People who are part of the workforce are called human resource. By contributing in productivity, the human resource plays a significant role in the economy of a country. Any other resource becomes useful only because of the input by the human resource.
Investment in human capital yields a return like investment in other resources. Investment in human capital is done through education, training and healthcare. A person with better education usually earns better than an uneducated person. Moreover, a healthy person is more productive than an unhealthy person.
Educated parents understand the value of education and hence invest in their child’s education to secure a better future for the child. Educated parents also take extra care of the health and nutrition of their child. This creates a virtuous cycle of creating a better human capital.
Uneducated parents are unable to invest on education and healthcare of their children. This creates a vicious cycle in which the coming generation is often forced to remain poor.
Economic activities can be categorized into three types, viz. primary, secondary and tertiary activities.
Primary Activities: Economic activities which are related to agriculture, poultry farming, fishing, horticulture, animal husbandry, mining, quarrying, etc. are called primary activities. Natural resources are just extracted (with little or no modification) in primary activities.
Secondary Activities: Manufacturing is called secondary activity. Natural resources are properly modified in secondary activity.
Tertiary Activity: Economic activities which support the primary and secondary activities are called tertiary activities. Banking, transport, finance and different types of services come under tertiary activities.
On the basis of production goal, economic activities are also divided into two types, viz. market activities and non-market activities.
Market Activities: When some product or service is produced to be sold in the market, it is called market activity.
Non-market Activities: When some product or service is produced for self consumption, it is called non-market activity. If a farmer produces just enough to meet his family needs, then his activity is a non-market activity. Similarly, the work of a housewife is a non-market activity; because she is working for the benefit of her family members.
QUALITY OF POPULATION
Literacy rate, health and skills determine the quality of a population. Illiterate and unhealthy population can be a liability for the economy. Literate and healthy population can be made into an asset for the economy. Literate and healthy population contributes towards GDP of a country.
Education enhances the literacy level and skill level of a person. It also helps in enriching the culture of the society. Presence of educated persons in the society indirectly benefits the illiterate persons as well.
Government has taken various steps to spread education among the people. Government strives to provide universal access to education. It also makes various plans to increase the retention of students. Special emphasis is given on girl’s education.
The plan outlay on education in the first plan was Rs. 151 crore. It has increased to Rs. 43,825 crore in the tenth plan. The expenditure on education was 0.64% of the GDP in 1950-51 and has increased to 3.98% of the GDP in 2002-03.
Due to constant efforts, the literacy rate has grown from 18% in 1951 to more than 70% in 2011. Literacy rate is higher among males compared to among females. Kerala is a state with more than 90% literacy, while some states have a very low literacy level.
Government has recently launched Sarva Siksha Abhiyan to spread education to remotest parts of the country. Under this programme, all children under 6 to 14 years of age are given elementary education.
Government also provides Mid-Day Meal in government schools so that children of poor people can attend the school. Mid-day Meal has helped many children from the poor family to attend school.
The Tenth Plan has focused on increasing the enrolment in higher education from 6% to 9%. The strategy is to increase access, quality and adoption of state-specific curriculum to motivate enrolment in higher education. Vocational courses are also offered and use of Information Technology is being maximized to attain the goal. The Tenth Plan also focuses on distant education, convergence of formal, non-formal and IT education.
A healthy person can fully realize his potential and can be an asset for the economy. An unhealthy person shall not be able to realize his potential and can be a liability for the economy. The national health policy of India is aimed towards improving access to health services and improving nutrition; especially among the underprivileged classes.
The government health system is composed of many tiers of hospitals. The Primary Health Centres are the bottom of this tier, and provide general medical care to rural people. This is followed by Community Health Centres in bigger Tehsils or Block level towns. The District Hospitals are at district level. Further, medical colleges are present in major cities where doctors of all specialties are present.
The reach of healthcare services is still too little but reduction in infant mortality and improvement in life expectancy over the years have shown that the healthcare system has indeed helped in improving the quality of human resources.
When a person is actively seeking a job but is unable to get employed, he is called an unemployed person. People in the working age (15 to 59 years) only can be termed unemployed if any one of them is without a gainful employment. Additionally, if a person voluntarily does not want to work he cannot be termed as unemployed.
This type of unemployment is more prevalent in rural areas. The farming cycle is season based. There are certain months which are quite busy for a farm worker. There are many other months when a farm worker is without a work.
This type of unemployment is also more prevalent in rural areas. To understand this, let us take the example of a family with 8 working members. All of them are working on their farm. The size of the farm makes it possible to be efficiently managed by 5 persons only. The extra three persons are not contributing towards any growth in productivity. They are working because they have no other gainful employment. Their potential could have given better results if utilised elsewhere. Similar situation can also be seen in some family owned shops where all the family members may be working in the same shop but not adding substantially to the output.
The problem of unemployment among the educated youth is very high in urban areas. Now-a-days, even highly educated youths; like graduates and postgraduates; are unable to find a job. Some analysts suggest that most of the highly educated youth do not possess employability. But most of the analysts say that it is because of demand supply gap.
While many technically qualified people are unemployed, there are many jobs remaining vacant because of lack properly trained person.
Effects of Unemployment:
1.Unemployment can be emotionally draining on the unemployed person.
2.It can be a financial and emotional drain on his family members.
3.A large number of unemployed people is ultimately a liability for the society.
4.High rate of unemployment can also increase the crime rate.
Employment Scenario in Different Sectors in India
Agriculture is still the largest employer. However, the percentage of people working in agriculture has declined in recent years. Due to the fact the agriculture is the largest employer, the problem of seasonal and hidden unemployment is quite high in India.
The secondary and tertiary sectors have failed to generate employment in enough numbers which could absorb the surplus labour force. In the secondary sector, small scale sector is more labour intensive and hence provides employment to a large number of people. In recent years, the IT sector has produced more opportunities for the technically qualified people.