Revamping employment policy

  • IASbaba
  • July 14, 2022
  • 0
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Context: The Government of India has recently announced its plan to create 10 lakh government jobs in the next 18 months. Though the announcement has been called a historic step the government should consider number of factors.

Problems and Solutions

Vacancies are much higher

  • The number of vacant posts touches 30 lakh if we consider vacant positions in public sector banks, the defence forces and police, the health sector, central schools and central universities, judiciary etc
  • Thus just filling out 10 lakh out 30 lakh vacant post will the not solve the problem of unemployment and serious shortage of staff, which is then causing long delays in work, corruption and maybe other inefficiencies.

Quality as issue

  • Another major concern is about the quality of employment that will be generated through this plan.
  • The share of contract workers in total government employment has been increasing rapidly in recent years — from 11.11 lakh in 2017 to 13.25 lakh in 2020 and to 31 lakh in 2021.
  • In addition, there are “honorary workers” such as Anganvadi workers, their helpers, ASHA workers, etc.
  • These employees of the government earn a lower salary and are not entitled to decent work conditions including a minimum package of social security.
  • The Government must ensure that the employment generated under its plan will be of a standard quality.

More jobs are needed

  • 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.
  • This scheme of the Government will hardly provide any relief to the youth of the country; and will not have much of an impact on the present unemployment problem.
  • It is important to note here that the performance of the private sector in creating employment opportunities has remained dismal.
  • In this situation it is all the more important for the Government to ensure as many jobs as possible.

Focus on basis needs

  • Government will have to take responsibility for meeting these basic needs without depending on privatisation — at least for the bottom 40% of the population.
  • The important task for the Government would be to take much better direct care of basic well-being, human development and human resource development, and the basic infrastructure of the bottom population without privatisation in these areas.
  • Another major task would also be to reorient the industrialisation policy to focus on labour-intensive sectors of the economy, and promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Urban employment

  • The fact that the urban economy has been badly hurt by the pandemic, a carefully designed urban employment guarantee programme 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.

Thus the Government gesture of filling vacant posts, will have to be followed by radical changes in the Government’s employment policy.

Source: The Hindu

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