There are about twenty four lakh government jobs lying vacant with both the central and state governments and Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, asks,“Where are the jobs?” The present regime’s track record with employment specifically in government sector is significant to understand the growing distress among the youth in India.
As per data compiled from answers to various questions in Parliament this year, reportedly, there are over 10 lakh vacancies in the crucial education sector – 9 lakh in elementary and 1.1 lakh in secondary schools run by government across the country. Similarly, there are a total of 5.4 lakh vacancies in Police forces, 2.5 lakh in Railways, 1.2 lakh vacant positions in Defence services, 61,000 in Paramilitary forces, 5,800 in courts and 1.5 lakh sanctioned positions lying vacant in the health sector across the country.
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Joblessness has been the main reason for youth from various castes to raise the demand to grant reservation to their particular communities in government sectors. Patels in Gujarat, Kapus in Andhra Pradesh and Marathas in Maharashtra have been time and again raising the demand for reservation status. Addressing the media on Maratha quota issue, Nitin Gadkari said, “Let us assume that reservation is given. But there are no jobs, because in banks, the jobs have shrunk because of IT. The government recruitment is frozen. Where are the jobs?”
A look at the recruitment process being conducted by government institutions in the recent years reveal the NDA led government’s poor record when it comes to providing employment. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) are the main recruitment agencies under different ministries. In 2014-15, while 1,13,524 candidates were recruited by these three agencies, the number came down to 1,11,807 in 2015-16 and it further fell down to 1,00,933 in 2016-17.
The employees’ strength has significantly fallen in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) in the last four years after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. While in 2013-14, the employees’ strength in CPSEs was recorded at 13.49 lakh, the number came down to 11.31 lakh in 2016-17, as per the latest public enterprises survey report of Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
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The number of central government civilian regular employees in major ministries or departments has also been decreasing. While the total number of such employees was 32.90 lakh in 2013-14, the figure came down to 32.86 lakh in 2015-16, as per a report by Pay Research Unit (PRU) under Ministry of Finance.
According to the data from labour force surveys on employment and unemployment conducted by Labour Bureau, Ministry of Labour and Employment, the estimated unemployment rate for persons aged 15 years and above on usual status basis in the country in 2013-14 and 2015-16 were 3.4% and 3.7% respectively.
In spite of massive vacancies within the government sectors, the NDA government has been reluctant in not only creating employment but also infilling the sanctioned positions. The gradual decrease in the number of jobs against the increasing number of young population, is nonetheless contributing to the distress among youth across the country.