Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Discovering the Obvious ?

Following is a reort that appeared in Times of India ( 13 Nov ) :

Employer expectations are better met by apprentices than freshers, report says

Corporates find apprentices better than freshers, says a report by staffing company TeamLeaseServices.

"MOOC in Apprenticeship for Employment and Employability," a detailed study about the effectiveness of apprenticeship in conjunction with MOOCs (massive open online courses) in bridging the employability gap, reveals that apprentices are doing exceedingly well on all the three key parameters -- productivity, time to turn and return on investment.

Over 50% of the employers reported that apprentices are giving them more than 100%-150% return on their investment. Further, from a productivity point of view also employers found apprentices to be efficient.

Around 50% of the respondents mentioned that apprentices turned productive within 45 days of joining work which is much faster than an average employee.

India Inc also felt that the productivity of apprentices is around 90%, indicating learning by doing to be an effective formula to create productive workforce.

According to the report, while apprentices perceived their employability quotient to be a modest 5.3 on a scale of 10, employers gave them a rating of eight indicating high ability to perform a job.

From a region wise perspective, though apprentices from the northern region felt they were better equipped for job, corporates had a difference of opinion. They rated apprentices from the eastern region to be better suited for work.

Sumit Kumar, vice-president- NETAP (National Employability Through Apprenticeship Program), TeamLease Services said, "Apprenticeships is the most effective skilling / employability / employment tool which could help India get closer to its ambitious targets of skilling 500 million and filling 120 million jobs in 24 key sectors (including construction, retail, transportation logistics, automobile, and handloom) over the next 6 years. While we may be able to create jobs, the biggest challenge is matching the jobs to our talent. Though we add millions of youth every year to the workforce, they are not equipped to take advantage of the possibilities."


These findings should not come as a surprise to anyone

It is a simple case of “ Cause “ and “ Effect

The report lists following “ Effects “ :

·         Productivity of apprentices was found to be high and they turned productive within 45 days

·         Their “ Employability Quotient “ was 8 out of 10

·         Apprentices gave a “ Return on Investment “ , as high as 100 % to 150 %

·         Apprentices were very “ Efficient

And the “ Causes “ are as follows :

·         A Technician ( Vocational ) Apprentice is paid a monthly stipend of Rs 2100 / 2400 / 2800 / 3100 , during 1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th year resp

These amounts are less than 25 % of the minimum wages paid to Semi-Skilled workers !

And while learning a new “ Skill “ on-the-job , these apprentices are actually performing , regular “ work “ on the shop-floor , producing saleable goods

No wonder , return on investment is very high !

·         Although ,on part of the Employer , there is no obligation to “ Absorb “ these apprentices upon completion of their training , some 5 % - 10 % do get offered regular employment

Obviously , these “ Successful “ ones are those which are “ Top Rated “ , in terms of the skills acquired and their productivity ( output / hour )

This carrot ( of getting absorbed ) ensures that , from day one , apprentices work very hard to impress the Employer with the QUANTITY / QUALITY of their work !

To drive home this message , Employers make sure that their “ Expectations “ are made amply known to the Apprentices from day one !

In factory after factory , it is an established fact that the apprentices routinely “ Out-perform “ regular employees with years of experience ( - and , very likely drawing wages which are TEN TIMES the stipend paid to apprentices )

·         Apprentices are NOT protected by Labour Laws and their apprenticeship can be terminated by the Employer by providing to the Apprenticeship Advisor , proof of misconduct or poor productivity

By and large , Labour Unions do not defend such cases

There is no way , we can create 120 million jobs , even in 10 years  !

But , can we at least, introduce some more “ Causes “ , which would create that “ Desired Effect “ of training 500 million persons in 10 years ? – train them sufficient enough to become “ Self Employed “  ?

