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India’s skilled workforce can drive world’s 4th Industrial Revolution, PM Modi tells G20 ministers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses G20 Labour and Employment Ministers' Meet on Friday, July 21, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India has the potential to become one of the largest providers of skilled workforce in the world “in this era of the 4th Industrial Revolution where technology has become and will remain the core driver for employment.”

Addressing the G20 and Labour and Employment Ministers’ meeting in Indore via video conferencing, PM Modi said it is fortunate that this meeting is happening in a country that has had the experience of creating a large number of technology jobs during the last such technology-led transformation.

He pointed out that Indore, which is home to many startups was leading the new wave of such transformations.

“Globally, mobile workforce is going to be a reality in the future. Therefore, it is now time to globalise the development and sharing of skills in the true sense. The G20 must play a leading role in this. I commend your efforts to initiate the international referencing of occupations by skills and qualifications requirements,” PM Modi pointed out.

“We all need to skill our workforce in the use of advanced technologies and processes. Skilling, re-skilling and upskilling are the mantras for the future workforce. In India, our Skill India Mission is a campaign to connect with this reality,” PM Modi explained.

He gave examples of India’s ‘Skill India Mission’ making this a reality, and ‘Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ which has trained more than 12.5 million of India’s youth so far. “Special focus is being laid on Industry ‘Four Point O’ sectors like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, and Drones”, the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister highlighted the skills and dedication of India’s frontline health workers during Covid and said that it reflects India’s culture of service and compassion.

PM Modi in his message expressed confidence that the G20 meeting will send out a strong message for the welfare of all workers worldwide.

The Prime Minister commended the efforts of member nations to initiate the international referencing of occupations by skills and qualifications requirements. He said that it requires new models of international cooperation and coordination, and migration and mobility partnerships. He suggested sharing statistics, information and data regarding employers and workers for a start which will empower countries across the globe to formulate evidence-based policies for better skilling, workforce planning, and gainful employment.

The Prime Minister pointed out that transformative change is the evolution of new categories of workers in the gig and platform economy that has emerged as the pillar of resilience during the pandemic. He added that it offers flexible working arrangements and also complements income sources. He said that it has immense potential of generating gainful employment, especially for the youth while also becoming a transformative tool for socio economic empowerment of women.

PM Modi said that India’s ‘eShram portal’ has logged almost 280 million registrations and is being leveraged for targeted interventions for these workers. He further added that countries should adopt similar solutions as the nature of work has become transnational.

The Prime Minister pointed out that even though providing social protection to people is a key aspect of the 2030 Agenda, the current framework adopted by international organizations only accounts for benefits that are structured in certain narrow ways while several benefits provided in other forms are not covered under this framework.

PM Modi said that that in order to grasp the correct picture of social protection coverage in India, benefits like universal public health, food security, insurance and pension programs must be accounted for. He suggested considering the unique economic capacities, strengths and challenges of every country as the one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable for sustainable financing of social protection.