India has been struggling with a severe job crisis for many years.
Some recent economic and political developments in the country has further negatively affected an already sluggish growth in job creation. While the blame game can go on between different governments, the fact of the matter is that India is facing a major challenge when it comes to employment generation. The problem at hand has more to it than it meets the eye. For well over a decade there has been many debates related to the educational system in India and a need for a reform. However, despite these regular debates what ensued was minor or no change at all. The lack of reforms and a strict adherence to the orthodox educational structure seem to be finally affecting the youth of the nation, and more crucially it threatens the steady development of the country. In an era where most of the developed and the fast-developing countries are utilizing the latest technologies to arm their working population with skills related to Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, robotics and new business structures, India’s system in comparison appears to be passé.
Need for Educational Reform
For India to compete at the global level, there is a need to bring about a radical change to prepare the present and the future working population for the impending impacts of the fourth revolution. There is tremendous scope for India in the next decade or so. As per the Voice of Asia report, India’s working age population is set to increase by 115 million by 2025. This can either prove to be a massive asset or an enormous liability. If proper training is provided and talent is harnessed with the latest technologies, then it will be a major step towards solving many critical issues plaguing the nation. Innovations like eLearning has a far wider reach than the traditional models. It can play a key role in identifying talent and grooming them to help India take full advantage of its working population. The modern technological knowledge and training will not only help more number of people get better jobs, but it will also lead to a smarter society. Hence, India should prioritize innovations in the educational system to solve the problem of job scarcity.
Status of eLearning in India
eLearning in India at this moment is at a nascent stage. The launch of projects like Digital India, SWAYAM platform and the attempt of the government to build a culture for internet-based services provides some encouragement for the future. Moreover, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has also earmarked e-Learning supported and facilitated by Information Communications Technologies (ICT) as a major thrust area in the education segment. However, under present circumstances it requires a stronger impetus.
In most of the cases, India has facilitated PC labs and classroom E-Learning. However, it has been noticed that the strongest impact is made with the help of one to one (1:1) eLearning processes. The idea of eLearning in India has largely been made popular through the various websites providing e-classes to aspiring candidates for competitive exams like IAS, CAT, Bank PO and CGL etc. These websites have adopted the ideal process of providing one to one eLearning, and over the course of time have produced spectacular results. It is a testament to the success of one to one e-learning that the majority of the successful candidates clearing UPSC exams in the recent years have taken the help of these eLearning portals. As a result, there has been significant rise in the demand for eLearning portals which explains the sudden increase in the number of sites providing these services in India over the last half a decade or so.
The success of these websites is an excellent news for the champions of eLearning in India as it has exhibited that even in our diverse culture and society it has the potential to make a deep impact. They have in a way provided a blueprint and a perfect advertisement for eLearning in this country. These eLearning websites in India has not only helped thousands of unemployed people get highly respectable jobs in the government sector as well as the private sector, but it has also helped create jobs on its own.
How eLearning can Help Create More Jobs
The effects of eLearning portals are two-fold when it comes to job creation. This will also be the case, in a much larger scale, if India decides to up the ante with its investments and actions in eLearning. The immediate benefit of implementing eLearning more aggressively would mean that there would be a demand for a skill which is not yet fully developed in India. More number of people will be hired for teaching on these forums. Apart from the teachers it will also provide job opportunities for those who have expertise in management and maintenance of organizations related to eLearning.
Although, the immediate benefits may look like an exciting prospect, what should truly excite the government when it comes to eLearning are its potential benefits in the near future. At present there is a trend in the job market where there are thousands of highly educated people who are without a job. Up until recently, even though the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was growing at a staggering rate yet there existed a massive number of young educated unemployed people. This points to the fact that our education system is not producing enough skilled workforce who are ready to be hired by the top companies. As a result, even though huge investments were made by foreign Multinational Companies (MNCs), there was no major effect felt in employment generation. eLearning can help bridge the gap between the demands of the market and the skills of India’s workforce by imparting knowledge about the latest scientific technologies and other developments. This is essential because if relevant training and knowledge is not given to the present generation then once the fourth revolution comes in to play, the Indian working population may find itself in a deeper hole. According to a report available through Docebo, the size of the eLearning market is expected to grow globally from USD 165 in 2016 to USD 240 Billion in 2023. India must find a way to capitalize on this as this could help India tackle the problem of unemployment.
Potential to Improve Other Sectors
The Government of India has laid the groundwork with initiatives such as the National Academic Depository and National Digital Library to encourage and promote eLearning in a big way. It needs to continue in its endeavor to achieve a reform in the education and employment sector to mitigate the problems of insufficient job creation. However, eLearning is not just beneficial for employment generation. It has several other advantages which can propel upliftment of the society. With the Digital India initiative making internet available in remote areas. eLearning can give the people of all regions access to high-level of education which would not have been possible otherwise. The best teachers in the country can come together and plan a model. They would have a greater reach with eLearning which will help transform the education scenario from the grassroots level. Once a proper infrastructure is developed, it can spark a chain reaction, leading to increased labor productivity and enhanced economic attainment. Gradually, it can impact other sectors like the agriculture, water management etc. as latest technologies can be introduced and taught under schemes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana with the help of eLearning platforms. Hence, for economic and social development eLearning is a major tool with immense potential, and the government should invest in it accordingly. Most importantly, it seems like the best option to solve the issue of scarcity of jobs as it can provide employment opportunities to millions in India.