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India: Unemployment Rate is at 45-Year High

It is now official that the country has indeed been witnessing jobless growth

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India, Unemployment, 45 Year, High
The official data showed 7.8 per cent of all employable urban youth as being jobless. PIxabay

It is now official that the country has indeed been witnessing jobless growth.

Months after rejecting the claim by a leaked report that India’s unemployment rate had touched a 45-year high, the government admitted the same on Friday with the latest data showing that joblessness had indeed touched 6.1 per cent in the 12-month period from July 2017 to June 2018.

The government had earlier brushed aside a leaked official report on the country’s poor job scenario and maintained that the unemployment data was yet to be finalised.

The Centre had come under fire for witholding the key macro data, with the opposition parties alleging that it was a deliberate attempt to hide its non-performance.

India, Unemployment, 45 Year, High
Some members of the Statistical Commission had earlier resigned to protest against the government decision to withold the data.. Pixabay

Moreover, some members of the Statistical Commission had earlier resigned to protest against the government decision to withold the data.

The official release has come a day after Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister for the second time on Thursday in the backdrop of high public expectations on jobs and economic growth.

The official data showed 7.8 per cent of all employable urban youth as being jobless during the survey period, while the percentage for the rural areas stood 5.3 per cent.

The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the total the labour force. Nearly 10 million youth join the country’s workforce every year.

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The data poses a huge challenge to the Modi government which has returned to power for the second term on the promise that it will set policies right and ensure faster economic growth and employment.

The gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate has plunged to its lowest in the last five years to touch 5.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018-19.

The manufacturing sector, which provides employment to a large number of workforce joining the country, has also been largely sluggish. (IANS)

 

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)