Every year, and in some cases, in a half-yearly pattern, lakhs of aspirants sit for government examinations trying their luck to find job security and income stability in a government job. But, how long should this work? Those who can afford to do so, can continue. But many become dependent on their families; poor families even take loans for exam preparation, hoping that one day their child’s success will repay everything.
Now, here comes the harsh reality. Over the last 8 years, less than 1 percent of the applications received were selected. For example, out of the 22.05 crore applications received from 2014-2015 to 2021-2022, only 7.22 lakh or 0.33 percent were recommended for appointment in different Central government departments.
The broad trend suggests that the number of candidates selected for government jobs has been declining since 2014-2015, with 2019-2020 being the only exception.
STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT:
–Centre had on June 14, 2022, announced that it would recruit 10 lakh people on ‘mission-mode’ over the next 18 months.
–Budget 2021-22 launched Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes, with an outlay of Rs. 1.97 lakh crore, for a period of 5 years starting from 2021-22.
–The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is being implemented by the Government for facilitating self-employment. Under PMMY, collateral-free loans upto Rs 10 lakh, are extended to micro / small business enterprises and to individuals to enable them to set up or expand their business activities.
–The Services Sector is less employment intensive and at times, more exploitative.
–Gig Economy or Unicorns are been created but mass employment solutions cannot be expected from them.
–Government cannot guarantee employment to every aspirant as the number of vacancies is showing a declining trend.
–The unemployment rate is higher among the younger and more educated. This is actually ‘distress-unemployment’. Under-employment is a serious issue, often ignored.
–Female participation in labour force is on a decline, which can be another cause of concern for her, her family and the country at large.
–Formal sector jobs are shrinking; even much of the casual work where an income accrues periodically is disappearing fast. The self-employed are the ones who are being forced to join the growing army of farm-workers, street vendors, and household domestic helps, daily wagers, combined with either no income or a pitifully low income per day.
–Manufacturing sector can be labour intensive and can absorb a huge chunk of labour, especially migrating labour.
–Even the agri-tech sector can be a job creator if specifically targeted investments are poured in to help small and marginal farmers, without exploitative laws or measures.
–Education and health care are other areas where the government can play a role along with private sector partnerships.
–Local bodies can tie up with local solution providers for solid waste management, water management, flood mitigation and climate solutions.
–The syllabus of the graduation level has to upgrade itself, involving basics plus advanced and research studies. For eg. In electronics, training on the development of nano semiconductor gates, in advanced college labs, can start from the last year itself, so that those interested, can pursue a career in it post his/her graduation itself.
–Job creation in core engineering – mechanical, electrical, civil, etc. from the government side for its massive infrastructure development, especially border infrastructure can absorb these pupils, and prevent them from trying their luck at coding, post their respective core graduation.
–Private sector can provide a safety net; take efforts to be less exploitative, provide a conducive environment for healthy growth and be more encouraging.
–How long should the students sit at homes or hostels and keep trying for government jobs? Hopelessness in a government job search is causing an adverse impact on mental health, and at times making students take extreme steps.
–Students should look for jobs beyond the government sector, explore opportunities, start their own business ventures with innovative ideas, channel their energies into productive activities, rather than wasting time, and contribute to their families and society.
–Our demographic dividend should not turn out to be a demographic burden.
–BY YOGITA KADU