Recently a paper titled “Mobility in India, recent trends and issues concerning database” was released.
The findings of the paper on women migration call for appropriate government response and policies.
What are the highlights shown in the paper?
The paper takes into account the 64th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS).
It also takes in figures from the 2011 Census and the National Health and Family Survey (NFHS) IV.
As per NFHS IV, women aged 20-24 married before the age of 18 has gone down from 47% in 2005-06 to 27% in 2015-16.
Also, women aged 15-19 already mothers or pregnant at the survey time has become half from the 16% in 2005-06.
The paper highlights that the number of women migrating within India is increasing at a higher rate than men.
Marriage continues to play an important role in women migration.
But besides this, economic factors such as employment, business and education have gained in importance.
It shows a reduced dependence on marriage as the single factor behind women migration.
What are the related concerns in India?
Labour participation is the share of those employed or is seeking work relative to the working-age population.
India’s female labour participation rate is around 33% at the national level.
This is well below the global average of around 50% and East Asia average of around 63%.
This is partly due to the missing gender perspective on internal migration policies.
Migrants – Around 80% of migrated eligible female graduates choose not to participate in the organised workforce.
They are forced to work in construction sites and as household help for low wages.
Women migrants remain invisible and discriminated against in the workforce.
This is especially more the case with those in lower-end informal sector occupations.
Also they don’t have facilities like maternity leave and other such entitlements.
Another concern is the lack of access to proper sanitation, with serious health consequences.
Migrant women are also more vulnerable to sexual harassment, especially in the hands of agents and contractors.
Another persistent issue is the gender pay gap, which is not restricted to lower-end jobs alone.
India sees the highest drop in representation of women from junior to middle-level positions.
This is unlike several other Asian countries where such a drop occurs from middle- to senior-level positions.
This, in turn, impacts the supply line for higher levels.
Almost one-third of women employees do not resume work, in the absence of a support system at home for child-caring.
What lies ahead?
Government’s role in labour migration laws and policies is significant to sustain the momentum on migration.
The government has to ensure a gender-sensitive and rights-based approach in this regard.
Securing public spaces for women and creating an enabling infrastructure are essential.
Governments have to ensure that they are safe from stranger violence and harassment from employers.
Kerala model – Kerala has launched Aawaz, a free health care-cum-insurance scheme for migrant workers.
It covers any migrant worker employed in the state, between the ages of 18 and 60.
Workers are eligible for free medical treatment worth up to Rs 15,000.
Also, an insurance coverage of Rs 200,000 for accidental death is provided.
Medical treatment will be available from all government hospitals and also private hospitals empanelled with the scheme.
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Increasing emphasis on “data” with the human judgment
GS Mains Paper-2, Education
Why in News?
There is an increasing emphasis on “data” with the human judgment.
It is essential to complement data for better decision-making.
How data is becoming important?
Most of the processes of day-to-day usage are also getting digitized.
There is increasing emergence of different social network platforms, blogs, etc.
Deployment of sensors and adoption of hand-held and wearable digital devices are also increasing.
Meanwhile, there is explosion in the usage of internet.
Anything and everything “smart” means greater data volumes at accelerating speeds.
All these result in huge amount of data being generated on a continuous basis.
It is estimated that world’s population collectively generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.
The world is thus getting increasingly ‘datafied’ every single second.
What is the emerging view?
Insights from vast arrays of data will be a key business differentiator in the near future.
This is expected to promote popularity of business analytics, and demand for data scientists.
Deriving insight from data to understand their origin and making sense of the numbers are emphasized.
This understanding on data will then be used to make informed decisions.
Increased availability of data, the “big data”, can work as raw material for business intelligence.
What are the challenges?
It is important to understand that more data does not necessarily mean better performance.
It is essential that the employees are able to incorporate the data into complex decision-making.
Without ensuring this, investments in analytics can be useless and even harmful.
A lot of data come from so many sources leading to ambiguity, inconsistency and contradictions.
So the basic principles that make for good strategy or decision often get obscured.
Mechanically developing strategies “free of human judgment” would thus be a mistake.
As, decision making and strategy building involves a larger cognitive and sometimes social processes.
What is the way forward?
Numbers cannot deal with every nuance of a decision.
Generating insight is an inherently human trait and strategy is a way of thinking.
However, it is not that data are not useful, as it all depends on how the data are used.
So processes and human capabilities should keep pace with the computing fire-power and information they import.
To overcome the insight deficit, Big Data needs to be complemented by big judgment.