The world has seen many epidemics but all of them were largely contained within the regions where they originated. But COVID-19 has hit nearly every country in the world in just over three months – and many countries have registered several more cases-than China, where the virus originated.The presence of a virus anywhere is clearly athreat to people everywhere. Globalized cities are the most vulnerable and, by extension, any country that transacts through them is at risk.The only way to prevent a future pandemic is to build stronger and more effective public systems across countries. That means more global cooperation, not less and in this there is very big role for India and Indians abroad as 32 million Indians are the most spread people globally.
India’s relation with its PIOs abroad has been always been very good and highly interactive on daily basis with the relatives, friends and professional and on the rise. With Technology the interactions are growing by the day as each year’s go. India has acknowledged and welcomedthe contribution the overseas Indians have made to its development by way of remittances, deposits which is in excess of 80B $. They have brought a good amount of technology along with propriety to them and their relatives here. In turn, India has developed a number of measures to meet their aspirations by providing protection of their interests in India and abroad. India became proactive in interceding with the host countrieswhen problems arose even though they had gone on their own contracts. Incountries where the Indians are powerful and influential, they became India’sunofficial ambassadors, who promote Indian interests there. On balance, bothsides benefited from this cooperation.
The advent of the unprecedented pandemic, COVID- 19 has posed a number ofchallenges to India in protecting its population. An important challenge amongthem is the expectation from its diaspora at this hour of crisis. The roles of Indiaas the recipient and the diaspora as the giver are likely to be reversed if a largenumber of the 32.14 million people scattered all over the world turn to India for support. Added to this is the real danger of loss of lives among the diasporaresulting in cases of deprivation and misery. Unless the spread of coronavirus ishalted and the world economy recovers, India will have a gigantic responsibility on its hands. Indian government is doing full justice which is acknowledged by the PIOs as they are spread out in all regions and across various segments. Indian have been some of the best Medical professionals taking care of the people in respective countries as also we have lost few to the viral
Indeed. There is also the issue of skill shortage if the real fatalities are going to rise. In history, the Black Death pandemic killed more than 20 million people between 1347 and 1352 in Europe alone and, mind you, this was one-third or more of the entire continent’s population. Soon after, there was a huge shortage of skilled labour in every sector which created wage fluctuations on the one hand and unemployment (thanks to wrecked economies) on the other hand. As COVID 19 goes to its conclusive stage there would be huge requirements for Indians throughout the world and we have to prepare for this.
Historians have pointed out that the Plague had an interesting impact on the way feudal lords, who held most of the land in Europe then and the farmers who worked on their land. Since it became more and more difficult to get people to work on farmlands and do other chores, farmers started demanding better pay and this led to a deep socio-political crisis in Europe The impact of Covid-19 on the labour markets will be more broad based and hence would require concerted measures at the global level to bring them back to normalcy. The third and most important scenario is that, considering the way Covid-19 has exposed the chinks in the market- the crisis offers the working class Indians an opportunity to get work and start with better wages, social security and an equitable share in labour-enabled profits.
In the past year, India continued to reach out and connect with its vast Diaspora through a host of schemes, programmes and initiatives besides effectively carrying out the previous initiatives in meaningful way.Globally remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20% this year due to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.In India, remittances are projected to fall by about 23% in 2020, to US$64 billion – a striking contrast with the growth of 5.5% and receipts of US$83 billion seen in 2019,” the World Bank said in a report on impact of COVID-19 on migration and remittances.
The Covid-19 outbreak and slowdown has cost many people their salaries, jobs and much more. Indian billionaires are not immune to either. Collectively all of India’s 102 billionaires lost US$93 billion or a quarter of their wealth. Indian billionaires are now worth US$313 billion as opposed to US$406 billion last year – that is 23% lower than what they held at last year.
Potential Surplus / Deficit Population in Working Age Group – 2020 (million)
While India struggles with a burgeoning population of educated youth, the rest ofthe world, especially developed countries, faces a shortage of working-age people,caused largely by lower birth rates and an ageing working population. While therequirement for skilled workers in these markets is increasing in line witheconomic growth, the availability of skilled people simply isn’t keeping pace. Inprofessions like IT services, medicine, and education, the problems are alreadybeginning to be felt.In addition to developed countries, even developing countries suchas China and Russia will have a workforce shortage.
