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.
Q1. Equipping women with employable skills is a far greater challenge than skilling men. Comment. 10M
Data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) shows female labour force participation at 16.9 %, compared to a far higher 56.8 percent for men, in quarter of January-March 2021. Skilling has been pushed as a solution.
In 2015, National Skill Development Mission, emphasizes that women constitute half the demographic dividend and skilling could be the key to increasing their participation in the country’s labour force.
- Equipping women with employable skills is a far greater challenge than skilling men
- Most women in India are employed in low-skill and low-paying work, with neither social protection nor job security.
- In India, higher percentage of women workers are part of the informal economy compared to men – 94 percent of women workers are in the informal sectors.
- Greater informality leads to lower incentives to acquire new skills, few new jobs are created, driving India’s workforce further into informality.
- In the case of the female workforce, pervading informality is added to other challenges that keep them from participating in work – such as the burdens of family and caregiving, restrictive social norms, and limitations on mobility.
- The inevitable gender gap shows up in skills training. According to Labour Bureau data (2013-14), only 3.8 percent of India’s adult women had ever received vocational training at that time, compared to 3 percent of men.
- Governments Initiatives: Women Skilling
- 30 percent of seats in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) are reserved for women.
- Exclusive National Skill Training Institutes for Women: offer trainings under two schemes: the Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS) and the Craft Instructors’ Training Scheme (CITS).
- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): offers short-term skills training – Close to 50 percent of candidates under PMKVY are women.
- The PMKVY is in its third phase and has trained 4,830,646 women as of November 2021
- The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY), a placement-linked skills development Programme for rural youth, provides for a 33-percent reservation for women.
- DDU-GKY has trained 1,128,301 candidates so far.
- Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) scheme has targets to increase the participation of women in short-term vocational training. It is a supporting Programme to skill training schemes like PMKVY.
- National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS): follows the apprenticeship model for skilling and placement.
- Evaluation by Quantum Hub in 2020, noted that NAPS do not make any special provisions for female apprentices, such as safety at the workplace, or providing them gender-friendly infrastructure.
- Jan Shikshan Sansthan: focuses on skilling non-literate and school dropouts, especially women.
- Gender Sensitivity: Skilling Programmes for Women
- Skills training programmes in India have been based on traditional gender roles and notions of women’s work, mostly restricted to household-related tasks and caregiving.
- Courses for women under PMKVY, for instance, have concentrated on areas like apparel, beauty, wellness, and healthcare – this keeps women out of more remunerative sectors.
- The National Skill Training Institutes for women offer only 21 courses, while the general ITIs, where men predominate, offer 153 courses.
- This lack of diversity in skills training reflects the gender segregation of the job market.
- Number of NGOs train women in jobs that help break stereotypes, thus giving them access to livelihoods that have been traditionally male-dominated, enabling them to earn more than in the jobs traditionally assigned to them (such as domestic service and caregiving).
- Ex: Azad Foundation’s Women on Wheels, where women are trained in professional driving
- Ex: Self Employed Women’s Association’s (SEWA) Karmika School for Construction Workers in Gujarat.
- Way Forward:
- A bottom-up approach to skilling: like strategy involves using local self-help group leaders to identify women workers with supportive families, and providing these women with relevant information to encourage them to take up skilling.
- Providing migration support to women could improve skilling and employment outcomes.
- Skilling needs to cope with the transformations of the digital age.
- Public-private partnerships could be the way forward for inclusive digital skilling, especially for women.
- Ex: Microsoft and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), in a public-private partnership, train more than 100,000 underserved women in digital skills.
- Ex: SAP India and Microsoft have also launched a joint skilling Programme, TechSaksham, for 62,000 female students from underserved communities, to train them for technology-related careers.
There is also a need to integrate life skills, such as communication ability, decision-making capacity and self-confidence, into skilling programmes. Also, bunch of women-centric enablement initiatives comprising socio-economic support, relevant skills, guaranteed jobs and investments to lower barriers and carve out an accessible gateway for women to enter into various sectors of the economy and contribute to the India’s progress.
Q2. Access to a more equitable healthcare system has long remained a major challenge in India. Do you think technology can provide a viable solution? Analyze the scope of the Ayushman Bharath Digital Mission in this regard. 15M
The Lancet Healthcare Index shows India ranks 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare, behind its neighbours China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The absence of an equitable healthcare system is said to be the major reason for India’s poor ranking.
