(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Entrepreneurship: A Catalyst for Social Change
Entrepreneurship: A Catalyst for Social Change
- Entrepreneurship is identified as a key instrument in the process of industrialisation in particular and economic development in general. It acts as a driving force for new innovations and catalyst for social change through ameliorating the economic lot of vast majority of people living in poverty in rural and backward areas.
- Rural areas provide abundant raw material from agricultural, horticultural and animal produce to start new enterprises in the field of food processing, dairy farming, sericulture, bee-keeping, mushroom cultivation, fisheries and other allied activities.
Economic Inequalities in India
- The rapid growth in real per capita income has not percolated evenly to different sections of the society living in different regions of the country. The sector wise trends in the growth of Real Gross Value Added (RGVA) at factor cost reveal that during the last seven decades, primary sector witnessed a meager growth rate (3.99 %) as compared to secondary (6.51%) and tertiary
- (6.36%) sectors.
- The unequal growth of agriculture and industrial sector, has led to wide inter-sectoral, inter-regional and inter-personal variations in the distribution of income, wealth, employment, consumption and quality of life, leading to rural-urban drift. In fact, the economic rift between the haves and have-nots has widened rapidly during the last three decades particularly after the adoption of the LPG policy.
Consequences of Economic Inequality
- Economic inequalities compromise the pace of poverty eradication and create inequalities among different social groups particularly the marginalised sections of society like SC/ST/OBC, minorities, women and children in terms of limited and unequal access to resources, education, skill, training, healthcare and employment.
- The marginalised groups of society have less economic, social and political opportunities as compared to others. The economic inequalities lead to concentrations of power (economic, political and social) only in a few hands, resulting in significant adverse impact on the society in the form of class conflict, drug abuse, ill mental health and rising crimes.
- For better social cohesion in the country, it is essential to create equal opportunities for all and fairly distribute the fruits of growth across society (particularly the most vulnerable sections) through inclusive growth.
Role of Entrepreneurship
- The rural enterprises not only provide job opportunities to the unemployed and underemployed youth, but also help in making the full utilisation of agricultural produce and thus pave the way to achieve the objective of balanced regional development.
- In fact, all the states of the country due to their varied agro-climatic conditions have some location specific strengths which provide ample opportunities to the budding entrepreneurs to start agribusiness and agripreneurship in varied fields.
Role of Youth
- The young generation of the country, particularly the rural youth can play an important role in bridging the rural-urban economic divide through the establishment of rural enterprises.
- While most of the developed countries of the world face the risk of an ageing workforce, nearly 62 percent of total population of India is in working age group (15-59 years) and more than 54 percent of the total population is below 25 years of age. This demographic advantage is predicted to last until 2040.
- On the basis of its demographic dividend, India has the potential to achieve a much faster pace of economic growth leaving USA and China behind.
Role of Infrastructure:
- Infrastructure in the form of transport, power and communication is the basic requirement for the growth of entrepreneurial activities in a particular area. In order to improve rural infrastructure by connecting rural habitations with main roads, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched by Government of India on December 25th, 2000.
- The primary objective of the scheme is to promote economic and entrepreneurial activities in rural India by providing all weather road connectivity to the eligible unconnected habitations in rural areas.
Initiatives to Promote Entrepreneurship:
- Government of India (GOI) has taken various steps and launched various schemes to promote innovative entrepreneurial activities for achieving the motive of inclusive and sustainable income and employment generation in the country.
- The quality of human resources in the form of skill and knowledge is crucial for economic growth and social development for a country. India currently faces a severe shortage of well trained and skilled workers as well as entrepreneurs.
Way forward and Conclusion:
- To conclude, growth with justice and inclusiveness has always been the cornerstone of the development agenda in India. Over the last few years, efforts in this direction have been accelerated by the Government through the mantra ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’, further extended to ensure ‘Sabka Vishwas’. As India is a developing economy with economic inequalities and resource constraints, it is essential to promote entrepreneurial activities through various incentives in rural areas. To attract unemployed educated youth into agribusiness and agri-preneurship, impetus on creating scientific temper and fostering innovative spirit among the rural youth is the need of the hour.
- Public expenditure on social infrastructure is also needed to be prioritised to promote sustainable and inclusive growth. Focus on public investment in human capital is required to be enhanced to bring social changes in the desired direction. In order to reap the advantages of demographic dividend, it is imperative to improve educational standards, skilling the youth, empowering women, providing affordable healthcare to all and enhance job opportunities in a big way.
- Above all, uplifting of socially and economically backward sections of the society is of paramount importance for bridging the gulf between the so called more privileged and less privileged groups. It is earnestly hoped that a series of schemes in place for income and employment generation by promoting entrepreneurship will pave the way for attaining the goal of sustainable growth with social justice in the country.