The Hindu Newspaper Analysis Today – 05 January 2021

Housework and women

  • This article is in the backdrop of the MNM party or Makkal Needhi Maiam led by popular actor Kamal Hassan in their electoral promise has said that they will provide wages or salaries to women who are doing housework.
  • Now housework doesn’t mean the domestic work but the work done our mothers or aunties or neighbors in our homes like cleaning, washing, cooking among others.
  • Let us notes the fact that this has been an existent demand since quite some time predominantly in the continents of Europe and America. Though is it is unique, it is not new and it can well be adopted in India.
  • We need to understand the pros and cons of this move and be aware of its feasibility in this regard.
  • The pros will
    • Women will be empowered
    • They will be financially independent
    • They will be able to make their own choices
    • They will be motivated to do their work well
  • The cons will
    • What about the women who are working already?
    • What about the women who are working from home in sectors like textile, small scale industries and so on?
    • What are the criteria behind the selection of women?
    • How will they be paid?
  • It is seen that 76% women do more work than men and this rises to 80% in the regions like Asia and Pacific.
  • It is a unique proposition and India is at a unique position and we need to analyze the feasibility of this and then take it into consideration.

Urban Employment

  • The economy has now plummeted and this has affected the employment scenario in the country.  
  • Many people have been affected due to the same. When it comes to the rural areas, people in many urban areas have gone back to the rural areas which is their hometown. In the rural areas they have been highly dependent on the MGNERGA Scheme for their employment. It was seen that the number of people depending on this increased by almost 243% and the expenditure on the same also increased by 90% yet it was not able to fulfil demands as it was so high.
  • But in cities the scenario is different as people are mostly dependent on the gig economy and an annual review of the Fair work foundation assessed the same by taking into consideration factors like fair working conditions, fair pay and so on.
  • It was seen that in this review the biggest gig economy or gig work providers like Ola, Uber and Zomato were the lowest scorers.
  • Considering these scenarios the aspect of gig economy needs Govt attention and must be taken into consideration or has to be regulated. The sensitivity of the same has to be considered so has to be the dynamic nature as some people depend on it for part while some do for full time.
  • Govt collaboration is needed in this regard for instance how the PMSvanidhi was collaborated with Swiggy to provide work and support to even the street vendors who sell gol gappa and so on.
  • This not just helped the people to get revenue but also helped in pushing the economy through per capita GDP.
  • Hence those platforms that provide gig jobs have to be taken into consideration and the Govt should step out of the box in this regard with new and better collaborative approach. This will also help the Govt in cost cutting as well.
  • New steps can be taken in this regard, also with new technologies like Industrial revolution 4.0 and such scenarios have to be taken into consideration.
  • This will not help in creating jobs or raising employment but also help in pushing the economy.

  Energy Efficiency

  • This article is in the backdrop of the electricity rules 2020 which speak about uniform distribution standards of power and even compensate for violation.
  • This comes at a very crucial stage when the DISCOMS are suffering from a huge fiscal distress and people are suffering from losses in jobs and even economically.
  • India is moving towards more usage of electricity and by 2030 our usage is going to double so will the usage of appliances and what we will be needing here is energy efficiency.
  • India is slowly moving towards energy efficiency and this can be understood with the fact that we are aiming at reduced usage and labelled appliances. Today in India 75% of the air conditioners and 60% refrigerators are star labelled, also 90% of the bulbs that we use are LEDs.
  • It should be noted that appliances like fans and TVs are very minimally covered in the same and desert coolers are even in the list. Appliances like water pumps and cook stoves can be included in the same.
  • What is the way forward?
    • We need to enhance the affordability and availability of the appliances which are very expensive in nature and not easily available.
    • Ceiling fans are other issue as they are not made as energy efficient and are expensive.
    • Nation wide awareness is needed in this regard about energy efficiency as only 4th of our population is aware. This is much less in the tier 2 and 3 cities. We need to strategize and adopt a decentralized approach in this regard.
    • We need to strengthen the supply chain and monitor them. Also, we need to change the consumption patterns in the country.
    • In this regard we can use smart meters.
    • We can also make use of Govt schemes like the UJALA scheme which has provided for the distribution of LED bulbs and helped us to reduce consumption.
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