CSR and Employment Generation in India

It is a time of greatest economic challenges the world has ever gone through in recent times. The global markets are in turmoil, economies are struggling to reinvigorate growth and political systems face vast challenges to meet the basic needs of the society. The trend of outsourcing has increasingly seen the movement of jobs from the US to developing economies like India, Brazil, China, etc.

Employment generation is a keystone of any economic recovery program. Many activities can fall into the rubric of job creation, including instant short-term opportunities that yield quick impact, or the development of more persist livelihoods in the civil service or private sector. It is important to differentiate between these different activities, recognizing that sustainability and long-time impact should be duly considered in implementing any employment generation program. Providing jobs is vital on many levels. Politically, employment opportunities give the population a stake in the peace process by giving young men and women with alternatives to violence.

As we know employment generation has been one of the important objectives of development planning in India. The employment problem is closely interlinked with the elimination of poverty which is one of the sustainable development goals (SDG).There are main three aspects of the problem of employment in India. They are the problem of productivity of labor, the problem of the proportion of labor to the total population and the problem of underemployment and unemployment of labor. These three aspects are interrelated. There is a low rate of participation of labor in India. A low rate of employment among women is a significant feature in India. There has almost been no change in (labor force participation rate) LFPR. The dependency rate in India is quite high. The problem of underemployment and unemployment is the chronic feature of the Indian economy. It is one of the main cause of poverty in India. Unemployment in India is mainly structural. The rate of unemployment differs in different states. Sector-wise unemployment in India is urban and rural unemployment.

To create a prosperous and successful society there is a superb opportunity of employment through CSR and circular economy which focuses on social and environmental objectives, while at the same time there is still growth. To ensure these changes companies should first design products which can be easily dismantled. Next, infrastructure must be put in place to allow products or their materials to be retained for reuse. Creating new jobs and making sure that the young generation has the right skills to meet existing workforce demands will not be solved by one government or one company alone.

For bringing about inclusive growth livelihood opportunities should be provided by corporates. In India, we have a workforce but it is not trained enough. The first objective of corporates thus is to impart vocational training, career counseling to the people so that they become independent enough to earn on their own. Many companies have started training people in their own areas of work such as educating farmers regarding new and better farming techniques. There are many companies who are engaged in providing livelihood, especially to women population. ITC’s e-shakti program is a brilliant example in this field. ITC trains and then employs women thus providing them a livelihood. Another example of employment is the Make in India Programme through which the government intends to create 100 million new jobs by 2022 providing manufacturing sector a stronger role in domestic job creation. It has an objective of transforming the country into a global manufacturing hub. Many IT companies including Infosys, Tech Mahindra, TCS, Cognizant, etc are providing a large number of employment opportunities which makes IT workforce the highest sector employer.

Some suggestions for boosting up employment generation are:-

  1. Investing in employees skills development, skills re-skilling and upgrading to improve employability, in particular for those having lost or at risk of losing their vulnerable groups and jobs.
  2. Limiting or ignoring job losses and supporting enterprises in retaining their workforce through well-designed schemes implemented through social dialogue and collective bargaining. These could include work-sharing and partial unemployment benefits.
  3. Implementing a supportive regulatory environment conducive to employment generation through sustainable enterprise development and creation
  4. Recognizing the contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises and micro-enterprises to employment generation, and promoting measures, including access to affordable credit, that would ensure an environment which is favorable for their development
  5. Recognizing that cooperatives provide employment in our communities from very small businesses to large multinationals and tailoring support for them according to their needs
  6. Increasing investment in infrastructure, research and development, “green” production and public services and services as important tools for creating employment and stimulating sustained economic activity.

India has the largest youth population in the world and growing unemployment, especially among educated or qualified youths, is a major problem which leads to an urgent need to boost up employment generation. Employment generation is the one and the only solution to reduce poverty and bring about sustainable development.

Written by Bhawana Munet & Shubhi Mehta @ the CSR times.com

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