How Job Aligned Courses can lead to Financial Empowerment

It is a known fact that the genesis of poverty is due to a person’s inaccessibility to financial resources. And financial resources can only be made available if the person seeking them is engaged in some form of economic activity, namely, business (self-employed) or employed in the public or private sector. In a country where demand far outweighs supply, job aspirants need to prepare themselves through skill development training to grab the limited job opportunities. Since most graduates/post-graduates coming out of institutions of higher learning do not have the requisite skills to match the skills needed to land a job, it is time to upgrade themselves in the use of technologies and tools that are prevalent in the industry. Before getting into the details of how job-aligned courses can help people gain employment, let us find out the number of people unemployed in India, both in the rural and urban sectors. As per reports from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in India as of 08 May 2021 was 7.95% with 10.49% in the urban and 6.76% in the rural sectors respectively. Sectors where jobs are available: Thanks to digitization and automation the job scenario has changed. The traditional assembly line jobs of yesteryears have given way to digital jobs related to fields such as web designing, digital marketing, hardware and networking, and content marketing, among others. And when it comes to specialization then people with skills in technologies such as AI and ML, blockchain, big data, and data science, among others, are in great demand. The sectors offering the most number of jobs include the services sector comprising education, health, banking and finance, insurance, hospitality, office automation, and others. With the raging pandemic when some sectors have adopted the Work from Home model, those adept in using digital technologies can fit into the new ecosystem. How job-aligned courses can help: Candidates looking to fit into the new job scenario driven by digital technology should pursue job-aligned courses from institutions with credibility. For example, among many institutes, the notable non-profit organization Anudip has been offering such courses to candidates from socially marginalized sections for a long time. To date, the institute has been able to provide aspirational livelihood to more than 85,000 people thanks to its association with many corporates from various sectors. These include Tata Consultancy Services, Hinduja Global Solutions, IIFL, iMerit Technologies, intelenet, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Pantaloons, Big Basket, Westside, Concentrix, and many others. Candidates can learn courses such as web and graphics designing, Accountancy with Tally, digital marketing, hardware and networking, ethical hacking, and others. Since these are the mainstream technologies in use in most companies, candidates with relevant skills can leverage the available opportunities. Financial empowerment for aspirants: When candidates from the socially marginalized background are employed in companies after upskilling themselves their financial status improves drastically. Moreover, when a person gets the right employment opportunity his or her family members too benefit and the family gets financially empowered. Also, for hardworking and enterprising candidates, the jobs can give them growth, which can further enhance their financial position and lead them out of penury and hopelessness. Conclusion
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Skills for the Future: Need to prepare 21st-century

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us and automation seems to be transforming the way we work. There has been a blurring of lines between the physical and digital spheres with technologies enabling enterprises in becoming productive, efficient, competitive, responsive, and cost-effective. In short, the professional world is changing at a rapid pace and is creating demand for a skilled workforce to meet the evolving challenges of the future. The world around us is progressively seeing the incorporation of AI and ML, robots, chatbots, IoT, and other automated technologies. This gives rise to questions such as are we ready for this change and are we preparing the next-gen workforce with the necessary skills, mindset, and education to embrace the tech-driven world of the future? Let us understand if the knowledge and education pursued as of today will be of relevance in the future as well? Type of skills for the future As opposed to common perception, automation or the use of technology does not necessarily throw people out of jobs but rather requires more people with the right technological acumen. To keep up with such a world people should have attributes like critical thinking, creativity, active listening, and others. According to the World Economic Forum, the fourth industrial revolution will need skills that prioritize problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking, negotiation, and decision making. The fact that automation can do most of the jobs faster and better than humans means the 21st-century workforce should be reoriented towards creativity and emotional skills – skills that are lacked by machines. The in-demand jobs of the future would be for people possessing skills that computers cannot replicate. The skills to equip the workforce and prepare it for the twenty-first century are: Critical Thinking: It is the ability to analyze a situation objectively and find an unbiased and logically sound solution. In the era of fake news and social media manipulation, critical thinking can help the workforce to maintain a healthy skepticism of what it sees, reads, and listens to. Also, critical thinking is about asking the right questions before arriving at a solution based on intuition, creativity, knowledge of human behavior, and experience. This is important as computers driven by advancements in AI, ML, big data, and analytics need to be asked the right questions. Adaptability or Flexibility: The fast-changing world of technology means market dynamics are throwing up new challenges in terms of mergers, acquisitions, and others. And the workforce should be willing to adapt to the new technologies or evolving work environments by upskilling or retraining. The workforce should be committed to lifelong learning and not be complacent about skills acquired at the college or university. Leadership Skills: This is not about holding a leadership position and shouting instructions to one and all but of taking ownership of the job at hand. Even a new joinee can exhibit leadership skills by taking ownership of the job assigned to him or her. Efforts should be made for leading by example and delegating responsibilities optimally rather than managing a team authoritatively. Leadership also demands a person to have great interpersonal skills who can handle transitions, training, and migrations effectively.
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Women Trafficking - The Reality India Lives With

India lives with the dubious distinction of having one of the largest numbers of women trafficked. Directly correlated to the levels of poverty existing in the country, women are trafficked into prostitution or bonded labour through abduction or false promises of jobs. This social evil violates the basic human rights of women and exploits them. The crime has wider dimensions with criminal syndicates and corrupt politicians and law enforcers being complicit. In this cycle of exploitation, girls and women are trafficked to various parts of the country and even abroad. If statistics are to be believed then around 2 million women and children are trafficked into the red-light areas dotting every major city in the country. Traffickers recruit women and children using coercion, lies, manipulation, and threats. Of all states, the highest number of cases have been reported from West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. In West Bengal, Murshidabad district is counted as the nerve centre of trafficking and bonded labour. This is due to the district’s proximity with Bangladesh wherein it acts as a transit point for girls and women. Also, since West Bengal shares around 2,217 kilometers of its porous border with Bangladesh, it has become a haven for such types of criminal activities. # Factors responsible for women trafficking: Poverty, deprivation, and lack of education and employment are the primary factors that force women and girls into trafficking. For example, Murshidabad district in West Bengal with a population of 7.1 million and an average literacy rate of 67.53% has abysmal levels of poverty. Such social-economic fault lines are exploited by the traffickers who lure vulnerable women and girls with promises of a better life. # Strategy to counter the social evil: Women and girls trafficking can only be countered with strong administrative measures. These include better policing of the vulnerable segments of the population, identifying the offenders (read traffickers) and punishing them through the judicial process, rehabilitating the victims and giving them dignity, educating the vulnerable population and making them employable. If the women and girls are educated and provided with better livelihood, they will not fall prey to the cons and deceit used by traffickers. # How Anudip empowers rescued women: Continuing with the above-mentioned measures, especially related to their education and empowerment, Anudip, the non-profit organization, helps with its BEST programme. It has been noticed that the victims of trafficking are not fully integrated into the society as the latter shuns them due to the stigma associated with trafficking. Anudip ensures the rescued victims are rehabilitated through its BEST (Building Entrepreneurs To Stop Trafficking) initiative. According to this programme, the victims are counselled, mentored, and trained in digital skills at the various skill development centres run by Anudip. The BEST programme provides three-months IT training to the girls/women and readies them up for jobs. The trained students, on their part, get a secure and dignified life by becoming a part of the gig economy.