Harvir Singh, Editor-in Chief, Ruralvoice.in, is a senior journalist with over 30-years’ experience across Agriculture, rural, political, economic, developmental and social issues. He is ex-Editor of Outlook Hindi, a fortnightly news magazine from Outlook Group.
What are the socio-economic educational challenges that Tier 2 Tier 3 cities face today?
Mr. Singh: The biggest challenge faced by the youth population is lack of communication and collaboration. Business and HR teams of corporates and recruiters are not able to reach out to lakhs of aspirants in Tier 2-3-4 cities. It is necessary to bridge this divide and connect with them in order to get talented and skilled youth into the growing industrial sector. As a society, it is our responsibility to connect youth within this geography both economically and socially to ensure that they get equal career opportunities as their counterparts in metros.
India’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 Cities are the Booming centres for Job opportunities. What can be done in these cities to encourage higher rates of employment?
Mr. Singh: There is a need to reach out to the masses by increasing viewership, readership, through multilingual publications and communication channels used by social groups active in these smaller towns and cities. There is a need to adopt a homogeneous approach to bridge the gap between industry leaders and masses. The educational, economic and career building strategies require a change in mindset of government and industry associations that can encourage dissemination of information across all regions. The youth have the potential to build startups and have new business ideas that can turn them into successful entrepreneurs. They need technical advise, investor funds and business strategy planning to achieve success.
How is Ruralvoice.in increasing the human potential to meet market requirements, and also enhancing the quality of the local work? What is the Role of Ruralvoice.in?
Mr. Singh: RuralVoice.in is a unique platform that is dedicated to building a better society focussing on rural development. It is focussed on working as a global community and has an English and Hindi portal for its readers and viewers. The platform is headed by senior journalists with over three decades of experience. Ruralvoice aims to build on intellectual capital to meet the requirement of news and analytical content without compromising on quality, ethics and values. Communication is easy due to technological advancement. It aims to strongly support the rural population and end discrimination towards youth applying for career opportunities from the rural hinterland. This platform aims to make the youth more aware and come to power with contemporary urban population.
We believe that Knowledge is Power. Life can become better if knowledge about employment platforms and infrastructure is made easily accessible to the youth. Ruralvoice.in will complete two years in December 2022 and has tried its best to connect Industry leaders and Government heads with local farmers in the agrarian sector. This effort has successfully helped in improving the livelihood of many rural workers. We aim to conduct a Workshop on “Digitalisation of Agriculture” to make the people aware of technological developments and connect farmers and youth to the latest technologies. We have completed a video series with 24 episodes on agricultural technologies and its use in policy making, decision making and educational awareness.
How many youth wish to remain in the agrarian sector given the limited resources and low incomes of majority of their family members?
Mr. Singh: The interest in agriculture and related fields is declining among the youth population in smaller towns and cities. More than 85% of the Indian farmers are in the category of small and marginal farmers with a landholding of less than one hectare and earn approximately INR 10,000 per month. New policies and schemes have been introduced by the governments but they have not been very successful in uplifting the mass population working in this sector.
Seven percent growth rate has not created many job opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Limited resources and lack of growth has made many farmers feel the need to move out of this stalemate.
Educational infrastructure in these cities is not so good, making low income groups face a tough challenge to compete in the digitised world. In the last two years of Pandemic everything from education to work went online. Now that we see the introduction of 5G, how can we help a low income family based in a small town get access to education when they have not yet got access to 2G?
There is a need to make a level playing field with inclusiveness and equitable access to technology in the Agrarian sector. Technology will give easy access to knowledge and thereby help in improving the quality of education and provide more opportunities to the next generation.
What kind of platforms can be used to make Tier 2-3-4 youth aware of career opportunities and enable them to become a potential work force with required knowledge and skills?
Mr. Singh: In the Digital era, partnerships need to be focussed on sharing content through all tools like internet, audio, video documentaries and rural publications available in all languages. Information on career opportunities can be shared on multiple platforms that are accessible to youth. Ruralvoice.in and e2eHiring can work together to promote the cause of digital upliftment and share job opportunities on their portals that are made easily accessible without any cost. Total of 27.2% of the entire Indian population is aged 15–29 years, which will be the key force in driving India towards the enablement of digital entrepreneurship. Since a student of this age group spends most of his/her time at their institute, college, or university, institutional support is key to enabling their ideas to become full-fledged businesses. Mentorship and guidance play an important role in preparing youth to become future leaders and successful entrepreneurs.
More about the Expert
Harvir Singh has had experience of working across media platforms from print, digital mediums to being a regular commentator on television networks as well as radio. Singh is equipped to easily fit into top editorial leadership role with diverse requirements in Hindi media groups as a prolific writer, commentator and public speaker on issues ranging from politics, economy, development and social happenings from time to time.
Harvir Singh has served top-notch publications like Amar Ujala, Business Bhaskar, Dainik Hindustan, Amar Ujala Karobaar at various positions from special correspondent, bureau chief to moving up the ladder as a senior editor. Prior to joining Rural Voice as Editor in Chief in November, 2020, he was Editor of Outlook Hindi, a fortnightly news magazine from Outlook Group. Before that he was the force behind moneybhaskar.com (Dainik Bhaskar Group) as editor. Under his stewardship, moneybhaskar.com catapulted into country’s largest digital business and economy news portal. He has anchored several discussions on All India Radio, DD News, Rajya Sabha TV, Lok Sabha TV and many other news channels. He has actively covered Parliament debates, elections to legislative assemblies & Lok Sabha, several ministries in union government, political parties and different sectors of economy.
He was a recipient of many awards like Chaudhary Charan Singh Award for Excellence in Journalism for Agricultural Research and Development (2002) instituted by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation.