Rapid technology advancements will also help India’s less-educated workers leapfrog to productive work. Technology has been reshaping the labour force since the Industrial Revolution, but a more fundamental disruption is on the cards. In the past, machines took over tasks that were largely manual, forcing workers to adapt and learn new skills to carry out higher-value tasks. But now, the intelligence of computing machines is adequate to perform work that requires specialised knowledge or cognitive and judgement-based abilities . Will India’s large, young population – its demographic dividend – turn into a demographic disaster as millions of workers are displaced by technology?
Research has shown the Impact of 12 technologies (including the mobile internet, cloud computing, the automation of knowledge work, digital payments, verifiable digital identity and the Internet of Things) and concludes that, indeed, the application of these technologies will force millions of workers to acquire new skills, as the jobs they perform are rendered obsolete . Yet, rapid advancements in the same technologies will create new opportunities for millions of workers, including many less-skilled ones, and help them raise their incomes.
Globally, the automation of knowledge work, or machine learning and intelligent applications, can generate a 40 to 50 per cent productivity gain in work that involves processing data and information, interacting with customers or making decisions. In India, we estimate that automation and digitisation across sectors could drive productivity improvements equivalent to the output of some 19 million to 29 million workers in 2025 .These workers cut across functions such as clerical and customer service, business process outsourcing and information technology, as well as those in manufacturing supply chains, the construction sector and workers engaged in retail trade and transportation.
The overall impact on net job creation could, however, be neutral to positive as technology opens new geographical markets and under-served segments of consumers. But the labour market will adjust to fill potential jobs only if workers are equipped to shift to the more value-added work.
Education and skill-building systems need to be up to meeting this challenge. Technology itself can provide solutions. Skill-building courses can be made available— short online modules that workers can take at frequent intervals, focussed on what employers need and are willing to pay for. Adaptive learning systems that customise lessons according to how each student performs, simulated learning that uses technology to impart vocational skills.
Technology-enabled labour marketplaces help better matching of jobs and skills, creating millions of micro-entrepreneurs. As digital technologies achieve mass adoption, India’s legions of small-scale, unorganised and independent service providers can use the internet to reach new customers, establish their reputations, collaborate with others, and get more work.
Project-based or piecemeal work assignments could be funnelled to technology-based aggregators representing large numbers of professionals such as designers, tax specialists or teachers who want part-time or temporary employment. Certified service providers (such as trained and licensed electricians, nurses or taxi drivers) could connect with customers and find decent paying work.
Rapid technology advancements will also help India’s less-educated workers leapfrog to productive work. Advancements in voice, language, and graphical interfaces will make complex knowledge and expertise available to workers on inexpensive hand-held devices that are easy to navigate. Even a semi-skilled person could become a knowledge-enabled worker in fields such as health care, financial services and logistics, or functions such as marketing and inventory planning, with just a few weeks of basic training in using these tools. Such workers can be deployed in local communities to deliver essential services. Several factors must fall in place to improve the odds so that technology becomes a positive force for the labour market on a large scale.
Partnerships need to flourish, for instance, between technology companies, domain experts who can impart skills (such as agricultural universities or colleges of alternative medicine) and organisations with grass-roots experience. Standards and certification systems must evolve to help build mutual trust between customers and service providers in order to clear the market And in addition to high-speed internet access, the widespread use of digital payments and verifiable digital identity will be essential to ensure that workers end up as winners in the race against technology.
While Jammu & Kashmir State need to plan in advance for this change and Take Lead . Today key task for the State Government is to get youth Skilled & drive Self entrepreneurship culture in the Youth. State can solve the big unemployment problem & make youth employable if Implemented rightly with Time bound actionable Tasks. The Skilled youth can act as one of the vital factors to transform the State to Peace & Prosperity.