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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS :Create more jobs, revamp employment policy

 Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Current events of national importance(Different social service Schemes, unemployment, MGNREGA)
  • Mains GS Paper II & III: Social empowerment, schemes for vulnerable sections, development and management of social sectors/services.

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Government of India has recently announced its plan to create 10 lakh government jobs in the next 18 months.
  • Of about 40 lakh sanctioned posts, 22% posts are now vacant and the Government will fill these posts in18 months.
  • Though the announcement has been called a “historic step in the interest of the youth” and as “raising a new hope and confidence among youth” by some top Government leaders, the plan has serious issues.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Unemployment:

  • National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) defines employment and unemployment on the following activity statuses of an individual:
    • Working (engaged in an economic activity) i.e. ‘Employed’.
    • Seeking or available for work i.e. ‘Unemployed’.
    • Neither seeking nor available for work.
    • The first two constitute the labour force and unemployment rate is the percent of the labour force that is without work.
  • Unemployment rate = (Unemployed Workers / Total labour force) × 100
  • Unemployment occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work.
  • Unemployment is often used as a measure of the health of the economy.
  • The most frequent measure of unemployment is the unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployed people divided by the number of people in the labour force.

Types of Unemployment in India:

 

Current Affairs

 

Causes of Unemployment in India:

  • Social Factors: In India the caste system is prevalent. The work is prohibited for specific castes in some areas.
    • In big joint families having big business, many such persons will be available who do not do any work and depend on the joint income of the family.
  • Rapid Growth of Population: Constant increase in population has been a big problem in India.
    • It is one of the main causes of unemployment.
  • Dominance of Agriculture: Still in India nearly half of the workforce is dependent on Agriculture.
    • However, Agriculture is underdeveloped in India. Also, it provides seasonal employment.
  • Fall of Cottage and Small industries: The industrial development had adverse effects on cottage and small industries.
    • The production of cottage industries began to fall and many artisans became unemployed.
  • Immobility of Labour: Mobility of labour in India is low. Due to attachment to the family, people do not go to far off areas for jobs.
    • Factors like language, religion, and climate are also responsible for low mobility.
  • Defects in Education System: Jobs in the capitalist world have become highly specialized but India’s education system does not provide the right training and specialization needed for these jobs.
    • Thus many people who are willing to work become unemployed due to lack of skills.

 

Concerns with recent job creation:

  • Shortage of staff: There Are as many as 72 lakh positions that were vacant in various departments of the Central government, as told by the Minister of State in Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
    • As sanctioned posts broadly indicate the required posts needed to run a government, it appears that the government is perhaps facing a serious shortage of staff, which is causing long delays in work, corruption and maybe other inefficiencies.
  • Quality of employment generated: The share of contract workers in total government employment has been increasing rapidly in recent years — from 11.11 lakh in2017 to 13.25 lakh in 2020 and to24.31 lakh in 2021.
  • Honorary jobs: Jobs such as Anganvadi workers, their helpers, accredited social health activist (ASHA) workers, etc. These employees of the government earn a lower salary (consolidated wages), and are not entitled to “decent work” conditions (International Labour Organization recommendations) including a minimum package of social security.
  • Generation of a mere 10 lakh jobs too little: At a labour force participation rate of 42.13% (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt Ltd.) the unemployment rate of the youth is about 20% at present.
    • Given the backlog of about 30 million unemployed people and an annual addition of 50 lakh-70 lakh workers every year (World Bank), the dimensions of India’s unemployment problem today are formidable. The generation of a mere 10 lakh jobs in the next 18 months is too little.
  • Poor Performance of private sector: Performance of the private sector in creating employment opportunities has remained dismal.
    • Private sector final consumption expenditure has not crossed the pre pandemic level, private firms are being seen to be managing their profit margin by cutting costs (in the form of rationalizing wage bills).

 

Government Initiatives:

 

Way Forward

  • Basic needs of the bottom population: Government needs to take better direct care of basic well being, human development and human resource development, and the basic infrastructure of the bottom population without privatization in these areas.
  • Reorientation of the industrialisation policy: To focus on labour intensive sectors of the economy, and promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and informal production by ensuring better technology and higher productivity, providing finances (including working capital) and pushing further cluster development for all industries that have the potential.
  • Urban employment guarantee programmes: Carefully designed urban employment guarantee programmes would be most desirable to create ample urban employment avenues for urban youth.
    • The urban programme should include:
      • Basic urban services, where the youth would get special training so that they can be absorbed in the mainstream economy
      • Daycare centers set up for childcare to enable women to reduce their unpaid services and to ensure quality care for children
      • Infrastructural gaps filled in under construction work to facilitate quality urban life.
    • Standard employment quality: The Government must ensure that the employment generated under its plan will be of a standard quality.
    • Training programmes: We need training programmes with well-defined outcomes for women’s digital access and to mentor them to take up employment opportunities in emerging sectors.

 

 QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

  1. How globalization has led to the reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization detrimental to the development of the country?(UPSC 2016)

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