As President Mukherjee Warned, Joblessness Causing Social Unrest in India

Regular Student Protests in India
Regular Student Protests in India

The incidents of crime and violence are not only happening in colleges and universities, but now they are affecting even the school students.

By Rakesh Raman

The unemployment situation in India has gone so bad in the past over two years of Narendra Modi’s government that it is causing a social unrest in the country.

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, said recently that our young workforce will be an asset if they have jobs. But, if the country is unable to provide jobs, there will be unrest, and frustration, Mukherjee warned.

India is now witnessing exactly the same kind of frustration and unrest among students as the President had expected. The incidents of crime and violence are not only happening in colleges and universities, but now they are affecting even the school students.

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Recent events at Ramjas College in Delhi bear testimony to Mukherjee’s apprehension. Last week, many people including journalists were injured in clashes between student groups at the college.

Human rights group Amnesty International India reports that the violent attacks were carried out by the members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to which Prime Minister Modi belongs.

A seminar on ‘Cultures of Protest’ organised at the college was cancelled after members of the ABVP obstructed the event. “Universities are supposed to be safe spaces for debate and discussion. But the events at Ramjas College are a shameful reminder of how intimidation and threats continue to restrict free speech on university campuses,” said Aakar Patel, executive director at Amnesty International India.

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“Authorities need to protect academic freedom, which is crucial to the right to education. The Delhi Police must ensure that students at universities can express their opinions without fear of repression by anyone,” Patel demanded.

Unemployment Factor

However, the root cause of the problem has nothing to do with free speech. It is clearly the outcome of joblessness. Since most students have no jobs in India after completing their studies, they indulge in protests and street violence.

Students of a Government School in Delhi Cross High Walls and Barbed Wires to Abscond from the School. Photo of February 2017 by Rakesh Raman
Students of a Government School in Delhi Cross High Walls and Barbed Wires to Abscond from the School. Photo of February 2017 by Rakesh Raman

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promised 2 crore (20 million) jobs per year. In the past 2 years, Modi’s BJP-led government should have created 4 crore jobs. But it could offer just 1.4 lakh jobs – most of which are at very low level.

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Moreover, today there is a wide mismatch between the education being provided to students in India and the skills requirement in the contemporary job market.

Multiple research reports suggest that degrees and diplomas that students get after completing their education have no value in the job market. Such students fail to get any job and they are joining the herds of unemployed youth in the country.

The employment situation and education systems are equally bad in all parts of the country. It is reflected in the worsening Human Development Index (HDI) of India.

Published by the United Nations Development Programme, HDI indicates the level of skills in a country and lets you know if people in that country are able to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, India falls at No. 130 in the global list of countries ranked on the basis of their HDI.

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That means, despite all the loud claims by the Indian government about the education standards in the country, the education in India is not producing skilled workforce. The so-called educated people in India are not employable in any modern field. Worse, most of them are not even trainable.

The politicians cry that the young people will bring a better future for India. However, in the absence of the right education and employment for them, the young people of India are like time bombs which will explode to bring disaster for the country. And this disastrous process has already begun in schools and colleges of India. Believe me.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist and runs free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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Rakesh Raman