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Enabling Equal Opportunities for an Inclusive India

On 18th April 2006, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh exhorted industry I urge industry to
seriously consider enhancing educational, employability, employment and entrepreneurship
opportunities for weaker sections, investing in their skills development and promoting their
employment in an affirmative manner. I urge you to assess at a firm level, the diversity in
your employee profile. Such affirmative action on your part can be crucial component of
inclusive society we hope to build
Affirmative Action in India is a voluntary commitment by Indian companies to help
government and civil society in the national endeavour to ensure equal opportunity to
member of the SC & ST communities. As per figure, 25% of our population is SC & ST
communities and government has set a mandate to skill 500 million people by 2022 of which
250 million belong to SC & ST.
In the last 7 years inclusiveness and social equity was least (last) component of growth
strategies. Indian industry was not at all conscious of its commitment towards affirmative
action to create an environment where sections can productively participate in the economic
main stream. A study by Indian Council of Social science research (ICSSR) in 2012 was
indicated that less than 1% of member companies of FICCI,CII and ASSOCHEM have
implemented or taken concrete steps towards education, employability, entrepreneurship
and employment for Scheduled caste &scheduled tribes .From floor level to the Board level
hardly any executives were skilled for jobs with corporate India
Indian industry core goal will always be to maximize profits, gather as much subsidy from
government, propagate myth of meritocracy of IITs,IIMs and few institute of repute there by
finding reasons of not investing in talent development and creating exclusive Corporate
Brahmin Club. Post apartheid, South African government led by visionary leader Mr Nelson
Mandela passed three important laws-Skills Development Act 1997,Affirmative Action &
Employability Equity Act of South Africa 1998. They rigoursly monitored the implementation
of these acts. Ten years after implementation of these laws today there is substantial shift of
power (economic, financial, administration, entrepreneurial) from white minority to blacks
and Indians in South Africa.
Government of India has given enough time and opportunities to corporate India for
implementation of inclusive growth through Affirmative Actions. Corporate India deliberately
let down SC&ST communities. Corporate India will oppose it but it is high time that
Government of India pass laws in state assemblies and parliament on 25% reservations for

jobs for SC & ST in companies and mandating a law to invest 2% of their profits on skills
development for employment or entrepreneurship development of SC & ST.

Sustainable Solutions for Enabling Equal opportunities


India has taken few positive steps towards inclusive growth, yet we have not seen any impact
on livelihood of SC & ST. The Government employees only 4% of the workforce so the impact
of SC & ST reservation is restricted to only 4% the jobs. The need of the hour/crisis is to take
few critical actions fast and align few systems in order to create social inclusion through jobs
at a large scale fast.
The Prime Minister had announced on 15 th Aug2012 formation of National Skills Development
Authority. The authority should be vested with statutory, financial and standards - certification
Creation of Skills Act, Affirmative Action Act, Apprenticeship act should be done by NSDA on
war footing so that Indian parliament can pass these laws to be implemented by NSDA. Skill

funds from all 17 central ministers should be parked with the development authority and they
should allocate sector specific skills development projects with performance outcomes to
accredited NSDC + MoLE (VTPs), MoHRD partners. NSDA must make it mandatory to all
employers to hire only SSC/NCVT certified role holders (2 to 3 years relaxation, can be given in
the beginning) at minimum wages with first preference to SC/ST youth across all jobs be it
organized or unorganized sectors in India.