In recent times, the Centre and the state governments have taken significant measures to help MSMEs to grow and tap newer markets. With the Ubharte Sitaare programme, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has been providing impetus to exporters in the state to upscale their businesses and enhance exports from the state. Pravesh Jain, General Secretary, Laghu Udyog Bharati, in his address at the Ubharte Sitaare of Uttar Pradesh Conference 2021, shared his views on ‘Retune Indian Education to Enhance Practical Training’.
Pravesh Jain commenced his address sharing a brief on Laghu Udyog Bharati. He said that Laghu Udyog Bharati was a pan-India-based organisation that represented MSMEs and communicated their challenges to the government to seek aid. Sharing his views on expanding exports in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “To achieve the dream of our Prime Minister to take the Indian economy to the $5 trillion mark, we want to expand our exports in all the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh through the government’s Ubharte Sitaare programme and make them export-oriented districts. I believe, not only Uttar Pradesh but exports from other states should also be given a boost through such schemes. However, to accomplish this target, we should be aware of all the potential threats, weaknesses and challenges.”
Citing challenges, Jain expressed his discontent with the education system in India calling it incompetent when compared with the global education pattern. He said, “We still follow the rudimentary ways of teaching and learning which bring us to the back foot when compared with the institutions globally.” If quality education is provided to a student he or she can take up opportunities to grow professionally in any field of interest, he added.
“We still follow the rudimentary ways of teaching and learning which bring us to the back foot when compared with the institutions globally.”
Another challenge is our burgeoning population and because of the sheer numbers, it becomes really difficult to successfully implement government schemes. He said, “If we talk in numbers, around 7.34 crore people are under 20 years of age and have possibly never attended school. Nearly 50 per cent of the population in the country is possibly unemployed. The highlight is that dreams are good but real-time efforts should be put in to fulfil those dreams.” The Centre and the state governments are trying to do the best they can, the industry is working hard too but there is a wide gap that still remains. Until the gap is bridged most of the government schemes will be useless.
Pointing out India’s rating in terms of the ‘ease of doing business’, Jain said that India is placed somewhere at 70th or 80th position globally.
Adding to the ease of doing business in India, he said, “Under the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ an entrepreneur presents what all he requires to set up a business like a certain amount of capital, infrastructure, machinery and technical know-how. The government tries to fulfil all the requirements as it will contribute to the country. Establishing a business also opens ups job opportunities for many people.”
He emphasised that no one heeds on how the entrepreneur will pay back the loan that has a high-interest rate in most cases. How will he pay dues, rent and salaries of the people employed? How will he continue his business despite challenges? “When we talk about global countries we see loans are being provided at 0.5 per cent rate of interest while in India we see the interest rates are as high as 12 per cent to 15 per cent,” he added.
Under skilled workforce is another big challenge, said Jain. “We wish to provide employment but we don’t find the people with the required skill set. Our education system has always laid emphasis on textbook learning and practical training or internships are sidelined. Therefore, it becomes difficult for the industry to recruit youth as they lack the required practical knowledge and skill set,” he added.
“Our education system has always laid emphasis on textbook learning and practical training or internships are sidelined.”
As a concluding note, Jain said that everything begins at the thought level. Therefore, a productive and learning mindset is the need of the hour. Mindset shapes as per the environment like home, school or workplace. Therefore, the students need to be made industry-ready at the mindset level to ensure they contribute to the growth of the industry they work with or build their businesses leading to the growth of the nation.