Syllabus GS II Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
1.Explain the recent announcement made by the government regarding employment. Analyse the various needs of the occupations and also suggest some pragmatic solution to increase the employment.
The Government of India has recently announced its plan to create 10 lakh government jobs in the next 18 months. Of about 40 lakh sanctioned posts, 22% posts are now vacant and the Government will fill these posts in 18 months.
Vacancies in various central government departments:
- There are as many as 8.72 lakh positions that were vacant in various departments of the Central government
- The various positions in public sector banks, the defence forces and police, the health sector, central schools and central universities, and the judiciary are added, then the number touches about 30 lakh posts. This number does not include vacancies in State government jobs.
- As sanctioned posts broadly indicate the required posts needed to run a government, it appears that this government is perhaps facing a serious shortage of staff, which is then causing long delays in work, corruption and maybe other inefficiencies.
‘Quality’ of the employment is an issue:
- Another major concern is about the quality of employment that will be generated through this plan.
- The share of contract workers in total government employment has been increasing rapidly in recent years from 11.11 lakh in 2017 to 13.25 lakh in 2020 and to 24.31 lakh in 2021. In addition, there are “honorary workers” such as Anganvadi workers, their helpers, accredited social health activist (ASHA) workers, etc.
- These employees of the government earn a lower salary (consolidated wages), and are not entitled to “decent work” conditions (International Labour Organisation recommendations) including a minimum package of social security.
- The Government must ensure that the employment generated under its plan will be of a standard quality. There has been no assurance so far on this by the Government.
The mismatch in the persons and the government number in job creation:
- The total labour force in the country stands at 437.2 million recent data.
- At a labour force participation rate of 42.13% (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Ltd.) the unemployment rate of the youth is about 20% at present.
- Given the backlog of about 30 million unemployed people and an annual addition of 50 lakh-70 lakh workers every year (World Bank), the dimensions of India’s unemployment problem today are formidable.
- The generation of a mere 10 lakh jobs in the next 18 months is too little.
- This scheme of the Government will hardly provide any relief to the youth of the country; and will not have much of an impact on the present unemployment problem.
Employments can be created in the following sectors:
- To start with, the Government will have to create more employment within the Government.
- Recent national and international reports and rankings have shown that India is lagging far behind most other countries in terms of health and nutrition, particularly women and children, in education, literacy and skills, holistic care of children in early childhood and later; drinking water and sanitation, and other basic infrastructure, etc.
- The first task for the Government would be to take much better direct care of basic well-being, human development and human resource development, and the basic infrastructure of the bottom population without privatisation in these areas.
- Another major task would also be to reorient the industrialisation policy to focus on labour-intensive sectors of the economy, and promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and informal production by ensuring better technology and higher productivity, providing finances (including working capital) and pushing further cluster development for all industries that have the potential.
- The urban economy has been badly hurt by the pandemic, a carefully designed urban employment guarantee programme would be most desirable to create ample urban employment avenues for urban youth.
- The urban programme should include: basic urban services, where the youth would get special training so that they can be absorbed in the mainstream economy; day-care centres set up for childcare to enable women to reduce their unpaid services and to ensure quality care for children; and infrastructural gaps filled in under construction work to facilitate quality urban life.
The government should also align technical and vocational education and make enduring and long-term investments in human capital through good-quality education, skills, and on-the-job training, as well as in basic social protection.
~Source The Hindu
Syllabus: GS II Structure, organisation and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
GS III Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
2.The friction between the microblogging social media and the government. In this context,Discuss the section 69A of the IT Act and twitter’s arguments.
Twitter moved the Karnataka High Court seeking to set aside multiple blocking orders of the Central government as well as to alter their directions to identify specific violative content rather than imposing a blanket ban on individual accounts.
Legality behind the blocking content under the Section 69A of the IT Act:
- Section 69A of the IT Act empowers the government to restrict access to any content in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of the country.
- Twitter holds that the government has allegedly not shown why the restrictions were necessary in the interest of public order or for any other reason.
- Section 69A of the IT Act empowers the government to restrict access to any content in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or for public order.
- All directions to restrict information or content in circulation must be recorded in writing. Social media intermediaries failing to comply with the regulations are liable to be monetarily penalised along with an imprisonment term which may extend up to seven years.
- The procedures for executing the provisions of the act are enlisted in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.
- It entails that a government-designated officer along with an examination committee assess the content in question within 48 hours of receiving the takedown request.
- It must enable an opportunity to the author or originator of the content to provide clarifications.
- The recommendations are then sent to the Secretary of the Dept of Information Technology for approval to forward a request to the social media intermediary for restricting access.
- Emergency provisions stipulate that the clarification be sought after the content has been blocked for specific reasons, but within 48 hours.
- They can be revoked after due examination. Internet advocacy groups have been particularly critical of Rule 16 that suggests strict confidentiality be maintained on all requests and actions taken thereof often attributed to be the cause for lack of transparency.
- The mentioned legislations are to be read under the purview of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech and expression.
- However, Clause 2 of the article permits the state to impose ‘reasonable restrictions’ for the same reasons as those for Section 69A.
- The microblogging platform states that it respects user expression while also taking into consideration applicable local laws.
- The disparity in assessment of what constitutes ‘free expression’ and harm to public order among the two entities is the premise of the entire contest.
- Twitter restricts access to an allegedly violative content only based on a “valid and properly scoped request” from an authorised entity.
- The curtailment is limited to the jurisdiction that has issued the legal demand. Its policies stipulate that the author of the content must be informed if such a request is received or acted upon.
- India accounted for 11% of the overall legal requests received globally by the micro-blogging platform for moderating access to certain content.
- It attributed the spike in accounts withheld to blocking orders issued under the IT Act. Its petition points to two structural problems, firstly, the absence of a case-specific rationale for blocking content and accounts, and secondly, not according to the originators of the content the mandatory hearing.
- The government has been merely reproducing the words of Section 69A as reasons for blocking URLs and accounts.
- The government has allegedly not shown why the restrictions were necessary in the interest of public order or for any other reason.
- The Supreme Court’s ruling in The Superintendent, Central Prison, Fatehgarh vs Ram Manohar Lohia (1960) had held that restrictions made in public interest must possess reasonable connection to the objective being achieved. They need to be set aside should the correlation be “far-fetched, hypothetical or too remote”, in other words, bearing no proximity to public order.
- The concerns are further aggravated when the directions are aimed at blocking individual accounts (in other words, temporary or permanent revocation of an individual’s presence on the platform) and not the specific content.
- One of the prime reasons why the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of Section 69A in Shreya Singhal vs Union of India (2012) was its adherence to accord a hearing to the author of the content as well as the intermediary.
- It is guaranteed under Rule 8 of the procedural norms but Twitter stated that the government has neither provided any notice nor any hearing.
The episode leaves a sense of confusion and wonder about why our own government formed under the Constitution may be failing to fulfil its obligations when strangers who trade in our data for profit are seemingly more eager.
~Source The Hindu