I urge the Policy Makers to consider the following ‘ triggers ‘ :

·         Revise Apprenticeship Act to enable employers to engage ANY NUMBER of ( eligible ) youth as apprentices and allow employers to devise “ Training Structure “ as per their needs

Any Employer wanting to engage apprentices under this revised APPRENTICESHIP ACT , would need to be registered online on the web site of Labour Ministry and must have installed a Biometric Attendance system , as described in :


·         An eligible youth can serve his apprenticeship period with only one employer

·         A person who has successfully completed his apprenticeship cannot be accepted as apprentice , a second time , in same or any other company

·         Remove :

     #  concept of 5 different “ categories “ of apprentices

     #  concept of “ Shop-floor Trades “ for engaging Apprentices

     #  concept of “ Trade-wise Ratios “ of apprentices

     #  distinction between “ Shop floor “ and “ Office “ , and just say “ Work Place

     #  the stipulation concerning “ different years of training for different trades “ .

         Just make all training for 4 years 

    #  the concept of “ Contract Approval “ by Apprentice Advisor

·         Fix stipends payable to apprentices as follows :

Starting Stipend…………….. Minimum wage as per Min Wage Act

Annual Increase……………… Linked to rise in CPI

·         Reimbursement of Training Cost incurred by the Employers

25 % of the Stipend cost to be borne by the Central Government and this amount to be transferred to the Jan Dhan Account of the concerned apprentice ( as DBT )

This provision will reduce our “ Cost of Manufacture “ and help to make India a “ Low Cost Economy “ , without calling this a “ Subsidy “ and violating WTO rules

This would be far better than controversial Universal Basic Income ( UBI )

·         It shall not be obligatory on the part of the employer to offer any employment to any apprentice who has completed the period of his apprenticeship training in his establishment, nor shall it be obligatory on the part of the apprentice to accept an employment under the employer.

·         To encourage PRIVATE SECTOR to come forward in a BIG WAY , to set up Industrial Training Institutions ( ITI ) , implement my earlier suggestion , as follows :

          Skill Capital of the World ?  [  06  June  2016  ]

01     Dec  2017

Nami or Benami ? Why Differentiate ?

Following report appears in today’s Hindustan Times :

“ PMNarendra Modi says Aadhaar will be used to track benami properties “

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday the 12-digit biometric Aadhaar number would be used to track assets bought with slush funds in a proxy’s name, better known as “benami property”, reaffirming his government’s resolve to crack down on corruption.

Modi’s statement at the inaugural session of the 15th edition of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit confirms reports of the government’s plan to use the unique identity number for property transactions, a sector where the use of black money is rampant.

The move to clamp down on benami transactions follows a series of measures the government has taken to combat corruption. Modi said measures such as demonetisation and a new goods and services tax had left the corrupt scared and brought black money into the formal economy.

Dear Shri Narendrabhai :

When it comes to linking Aadhar with a person , race / region / religion / creed / caste etc do not form a basis

In same way , linking Aadhar with a given property , must not depend upon whether it is a “ Nami Property “ or a “ Benami Property

And why wait for a “ Property Transaction “ to take place , in order to uncover a “ Benami Property “ ?

Why not insist that ALL properties must be linked with the Aadhar Number of its owner ?

As to how this can be done , please refer to my following earlier emails :

Then mandate that ALL property transactions must be registered online ( on some Govt portal ) , in the following form :

Name of the Seller / his Aadhar Number / PAN Number

·         Address ( as per www.What3Words.com ) of the property

·         Selling Price / Bank Account in which amount deposited

·         Name of the Buyer / his Aadhar Number / PAN Number

*    Buyer’s Bank Account Number from which payment made

This will ensure that no property will remain Benami  !

01    Dec  2017

Here is the Proof

In my yesterday’s blog ,

I had envisaged the extent to which Google compromises privacy of our personal data

Then I came across the following in today’s

 Mumbai Mirror :

“ Few Android Apps track all you do on your smartphone “

Three quarters of Android apps are using “clandestine surveillance software” to track everything users do on their smartphones, according to a new report.

Researchers at Yale University’s Privacy Lab and French non-profit organisation Exodus Privacy conducted a study into 25 known “ trackers ”, which are used for targeted advertising, behavioural analytics, and location tracking.

In their analysis of over 300 apps, more than 75 per cent were found to contain the signatures of these trackers — including popular Google Play apps such as Uber, Tinder, Skype, Twitter, Spotify and Snapchat.