Why access to a more equitable healthcare system has long remained a major challenge in India?
- High out-of-pocket expenditure – In 2021 the Finance Commission has said, In India, around 70% of healthcare expenditure comes from the out-of-pocket expenditure.
- This pushes about 60 million Indians into poverty each year.
- Shortage of efficient and trained manpower – In India doctor to patient ratio is 1:834 which is much less than the WHO prescribed norm of 1:1000.
- The nurse population is the lowest in India – 96 nurses per 1000 population.
- Inadequate funding – Expenditure on public health funding has been consistently low in India (approximately 1.3% of GDP).
- As per OECD, India’s total out-of-pocket expenditure is around 2.3 % of GDP.
- The strong role of Private players – In India, the private sector is the dominant player in the healthcare system. The lack of proper regulation of the private sector made the healthcare system inaccessible to poor people
- 70% of healthcare services in India are provided by the private sector.
- Lack of Awareness – Low education status, poor functional literacy and lower education within the healthcare system etc made people unaware of Healthcare benefits.
- In India, as per a recent survey, only 44.6% of mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth even though about 78.7% deliver in institutions.
- Lack of adequate infrastructure facilities – disparity in urban and rural healthcare infrastructure in the country.
- Hospital bed density in India stands at 7 per 1000 population much lower than the WHO standard of 3.5 per 1000 population
- Lack of accessibility – There is a wide difference in the presence of Primary healthcare centres in rural areas and cities. This has been supplemented by poor quality healthcare services by PHCs in rural areas.
Technology is a viable solution to these challenges.
- Precision treatment – It is an important application of Technology. AI-powered body scans can predict health issues that could be genetic, for example, spotting cancer and vascular diseases
- Digital management of health records – Automation of digital records and use of apps provide medical consultation based on personal medical history and intelligence gathered through analytics.
- AI and Machine Learning are expected to address shortcomings of the healthcare sector such as high cost of product design and stringent regulation, poor healthcare infrastructure, low patient-to-doctor ratio, low insurance penetration rate
- Telemedicine – As the internet penetrates every corner of India, technology will help to reach healthcare services to even remotest areas and villages.
- Preventive Care – Emerging technologies not only expedite the development of new drugs but also introduce a completely new class of therapies, such as digital therapeutics (DTx).
- Robots can be used in hospitals to deliver medicine and food to patients. This addresses the issue of inadequate staff in the hospital.
Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission
India has been facing various challenges in the healthcare system. The use of emerging technologies can address these challenges. AB-DHM is right to step in this regard that will make Indian healthcare more accessible and affordable.
Q3. What does the quotation mean to you? “Service without humility is selfishness and egotism.” 10M
This was quoted by Mahatma Gandhi, it talks about selfless service to be performed by a public servant or any individual. It informs one to be free from pride and be humble in their services. When an individual exaggerates the sense of self-importance about services he has carried out, it reflects his selfish behaviour.
- When individuals possess the qualities of being egoistic, self-esteem and selfishness, they in fact act according to their self-interest. It reflects their personal ethical egoism, which is about maximizing our own happiness and minimizing unhappiness.
- When individuals adopt their own self-interest and self-esteem, it will result in the universalization of selfishness. It ignores the interests of future generations, of others and also our environment.
- Eg – Industrialized countries emit GHGs for their development and growth at the cost of small low developed countries.
- Selfishness and egotism which focus on self-interest rather than public interest will be against public service principles. It compromises ethical standards, public service values like transparency, accountability, and selflessness service and promotes unethical practices like nepotism, favouritism, corruption
- Eg – Fodder scam, 2G scam
- Egotism also goes against the theory of altruism that regards the good of others as the end of moral action. It is the opposite of selfishness. The Utilitarianism approach that maximizes the good of society promotes some form of altruism.
- Humility will enable political leaders and administrators to approach ordinary people politely. When public servants cultivate humility, they will be able to show concern and consideration towards the problems of common people. Even people also show gratitude for their selfless services.
- Eg – ‘Divyaguda’, a tribal village in Telangana named after an IAS officer Divya Devarajan to show love and respect for her.
- Public servants should regard their duty as service to the people. They should not regard themselves as rulers or bosses. They are trustees of power which ultimately is derived from people.
