficacy and efficiency of Micro, Small and Medium scale industries.
  • Government needs to be inept in creating new employment-generating sectors and reform existing ones at a time when machines are systematically cutting down the workforce requirements in the principal labour-generating triumvirate of manufacturing and services sectors. 
  • Need to bring structural changes in employment-stagnated areas like Textile, cotton industries to increase employment opportunities in these areas.
  • Government needs to bring more and more workers under formal economy so that they enjoy benefits of social security provided by government and companies.