What’s more, the researchers said that many Android users don’t realise that these trackers are on their phones, and are often unaware that their personal information is being shared.

One Google-owned tracker called Crashlytics — used by Tinder, Spotify, Uber and OKCupid among others — is designed to track app crash reports, but also allows developers to “get insight into your users, what they’re doing, and inject live social content to delight them”.

Another, called FidZup, can “detect the presence of mobile phones and therefore their owners”, using ultrasonic tones that are inaudible to the human ear, according to Exodus.

Meanwhile, one app developed by multinational insurance and financial firm AXA was found to contain six trackers.


“Publication of this information is in the public interest, as it reveals clandestine surveillance software that is unknown to Android users at the time of app installation,” said Sean O’Brien and Michael Kwet, visiting fellows at Yale, in a blog post, adding,

“Lack of transparency about the collection, transmission, and processing of data via these trackers raises serious privacy concerns and may have grave security implications for mobile software downloaded and in active use by billions of people worldwide.”

The researchers are now calling on app developers, as well as Google, for “increased transparency into privacy and security practice as it relates to these trackers”.

Although the study didn’t examine iOS apps, the researchers warn that the situation may be no better on Apple’s App Store.

“Many of the same companies distributing Google Play apps also distribute apps via Apple, and tracker companies openly advertise Software Development Kits (SDKs) compatible with multiple platforms,” said O’Brien and Kwet.

“Thus, advertising trackers may be concurrently packaged for Android and iOS, as well as more obscure mobile platforms.”

Add to the above , what Times of India reports today as follows :

“ Google detects app stealing info from phones “

Google has detected an app ‘ Tizi ’, which has been stealing information from call records and also from social media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and also takes pictures from mobile phones without even displaying them on screen of the device.

Tizi is a fully featured backdoor that installs spyware to steal sensitive data from popular social media applications. The Google Play Protect security team discovered this family in September 2017, when device scans found an app with rooting capabilities that exploited old vulnerabilities,” a post on Google security blog said.

The company has removed the app from Play Store, notified all known affected devices and suspended account of the app developer, the post dated November 27 said. The post said that earlier variant of Tizi did not have rooting capabilities. It developed later on and thereafter started stealing sensitive information from devices.

“The rooting capabilities give an app full control of the device. It can bypass all restriction poised on it by the Android security system. An app with rooting is like a user using the device. The presence of such app on Google Play Store raises concerns around secure apps on the Play Store,” cyber security expert Jiten Jain said.

Tizi’s backdoor capability is common to commercial spyware, such as recording calls from WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype, sending and receiving SMS messages, and accessing calendar events, call log, contacts, photos, Wi-Fi encryption keys, and a list of all installed apps.

“Tizi apps can also record ambient audio and take pictures without displaying the image on the device’s screen,” the post said. The post said that in and after April 2016, vulnerabilities in devices which could have been affected by Tizi were fixed with new software codes.

“If a Tizi app is unable to take control of a device because the vulnerabilities it tries to use are all patched, it will still attempt to perform actions through high level of permissions it asks the user to grant to it, mainly around reading and sending SMS messages and monitoring, redirecting, and preventing outgoing phone calls,” the post said.

Dear Members of Committee on Data Protection Law :

Any idea how the proposed law will deal with the owners / developers of these hundreds of Apps and succeed in suing / punishing them – and in which court ?

         Justice B N Srikrishna…………………………bnsrikrishna@gmail.com

·         Smt Aruna Sundarrajan………………………secy-dot@nic.in

·         Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey…………………. ceo@uidai.gov.in

·         Dr Ajay Kumar……………………………. ajay@deity.gov.in / akumar@del2.vsnl.net.in

·         Prof. Rajat Moona……………………………. moona@iitk.ac.in

·         Dr Gulshan Rai………………………………..  grai@deity.gov.in

·         Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan………………   director@iimidr.ac.in

·         Dr Arghya Sengupta………………………   arghya.sengupta@gmail.com

30  Nov  2017