In the present situation where unethical practices are rising in every sphere like politics, administration etc., Selfless services by people have become essential to maximize the welfare of people. It is in this situation, that “Service with Humility” should become part of every individual.
Case study – 20M
Q4. A young graduate from a poor financial background gets a job in a promising startup. Her job is to make telesales pitch for attracting new customers and get them to buy various products. She is happy with the job and is punctual. She has often heard that the company is quick to promote hard-working employees and on each promotion the company provides a bonus and doubles the salary. She works hard for three months and has been extremely loyal to the company. The senior executives are happy with her performance.
She has been offered a promotion on the condition that she should not leave the job for 2 years and submit her original documents to the company. She happily agreed. Upon promotion, she found out that the company is actually a scam call centre and that telemarketing is just a sham. In her new role, she is required to call various people in India and abroad and bait them into the scam. Even though she has marketed certain products with false claims before, those were basic low-cost products and she is not ready to scam people of lakhs of rupees. She is reluctant to work. Her new colleagues, try to brush off her dilemmas pointing out that they just have to lure the people and actual scams are done by other departments, there’s easy money and one can actually earn a lot. She tries to quit, but she can’t for two years as her documents have been with the company and her senior warns her of the dangerous consequences if she reveals anything about the company to anyone outside.
Given the situation
- Identify the ethical issues involved in online scams.
- What options are available to the young graduate in this situation?
- State the importance of moral education in the present world.
Consumers in India experienced a fairly high online fraud encounter rate of 69% in the past year, according to Microsoft 2021 Global Tech Support Scam research report. Further 31% of Indians lost money through such scams-the highest globally. The case study highlights such issues of online scams by Start-ups in India. It also shows how one can misuse the emotions of others for their own private gain.
- Ethical issues involved in online scams.
- Not following work ethics: The Company is not following professional ethical standards, and code of ethics in its work.
- Ignoring public interest: The Company is working to maximize its self-interest and private gain and it is neglecting the public interest.
- Compromises accountability: Such activities also compromise the accountability and transparency of the company.
- Unhealthy work culture: Working employees of Start-up Company also adapted to the unethical practices of the company. It shows the unhealthy work culture of the organization and the compromise of their personal ethical values like Integrity, compassion, and humanity.
- Start-up is misusing the innocence of people by presenting false information about the company and its products.
- Startup also misusing the hard work and loyalty of employees for their growth by luring them about bonuses, promotions and doubling their salary.
- Here the young graduate is facing the conflict of interest issues – About her work to support her family, reluctance to work and threats from senior authorities.
- If a young graduate continues to work in the same company, it will show her lower emotional intelligence, lack of courage and compromising her ethical values.
- Options available for young graduate.
- As her documents are with the company and getting threats from seniors Firstly, She has to persuade her colleagues not to support the unethical activities of the startup and to be courageous to expose the true nature of the company if it doesn’t stop such online scams.
- She and her colleagues have to persuade senior authorities to stop such online scams and to do work ethically by following a code of ethics, code of conduct.
- If colleagues and seniors are not able to persuade them, at least she has to request the company to produce her documents so that she can change company, as she is reluctant to work in a new role and it is against her ethical values and will reduce efficiency in working also.
- She has to join a company which is working according to ethical standards and she has to check the background of the company to avoid such issues from happening in future.
- When the start-up doesn’t agree to produce her documents and still threatens her to work in the same company, she has to whistle blow to cybercrime authority about scams done by the startup. This will not only stop online scams but also protect her from threats.
- Even when the company was able to produce her documents and agreed to let her quit her job, she had to take the above action courageously. This will not only uphold her integrity but also stop people from engaging in such scams.
- Lastly, she has to raise awareness about such online scams in society through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook etc.
- Importance of Moral education
- Moral education will enable the start-up to follow the code of ethics, rules and regulations proposed by the state and to act accordingly to attract customers and sell their products.
- Promotion of hardworking, loyal employees by recognizing their work, not by the company’s self-interest and growth.
- Employees can work ethically, and courageously rather than promoting unethical practices of the company just for the sake of their salary and promotion.
- This will ensure the accountability and transparency of the start-up.
- Moral education for young graduate will help to cultivate higher emotional intelligence so that they will be able to manage their emotions and act courageously.
- Moral education to people enables them not to persuade easily by such online scams and their products or services.