Unemployment May Cause Social Unrest in India

A Poor Jobless Man in India. Photo: Rakesh Raman
A Poor Jobless Man in India. Photo: Rakesh Raman

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. ~ Rakesh Raman

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

In 2015, according to a leading news site Firstpost, India added the fewest organised-sector jobs —in large companies and factories — in seven years across eight important industries.

In four years, Firstpost says, India will have the world’s largest population of working people, about 87 crore in all. But there will be no jobs for them and most of them will indulge in criminal or anti-social activities. The trend is already being seen in many Indian universities where students are protesting frequently as they are heading toward a dark jobless future.

[ आओ मिल कर करें एक नये और समृद्ध भारत का निर्माण ]

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promised 2 crore (20 million) jobs per year. In 2 years, BJP should have created 4 crore jobs. But it could offer just 1.4 lakh jobs.

The unemployment problem will further exacerbate as India’s exports have been falling for the past over 18 months and the country has already lost more than $60 billion because of this unprecedented decline.

Firstpost quotes a report by researcher IndiaSpend to say that the proportion of jobs in the unorganised sector — without formal monthly payment or social security benefits – is set to rise to 93 percent in 2017.

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The report says that as many as 60 per cent of those with jobs do not find employment for the entire year, indicating widespread ‘under-employment’ and temporary jobs. Moreover, the formation of companies has slowed to 2009 levels, and existing companies are growing at 2 per cent, the lowest in five years.

With large corporations and public-sector banks financially stressed, the average size of companies in India is reducing, at a time when well-organised large companies are central to creating jobs, it was stated in the report.

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This indicates that a very large labour force is moving into an environment which does not have the ability to absorb them.

According to Firstpost, a major reason for unemployment is the lack of qualified manpower. Since majority of Indians do not have access to the right education, they are not equipped to work in the modern economy.

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Firstpost said in its article that a period of mass unemployment and social unrest is looming unless there is a shift, both internal and external, that at the moment is nowhere to be seen.

According to Global Times news site of China, the rise in the working population of India will not automatically translate into economic growth momentum as the country’s capacity to generate enough jobs and utilize labor efficiently remains in doubt.

For the sake of creating more jobs to accommodate the growing working population, India should not neglect the manufacturing sector, especially low-end labor-intensive industries. This could also help absorb a large number of workers who are employed in unorganized sectors, the Global Times article suggests.

[ Also Read: How “Make in India” Will Break in India ]

The article says that China lifted millions of people out of poverty in the last three decades by focusing on developing its own manufacturing industry. India should adopt a similar down-to-earth approach to generate growth and create jobs.

Whether India’s fast pace of growth can persist depends on how quickly it realizes that the feasible route to inclusive growth is not by skipping past industrialization but by relying on the manufacturing industry to create more jobs, reduce poverty, and create a middle class that can drive consumption, said Global Times.

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