Table of Contents
THE CONTEXT: The demand for reservation by several communities in India, whether Maratha or Ahir, by constant protests, indicates the lure for government jobs in India. Despite the large presence of private jobs in India, this constant demand for ‘Sarkari naukari’ seems to be an issue of concern.
- Commonality of demands: Despite coming from the different backgrounds and different caste groups demand for reservation remains the same. Whether Maratha or Kunbi or even a skilled person, despite having other opportunities, skills tend to seek government jobs. These tend to dilute the privilege of getting trained and other opportunities which might have been a better opportunity for the person rather than chasing the same government job.
- Misconception of government job: There are misconceptions related to the government job that it comes with stability and higher perks than compared to private jobs. Arguments are also given regarding the respect and power associated with government jobs in society. Therefore, many choose to chase behind the government job despite vast expansion of private sector jobs.
- State’s centrality in lives of people: There is continuing significance and attraction of the state in the life of the common people. Also, rather than becoming less important, the state has actually become more important. With the perception that state is the only safe place to save against the uncertainties of the private sector, state control became more prominent.
- Cut-throat competition: According to a report by the Department of Personnel and Training, over 22 crore applicants have applied for government jobs since 2014, and over 7.22 lakh have received permanent positions in the central government. This shows the level of cut-throat competition, which ultimately leads to jobs only in a few hands, and most remain unemployed.
- High unemployment: Preparation of government jobs majorly leads to waste of youth lives of many. Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has stated that the rate of unemployment for those in the 20-24-years age category stood at 41.9%. The rate of unemployment for those in the 25-29-years age category was at 9.8%. This indicates that when many individuals become ineligible for most government jobs, they tend to take up employment in private sector.
- No regulation by State: With the expansion of private enterprise over the last few decades, the state has abandoned its responsibility towards appropriate regulation of the market. For example, constant weakening of labour laws has affected the perception of private sector jobs.
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES FOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Since the period of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), various governments have formulated programmes for “skill development” among poor urban and rural youth.
- A variety of small and large corporations have been contracted by the government to establish residential Skill Development Centres.
- The companies, known as Project Implementation Agencies (PIAs), provide training across different “domains” such as Hospitality, Customer Retail Service and Health Care.
- In 2014, the government created the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), intended to provide a more coordinated focus on training activities that have otherwise been spread across various individual ministries.
- The Skill India Programme launched in 2015 aimed to train 402 million people by 2022, and the 2015 budget allocated Rs 5,040 crore for skill development.
- The flagship Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme was launched in 2015 to provide short-term training, skilling through ITIs and under the apprenticeship scheme.
- The SANKALP programme focuses on the district-level skilling ecosystem and the STRIVE project aims to improve the performance of ITIs are other significant skilling interventions.
THE WAY FORWARD:
- Reforms in private sector: To shift focus from the government sector jobs, there is a need for reform in private sector by bringing in the job security and stability along with the other benefits for a healthy work life balance. Also, there is a need for proper utilisation of CSR funds in the private sector to make the employees feel satisfied and responsible.
- Reforms in government sector: There is a need to bring reforms in government sector as well. The government should examine the feasibility of replacing the system of permanent employment with a liberal contractual system based on periodic performance-based reviews. With new technology and new market situation, government should bring the solution and skills as per the market needs.
- Government initiatives : Government needs to re-energise its efforts in skill development of the youth by imparting the skill according to the needs of the existing market demand. Also, the government needs to regulate the market just enough to ensure that the most vulnerable do not get harm in the excesses of the market by strengthening of labour laws.
- Revamp reservation process: The reservation policy should be implemented in a way that does not hamper the free movement of manpower resources by ensuring inclusiveness of all the classes in India. The reservation policy needs to be revisited periodically to assess its impact on the economy and industries in the state.
- Bringing in proper framework: There is a need to bring proper framework for job ecosystem. As the role of the government is not in the matter of job creation but that of building an ecosystem conducive to creation of jobs. It has become common to suggest that the “New India” is characterised by the overwhelming importance of private enterprise, therefore new frameworks are needed.
As long as the control of the state exists in the job market, the issue of unemployability and the lure of the government jobs will remain. Here, both the state and non-state actors need to work together to harness the full potential of India’s young population by addressing the structural issues to accelerate economic growth.
PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTIONS
Q.1 “While we flaunt India’s demographic dividend, we ignore the dropping rates of employability.” What are we missing while doing so? Where will the jobs that India desperately needs come from? Explain. (2014)
Q.2 Demographic Dividend in India will remain only theoretical unless our manpower becomes more educated, aware, skilled and creative.” What measures have been taken by the government to enhance the capacity of our population to be more productive and employable? (2016)
Q.3 Most of the unemployment in India is structural in nature. Examine the methodology adopted to compute unemployment in the country and suggest improvements.”(2023)
MAINS PRACTICE QUESTIONS
Q.1 Despite several government initiatives for skill development in India, the employment rate in India is still very low. What are the possible reasons for this and suggest measures to address the situation?
Q.2 Job creation in India is seen only as a government responsibility as the state seems to be the only safe haven against arbitrary actions of markets. Comment.
SOURCE: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/maratha-reservation-why-everyone-wants-a-sarkari-naukri-in-new-india-9009710/#:~:text=The%20reservations%2Dfor%2DMarathas%20demand,on%20the%20percentage%20quota%20limits.Spread the Word