FICCI cautions on job reservations; adopts code for inclusion

FICCI cautions on job reservations; adopts code for inclusion New Delhi: Cautioning the government against job reservations in the private sector, industry body FICCI Thursday said that India Inc on its own is taking affirmative action to improve skills and education levels of the deprived sections of the society.

"Reservation in private sector has been an issue before the government. National (industry) chambers feel that the move would amount to compromising merit and competitiveness of Indian industry," FICCI said.

"Rather, it has suggested that the industry would resort to affirmative action through promoting education, skill building and entrepreneurship among the backward caste youth, enhancing their employability and inclusive growth," it added.

India has seen a spectacular growth during last few decades which reflects in terms of improved human development indicators such as health, education and employment, FICCI President Naina Lal Kidwai said.

However, she said the fruits of this growth have not evenly reached all sections of the society due to a number of socio-economic barriers, creating islands of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. This situation has put a question mark on the sustainability of India's growth pattern.

To address the issue of socio-economic exclusion, FICCI has adopted a Code of Conduct on Affirmative Action to promote inclusive growth, create opportunities and empowerment of backward sections of the society, Kidwai said.

The members of FICCI National Executive Committee today resolved to accept the code of conduct which includes providing and promoting equal opportunity to all its employees and any form of bias, or discrimination based on caste, religion or gender is not practised, the release said.

Besides, it said, companies will ensure that among the equally qualified individuals, preference is given to those from the disadvantaged groups.

Their annual reports will also publish all efforts taken towards establishing and implementing non-discriminatory practices and not discriminating against employees coming from underprivileged castes or groups in terms of recruitment, training and promotion.

FICCI has urged its member chambers, associations and affiliated companies to promote and adopt this code of conduct in their enterprise level policies, as part of their 'corporate social responsibility'.

Kidwai said the national agenda of skilling 500 million people by 2022 is foremost in the chamber's action plan.

"The focus will now be on implementation and integration of the vocational and education systems and creating a conducive environment for the youth to participate in the skills development movement," she said.

In order to ensure that the growth story is inclusive, FICCI plans to certify 15 million people over the next 10 years, Kidwai said.

FICCI would focus on promoting apprenticeship, engaging with media to enhance dignity of labour and skills.

She also said the chamber has stepped forward to aggregate the wealth of knowledge available with various countries on mainstreaming of skills and vocational training.

On the issue of faster implementation of projects, she said that "a total of USD 24 billion of manufacturing projects have been reported to us that are delayed because of various clearances as of April".

PTI