Agenda for G20: Tapping creative economy with global mobility


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By S Jha

New Delhi, December 29: With the Indian Presidency of the G20, demands are being raised for greater ease of mobility of the human resources, including the creative workers. It’s stated that between 2017–2018 and 2019-2020, average annual employment in India’s creative economy was around 39.73 million, accounting for 8.30 per cent of the country’s total employment.

The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) in a study has called the G20 to work for the consensus among the nations for the clarity on the definition of the creative economy and its constituents. It has also sought establishment of an inter-country network to promote cultural and creative sectors that can improve information dissemination, training, market access, knowledge management, policy formulation and research in the sector.

“…a staggering 32.42 per cent of all jobs in the secondary sector are held by the creative workforce even though it accounts for 8.30 per cent of overall employment in the economy. This has important policy implications, particularly in a country like India where there is a huge dearth of jobs in the manufacturing sector,” said the ICRIER in its study paper.

The think tank further stated that a significant difference in the average daily wages of creative and non-creative workers is observed. “Wages of creative workers are found to be around 88 per cent higher than those of the non-creative workers in India between 2017-18 and 2019-20. This signifies a large productivity gain that could be leveraged by promoting creative employment. Using these wage estimates to ascertain GVA contributions of creative occupations, it is found that they contribute to the tune of 20 per cent to the country’s overall GVA during the period,” added the study.

The sectoral composition of GVA contributions by creative and non-creative occupations suggests that while the former is majorly concentrated in the secondary and the tertiary sector, the latter contributes mostly to the primary sector, said the study, adding that “India’s creative employment is found to be rather urban centric: a sizeable 67.07 per cent of all creative workers are in the urban areas, compared to merely 29.62 per cent non-creative workers in the urban areas”.

Furthermore, creative workforce contributes about 17.03 per cent to total urban employment but only 4.07 per cent to total rural employment in India, noted the findings of the study, adding that the top 10 districts with the highest creative intensities are Tirupur, Mumbai Suburban, Bangalore, New Delhi, Panipat, Gurgaon, Sant Ravi Das Nagar, Thane, Badgam, and Imphal. “Each of these districts exhibits unique characteristics that make them a center of creativity. Tirupur district in Tamil Nadu is known for being a dominant player in the production and export of knitted garments. Mumbai Suburban is a district within the Mumbai Metropolitan Area that is known for its significant role in the production and dissemination of Media and Entertainment in India,” added the study.

Panipat in Haryana is known as the “city of weavers” and is also known for its home furnishing and floor covering products. “Sant Ravidas Nagar in Uttar Pradesh has a rich cultural history of manufacturing exquisite carpets and is a major center for the same in India. Thane, with its close proximity to Mumbai, caters largely to the Indian media and entertainment sector. The district of Badgam is known for exquisite handicrafts like shawls, crewels, namdha, chain stitch, wood carving, costume jewelry, Kani shawls, paper mache, and carpets,” added the study.

The think tank further stated that Imphal is home to the largest women’s market in Asia—the Ima market — which is famous for handwoven items, particularly Kauna grass craft. It called for forming consensus among the G20 nations on an internationally acceptable uniform definition of the creative economy and its constituents, and also for creating a digital platform for creative and cultural workers to increase their visibility.

“Providing mobility grants to artists and creative workers across G20 countries to present their work to new audiences and experience diverse cultural exchanges should also be on the agenda of G20 along with integration with UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” added the study.

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