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The challenge faced by other nations presents an opportunity for India. With itslarge population of educated youth, India can provide a host of services to suchcountries. These services fall into two broad categories:
- Professional services to the world provided remotely from India – IT services, IT enabled services, telemedicine, e-learning, etc.
- Customers serviced in India (import of customers) – special service tourism (health care, education services), leisure tourism, etc.
Secured Governance for Education – A Channel for Prosperity through Knowledge Growth
Secured Governance for skill development is a strategy that relates to the develop a relationship between development of Education infrastructures to various other sectors along with various institutions as partners and Government as governing body to foster, coordinate and create an defined “Skill Training Centre” along various existing educational infrastructure or to create a new cluster/s on strategically defined locations that improves and develops the center as a whole through regional strategies, technology and interdependency among various other sectors of growth.
Skill gap in India is now clear – of the total workforce, proportion of formally skilled workforce in India is 4.69%compared to 24%in China, 52% in USA,68%in UK, 75% in Germany, 80% in Japan and 96% in S. Korea. India Skill Report (2019) further identifies various levels of skill gaps. In fact the National Skill Development Policy (NSDP) since 2009 has been addressing the Skills mismatch in the economy! Under this policy the Government having recognised that skill development will play a vital role in transforming India into an ‘economic power to reckon with‘had set a target of skilling 500 million people. For this the country has rightly understood the need to set up many Skills Universities including Private Skills Universities in partnership with the industry.
There is a high correlation between skill levels and building skill capital. The National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) has defined levels of skills based on outcomes such as
- Depth of knowledge;
- Core Competencies;
- Professional skills and
- Responsibilities and Accountability.
Thus, the levels vary from “skills involving simple and routine physical or manual task“ (Level 1) to “skills involving operation of machinery and electronic equipment“ (Level 2) to “skills involving records of work“ (Level 3)to “decision making and creativity based contribution“ (Level 4 – High end Skills).
NSQF further classified skills into Domains Specific Skills and Soft Skills and concluded that Skills Universities conceptualised with a clear mandate of skill education can alone offer the necessary practical real world training in industrial and services sectors to lay the foundation for the required skills training system in India. In the wake of Skill India Mission some Skills Universities have come up to provide standards in Skills field. These Universities exercise constant ingenuity and are providing innovative models.
The concept of secured governance does not believe that dramatic changes can beachieved only through a revolution that requires upturning all the procedures evolved through years of efforts and experience. It realizes the tools for bringing about effective and sustainable changes are already available in the system. They can be made more effective by defining linkages, effective response mechanism and dynamic feedback systems. Emphasis is placed on defining relationship between sectors of growth, institutions and government to foster coordination and create an environment that improves the system as a whole through regional strategies, technology and by taking cognizance of the myriad of interdependencies.
Secured governance for Education has major characteristics like participation, rule of law, transparency, and responsiveness, at each stage of its operations and in developing a robust education system in the country. With improved resource allocation, enhanced governance, Interdependency among sectors and transparency in the system going hand in hand with development and effective use of Information Technology and Innovation can deliver a safer, cleaner and more accountable delivery of self-sustaining Education infrastructure and services.
Diaspora and International Business in the Homeland
Migrations and international business have always been part of human history for many centuries.In fact, many diaspora members—immigrants who left their home countries to settle in developed countries—are concerned about the economic growth of their developing home countries and have been involved in various initiatives to promote international business and economic development in their countries. The impact of such involvement in the homeland economic development has been recognized by many experts, international institutions of development and governments of developing countries that have considered it as an important tool of economic development.
Investors rushed to dump equities typically considered risky assets as COVID19 spread across geographies, while the 40-day more nationwide lockdown in India added to the concerns of economic disruption. The panic sell-off by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) led to massive liquidity outflow from domestic markets, dragging benchmark indices down by more than 25% in March. FIIs sold Indian shares worth US$7.54 billion, while another US$7.36 billion was sold in debt instruments in March. In 2020 so far, FIIs are net sellers of US$14.69 billion, the highest annual outflow, both in equity and debt.
Yet, even these limited avenues seem attractive to NRIs at times, given the low rates of interest prevalent in their countries of residence, and given the fact that India is now being looked upon as a success story with immense potential.
