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Artificial Intelligence has permeated all walks of life and is finding increasing use in many fields from healthcare, to education to entertainment to even defence. In business the application of AI is inescapable. It is beginning to transform the way organizations operate. The impact is significant and will induce long term structural changes in the workplace, to put it mildly AI has transformational power.

Most AIs are designed to be very good at solving a specific problem under a well-defined set of parameters. It is often trained to mimic human behaviour. It can learn the mechanics of specific actions and…

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Myths of Online Education

Due to the pandemic, there has been a heightened interest in online learning and teaching classes. The race towards adoption of digital learning has brought to the surface certain issues and challenges which directly impact a wider adoption. The key issues coming up are around access and more specifically point to the lack of adequate digital infrastructure, readiness of teachers in terms of training on the online medium and familiarity with the digital platforms per se. …

Immersive learning is the process of learning with the usage of a simulated or artificial environment. The environment enables the learners to completely get immersed in the learning and in a way that feels like experiencing an actual learning environment.

Components of Immersive Learning?

Immersive learning utilizes augmented, simulated, or purely artificial environments for learners to experience scenarios and simulations. There are many popular technologies for immersive learning experiences such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 360º video, to name a few.

Benefits and uses of Immersive Learning?

Immersive learning, like mixed reality and augmented reality, not only…

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Covid-19 has undoubtedly had a major impact on all spheres of human life. The most visible change and perhaps most impactful has been the disruption in education and online learning. The impact has been across 190 countries as per a UNESCO report, in India 320 Mn learners have been impacted.

While government bodies, institutions, schools and colleges have responded to the situation with quick deployment of web portals, apps, online text and so on, but it did bring to the surface issues surrounding the Digital infrastructure. …

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Three Labour codes of monumental importance have been recently passed by the parliament:

a) Industrial Relations Code 2020

b) Code on Social Security Bill 2020

b) Occupational Safety, Health and Working conditions code Bill 2020 (OSH)

India has a complex regime of labour laws and it has never been an easy task to come out with something which satisfies all, to that extent the proposed labour reform has put up a robust framework with a fine balancing act of providing a greater flexibility to the industry and at the same time widening the security net. Several committees for nearly 16–17…

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Before we get into the bill proper and the merits and demerits if any, a quick context and background will give a perspective on the imperatives and requirement thereof.

India has 42.38% of workforce employed in the Agriculture sector and the sector contributes 14–15% to the GDP. Now by any standards this is not a very good productivity to talk about, surely something is wrong as I noticed a young journo blurting out on one of the social media platforms. …

photo — Shubham Verma @unsplash

Few issues are as polarizing as Labour law reforms in India. Passions run high with people on either side of the spectrum evenly split on the impact of labour law changes. Several states have recently announced changes to their labour laws. Proponents were quick to hail this as a progressive move and that it would lead to economic growth while the critics slammed it as being exploitative.

Numerous researches carried out on the MSME sector coupled with the reams of data available in the public domain clearly suggest that labour law is not really the biggest constraint holding back growth and investments. According to a World Bank survey ( covering 9281 firms across India across all sectors a minuscule 5% of thereabouts of the firms identified labour law as the primary obstacle to their operations. Factors such as access to capital, corruption and tax rates were cited as bigger problems. Back home Industry surveys carried out under the aegis of Niti Aayog and other financial bodies also corroborate the fact that labour laws do not seem to be the biggest issue restricting growth and investments. In the Enterprise surveys conducted across states labour law does not come up as even one of the top issues. Most states cite access to capital, availability of electricity, skilled manpower and tax rates as the key issues.

As per a Global competitiveness survey from World Bank, the key issue cited by MNCs wanting to invest in developing countries are domestic market size, 72% of the MNCs cite availability of skilled workforce and a prevalence of a robust legal and regulatory framework which is wider than just the labour laws.

This seems to be understandable considering that access to raw materials and inputs, skilled workforce is more crucial rather than just flexible labour laws which can at best help get you the access to markets and haulage points.

The sector focus clearly needs to be on creating growth and not just jobs. Most of the policy outreach in the planning era has been towards creating jobs considering the on-ground realities, thereby missing the larger issue of productivity and growth. There needs to be a concerted effort and policy push in tandem with initiatives like ‘MakeinIndia’ to adopt new age technology and productivity tools. This will significantly enhance growth and productivity as this would ensure larger number of jobs maybe most of it in the newer and emerging areas, this takes care of the quantitative as well as the qualitative aspects, as we remain contemporary and competitive.

Productivity and optimal utilization of resources are key success factors and cannot be over-emphasized. Consider this, we have almost 50% of the population engaged in Agriculture which contributes around 15–17% to the GDP, in the MSME sector just about 20,000 firms out of a staggering 6crs+ have a paid up capital which is greater than INR 10crs and speaking of productivity our bottom quartile of engineers end up earning as much as the top quartile from the ITIs ! Clearly a severe mismatch and sub optimal utilization of the resources, we ought to do better than this.

A large push on formalization of the workforce and a huge amount of premium on innovation and productivity in the planning process is a must. These are more urgently required rather than picking up regulation in isolation…

Intersection of Technology and Education

Covid -19 has brought about the most visible impact on education as compared to other aspects of life. The shift to online mode has happened almost overnight. Lectures and classes shifted to online platforms unmindful of challenges posed to students and teachers. Examinations were postponed. Education apps which were at the fringe prospered with their adoption and usage amplifying online education. The apps now became mainstay. Many universities, colleges and schools are planning to continue with a blend of online and human assisted learning. So, will remote learning become the norm? What are the challenges and the upsides?

My view…

A write up on the impact of the New Education Policy in India (NEP2020)

NEP202: Step in the right direction

Transforming and creating a dynamic education system is fundamental for the progress of any country. There have been rapid advances in Technology and science, and these advances have far- reaching and critical implications on almost all aspects of our lives. It is imperative that these changes reflect in our classrooms as well.

After more than three decades, to be precise after 34 years, India has a New Education Policy and it seems quite radical and encompasses all sections of the education system. There is a new school structure, vocational education from the age of…

The cataclysmic changes caused by the pandemic across the globe has triggered job losses at an unprecedented scale. Over 122 million people in India lost their jobs in April, according to estimates from CMIE. Sectors like Media and Entertainment, Hospitality and Tourism and non-essential goods have been hit rather hard with consumption levels going down sharply as per a report by Global Consultants. The massive disruption has brought about a structural change in the work place. Consequentially, some jobs may cease to exist. The nature of jobs was already undergoing a transformation with the rising wave of digitization and automation…

Sanjiva Jha

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