Polity & Governance
Topic in News
#modi_rojgar_do Rising unemployment problem in India
Why in the news?
Recently a trend ‘#Modi_Rozgar_do’ erupted on various social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as a response to declining employment opportunities in the public sector.
Employment crisis in India’s public sector:
- In India, public employment is not only inadequate but has been falling in relation to population.
- Total employment in India dropped by 9 million between 2011-12 and 2017-18, a first in the country’s history.
- Central government employment is estimated to constitute only around 14% of total public employment in India.
- As of February 2020, more than 6.8 lakh posts were vacant in the Central government.
- Similarly, more than 40 lakh vacant posts are lying with different state governments.
- The structure of public employment is also unbalanced. Among the Central public sector enterprises, employment in Central Public Sector Enterprises fell by as much as 2.2 lakhs between 2011-2012 and 2017-2018.
- The biggest declines in such employment were not at the managerial and supervisory levels but among “non-executive” workers of all kinds.
- Among such “non-executive” workers, the proportion that is under contract or casual/daily work has increased significantly. By 2017-2018, such insecure workers accounted for more than one-third of the actual workforce.
Issues in the existing overall employment pattern:
- Jobs in Services sector: The service sector is the only industry that is “driving the growth jobs in the non-farm sectors, while employment growth in construction has decelerated along with a fall in manufacturing employment during 2011-12 and 2017-18
- The continued decline of jobs in the agriculture sector: The agriculture sector kept the momentum of continued decline in employment level at the rate of 4.5 million per annum during 2011-12 and 2017-18.
- Increased informalisation of public sector jobs: Even though there has been a large number of vacant posts within the central government, the government has been hiring a fewer number of personnel. Instead, it is hiring personnel on a contract basis with no security of tenure, no social security, etc.
- Large numbers of unrecognized workers in the public sector: Scheme workers, for example, are not recognized as public employees by the government, and are paid “honoraria” rather than wages, which, in fact, most fall well below the minimum wages.
- Increases gender gaps: The average wage received by women regular public workers in rural areas is only around half of that received by men – a shockingly large wage gap.
- Dropping productivity due to increasing informalisation in the public sector: Less secure contracts and deteriorating conditions of work in the public sector are bad for workers and also have implications for long-term productivity gains.
- Affected public services: Due to non-hiring, essential public services such as public health, sanitation, education, etc. are being hit negatively taking a toll on the productivity of the overall economy.
Reasons for shrinking jobs:
- Increased number of educated youth: Due to increased access to education, more youth are entering the job market. On the contrary, there are very few jobs being created in the formal sectors.
- Decline in economic growth: The growth of the economy has considerably slowed down since 2014 which has forced the government to hire less due to an already ballooned fiscal deficit.
- More inclination towards disinterment: The incumbent government is more inclined towards disinvestment which has also slowed down the hiring process in the public sector.
- Attitude against globalization: Across the western countries, there has been resentment against globalization and employment opportunities given to foreigners from India and other Asian countries. They have also reported on restrictive Visa policies.
- Lack of skilled workforce: A large section of the Indian workforce is still poorly skilled which has reduced their employability. Companies due to fear of escalation of cost have been fearing to hire unskilled workforce.
- National Employment Policy: Government should bring in a national employment policy that should promote decent work, minimum wage, and social security. It should also ensure a steady, swift, and transparent hiring process for the public sector.
- Start-Up India: There is an immediate need to scale up the ‘Start-Up India’ in order to promote entrepreneurship in India. The start-ups can create a large number of jobs in the industry as well as the services sector.
- Promote skill up-gradation: The Indian workforce needs to be equipped with the latest skills set so that it can work with the new upcoming technology-based sectors.
- Dedicated schemes for self-employment in the urban sector: The government should also promote self-employment schemes in urban sectors in different areas such as internet-based, services sector, etc.
- Ensure efficient public service delivery: By ensuring efficient public service delivery, the government can address employment opportunities while increasing the productivity of the economy.