More Potential to reap more Remittance through Secured Governance:
India’s population is huge at 1.38 billion. It is fast expanding at a rate of 17% and integrating rapidlyinto the global economy. India is among the ‘young’ countries in the world, with the proportion ofthe work force in the age group of 15-59 years, increasing steadily. However, presently only 2% ofthe total workforce in India have undergone skills training. India has a great opportunity to meet thefuture demands of the world, India can become the worldwide sourcing hub for skilled workforce. Besides over 65% of India’s large population is below 35 years of age; a robust skillstraining and certification system for these large numbers is a mammoth task.
Even India has the largest population of English speakers. Due to its colonial legacy, English became a part of the Indian education system, which has now become an advantage. Indians thus have an edge over other countries due to their fluency in English.
Equipping the workforce with the skills required for the jobs of today and those oftomorrow is a strategic concern in the national growth and development outlooks of India.
- Each year around 3 million number of outflow work force will be increased through national skill development;
- The expected additional remittance would be US$10 billion at the CAGR 8%;
- Gaining knowledge and using it effectively is essential to ensuring continuous improvement in standard of skill development institutes;
- Enhancing individuals‟ employability and ability to adapt to changing technologies and global labour market demands.
- Improving productivity and living standards of the people.
- Develop a high-quality skilled workforce/entrepreneur relevant to current and emerging global employment market needs;
- Indian overseas people can set up a financial services those where more Indian population countries. The financial institution can support fund transaction services for affordable percentage of remittance for Indian diaspora and other countries. More over these institutions can offer easy credit access to boost economic growth of host countries.
- Configure Indian law enforcement services in emphasis with approval of host country and ensure that the force activity could help them to maintain law and order in case of any Indian person commit crime in their territories. If a person from India committed offence in other countries, he will be penalised as per the host country’s law and punishment will be held in home country. There is no way to escape from the punishment.
- Overseas population need to be encouraged in ““Technology transfer cum Investment” with latent potential of India.
- Attracting investment in skill development.
The most widely recognised immediate benefit fromthe international labour migration remains the flow ofremittances, which not only augments scarce foreignexchange but also provides a potential source ofadditional savings and capital formation.India could look at preparing the workforce for global opportunities so that it can utilise its premiumposition as the human resource reservoir. Given the dynamic labour markets it also important theworkforce learns and readies itself as quickly as possible.
According to the World Bank, globally remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20% this year due to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.In India, remittances are projected to fall by about 23% in 2020, to US$64 billion – a striking contrast with the growth of 5.5% and receipts of US$83 billion seen in 2019,”
Most of the Indian laborers and workers in abroad are highly skilled and professional enough to deserve a great pay. By 2025, India’s demographic dividend is expected to contribute 25% of global workforce. They can be made more effective by defining linkages, effective response mechanism and dynamic feedback systems. Emphasis is placed on defining relationship between sectors of growth, institutions and government to foster coordination and create an environment that improves the system as a whole through regional strategies, technology and by taking cognizance of the myriad of interdependencies.
India is the only country expected to have a surplus of highly skilled financial and business services labour by 2030. India is projected to have a skilled-labour surplus of around 245.3 million workers by 2030, the only country is expected to have a surplus, owing mainly to its vast supply of working-age citizens and government programmes to boost workers’ skills.
We have the opportunity to capture a greater share of the world’s labor-intensive manufacturing jobs. India could capture a greater global opportunity in technology and other knowledge-intensive fields.A designated region intended to attract foreign investment, retain local students, build a regional reputation by providing access to high-quality education and training for both international and domestic student, and create a knowledge-based economy. An education HUB can include different combinations of domestic/international institutions, branch campuses, and foreign partnerships, within the designated region.Businesses worldwide need management graduates who have the tools to succeed globally – leadership skills, cultural awareness, foreign language proficiency, and an understanding of how the global marketplace functions. Outbound Exchange Program wherein we send our students to associated universities or corporate houses for skill development and knowledge exchange.Inbound Exchange Program will facilitate initiatives for welcoming students from other countries to facilitate knowledge transfer targeting at least 10% of the students from other universities.
India is a rapidly rising economic power and will also by 2020 be theyoungest country in the worldwith 64% of its population in the working age group. We have the opportunity to capture a greater share of the world’s labour-intensive manufacturing jobs. Through secured governance establish a vibrant institutional framework in the educational system. India could capture a greater global opportunity in technology and other knowledge-intensive fields.
By,Prof. Vijay Khole
Ex. Vice Chancellor Mumbai University
By, Dr P. Sekhar
Chairman, Global Smart Cities Panel & Micro Tech Global Foundation