Reforming the Unorganized Sector

Reforming the Unorganized Sector

Our challenge, your solutions
Challenge winner

Creating a world with equal opportunities for every sector.

Imagine being part of a developing country, where only the people who have had access to education early on are able to join the workforce in the organized sector. The second largest population also has one of the biggest and growing unorganized sectors leading to a rapid decline in inovation.

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Team: HOPE

Team members

Sarmad Dange

Members roles and background

Innovator, founder of Qizaa

Contact details

qizaa.info@gmail.com

Solution description

Digi-learn is an education boosting platform that can help anyone at any age receive a formal education. The platform has two segments. The front end is an app that can be downloaded for free on any mobile device supporting Android or IOS software. The back end consists of an AI technology such as GPT-3 which is the core of the platform. The goal is to give children and adults in the unorganized sector the opportunity to receive the education they never received. 

Teaching everything from basic sciences, mathematics and language, the AI can offer personalized education based on the requirements of the individual. While a farmer might want to know how to increase crop yields, a construction labour may have dreams of building cars that he sees drive past him. A street vendor might just want to change his/her life for the better. However, in all these cases, there are chances the individuals might have to start at the primary level of learning the alphabets due to the low literacy rates. Both literacy and a standard education can be achieved simultaneously, after which further field specific education can be obtained.

Weather the motive is to develop skills and knowledge to stay in the same industry or to completely shift to a different one, Digi-learn has something to offer for all. 

A country like India has over 22 official languages where 90% of the population is at least bi lingual, the AI software can easily offer the education in the language that is best suited for the individual, in text, video and audio format, taking personalization to a whole new level.

The solution enhances digital education as it makes use of a device that a majority of people already have in the region but lack the knowledge to use it to its full potential. Moreover, the people in this sector are expected to be investing their efforts part-time into education as they would still have to keep up with their full-time jobs in order to make a living. Which is why traditional brick and mortar education isn’t practical in this situation and digital learning would be the most convenient. Furthermore, upon completion of the education, the AI can analyse the unique individual skill sets and interests to suggest jobs and industries to work in.

The activity that goes along with the platform is creating a strong awareness amongst the unorganized sector for a growth mindset. Culturally, many people in the country avoid taking risks and stick which what they know to play it safe. Once they realise that they can do anything no matter what their age is, amazing things start to happen. That is exactly what the platform is trying to achieve.

The success of the platform can be measured simply by analysing the increase in literacy rates, testing the acquired knowledge of the users and by seeing the significant increase in the available workforce of the organized sector. This will not only benefit the users, but the challenge owner and society as a whole. We live in a positive sum world where when someone else is better off, so are you. More minds at work simply means more innovation. There are millions of people across the globe like the janitor at Frito-Lay dreaming of launching their Cheetos venture!

 

Solution context

 

The world’s second largest population, India, has over 1.3 billion people in the country. With a literacy rate of 77% and a total work force of about 500 million as of 2020, the country has nearly 85% of its work force employed in the unorganized sector.

The unorganized sector consists of all unincorporated private enterprises owned by individuals or households engaged in the sale and production of goods and services. They are the construction workers of the economy, the farmers, street vendors, carpenters, plumbers, servers etc. These people have little to no education and usually exchange labour work and very specific skill sets in order to make living. Some workers earn as little as $2.5 a day after doing tasks that require a tremendous amount of physical exertion.

65% of the population is still employed in the agricultural sector and these farmers have little to no plans to shift to something else due their lack of education.

The challenge is to have these people receive a formal education so they can be impowered to do more with their lives. A lot of talent can be found within this large group of people which is considered as a leakage in the economy as it is unutilized. A contribution of only 10% of these workers in the formal sector can be a huge boost to the economy and to the world as it means millions of more people understanding complex concepts and ideas and being involved in the innovation process of making the world a better place.

Solution target group

The workers employed in the unorganized sector with little to no education.

Solution impact

The social impact of the solution is a huge amount of new talent and resources being used for the better of the society. Whilst reducing poverty and improving the quality of lives for a large chuck of the population. It can be measured in terms of improved literacy rates, reduced poverty, an increasing formal workforce, higher innovation through the number of patents filled each year and an improved GDP.

Solution tweet text

A world where no talent is wasted due to the lack of education.

Solution innovativeness

Digi-life is different as there is no other platform that is specifically aiming at converting the informal sector to the formal. It is specifically targeted towards people who do not have a practical way of being educated due to their circumstances but could still contribute a huge deed if educated.

There are similar education apps in the market such as EdX, Khan academy, Duolingo, BYJU, etc. but none of them target people who could possibly be in their 30s or 40s and need to taught the English alphabets, let alone use and AI like GPT-3 to completely personalise the learning experience in their mother tongue. Furthermore, most of these apps are free to a certain extent after which it is paid for.

Solution transferability

India is not the only country with a huge unorganized sector. Almost every developing country and other third world countries face the problem of the unorganized sector with the lack of a basic education. The platform could be tested in various regions of India on a pilot bases and after measuring its success and analysing the user data, the same AI (GPT-3) could be used to make tweaks and improvements to the platform after which it could be scaled up globally wherever it might be needed.

Solution sustainability

The solution can be implemented on a small scale initially where farmers from places like Panjab, Karnataka and Kerala and other members in the informal sector in major cities such and Mumbai and Bangalore can use it to gain basic education. Since education itself is a long-term process, the initial results will be made available within a year of usage.

In the mid to long term of the project, Digi-life can be extended nationwide and spread to nearby countries for use. However, doing so will require a decent amount of funding and marketing campaigns in order for the project to survive sustainably.

Solution team work

I joined this competition late and was unable to find a team. But that did not stop me. I ended up working on this solution by myself, but I am sure there’s still a lot of room for improvements which will only come through team works and different perspectives. I am thankful to the mentors for guiding my idea in the right direction. 

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DigiEduHack 2021 partners & supporters

DigiEduHack is an EIT initiative under the European Commission's Digital Education Action Plan, led by EIT Climate-KIC and coordinated by Aalto University. This year the main stage event is hosted by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in cooperation with the International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) under the auspices of UNESCO.

EIT Climate-Kic

Aalto University

European commission

Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport

International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence

EIT Community: Human Capital