The One Liner

Why is India So Desperate For Jobs?

Is it just ambition, the rat race, or a failed education system why Indians are more of job seekers rather than just being job creators? 

In the era of start-ups, and self-employment, India is still suffering from a large unemployment rate. What should we call it, just an issue that just needs one article or a national issue that needs special focus? 

Whatever it is, well it is true that unemployment rates in India are a concerning alarm for the economy of our own country. 

Forget about the country, just take a moment and think about their overall wellbeing, in general; are they insured, can they afford medicines, how will they manage beyond 60s; things that we must ponder about.  

Going with statistics, according to CIME’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey February 2024 rate of unemployment decreased from 8% to March 2024 which was 7.6% of the population. 

But, have we made enough efforts to think about why unemployment rates are so high in India?

In India, there is a huge education and skill gap that is promoting unemployment.

In India, we lack practical knowledge and have poor social skills. As a result, we either find students with high grades with poor skills or sometimes we find students with poor grades and no social skills. A mix of both is rare in India, or usually they are the kids from highly privileged class or people from upper middle class background. 

The syllabus in our schools are usually too daunting to memorize and thus leaving us with little mental space to cultivate a habit of chasing one’s passion or dream project. Often our school syllabus has nothing to do with the skills that employers or companies ask for in the interview. 

So where did our education system fail us?

For example, computer science is not all about coding, coding is part of that which further helps us create a website or an application. What is depressing is that instead of teaching “why’s’ ‘ our classroom’s teaching often jumps directly to the subject, hence making students too unenthusiastic about the subject. 

To build a fine personality and be job ready we all need skills such as Social Skills, Conversational Skills, Professional and Personal Skills, Skills based on talents, Management Skills,  etc. But however, you don’t become job ready because of your school, it is our society where we live and the culture in our schools that make someone so confident in real life.  

In India, lack of financial knowledge and curiosity to learn more is still lagging, which is why many people have the courage to dream, but struggle to make it happen, because of lack of funds.  

According to the 2021 statistics, around 7% of poor families were not able to afford education. This is leading to the loss of great talent across the nation. But education is not the only pathway to greatness, India has a rich diverse culture and our art and craft can help an Indian to make a profession out of that. 

Not only this, cricketers like Harbhajan Singh come from rural households of Punjab, but because of his cricketing skills he has made a name for himself. 

But what is the value of education, if there are no jobs? 

A huge number of students get graduation degrees but have no jobs, and sometimes not even internships which require a level of skill set. But things are changing for good; today we have the course-era, Udemy, that provides various courses at affordable prices. Students must explore these opportunities anyhow. 

The data of shows the unemployment of students from various graduation degrees between 2023-24. That included BA (47.11% unemployment in 2024), and MA in Business (71.16% respectively). 

Also, the skills such as Social Skills, Conversational Skills, Professional and Personal Skills, Skills based on talents, Management Skills, are the crucial building blocks in the development of the character and personality of an individual. 

There are many government’s schemes and initiatives for skill development such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Udaan, andIndia International Skill Centers (IISC’s), but more effort is required in the field of skill development of youth that compliments the demands of the market.

Focus on skill set

Other Factors that are Responsible for Unemployment in India

As we know, a significant number of the workforce in India comes from the informal sector. The informal sector is vulnerable to economic shocks, and other market fluctuations. With this, it provides no job security, lack of stability, long working hours and too less benefits. 

Even in recent times, around 32,000 employees were fired in the year in February 2024 by companies like Google, Amazon, Meta, and Cisco. 

Due to this, a huge percentage of youth somewhere still prefers government jobs over corporate companies. But the competition is so fierce that every year a large number of students apply for government jobs, but only left to be disappointed. 

Also, India is heading towards the direction of technological advancement. To increase efficiency and productivity, industries are moving for automation and advanced technologies which are replacing humans. 

According to IndiaToday, in May 2023, 4000 people in tech firms lost their jobs due to AI. 

Globalization in India has introduced new skill sets, languages and technologies in India. Due to this the workers who are unskilled, or lack the demanded skills, and proficiency can face unemployment for a while. 

Global issues across the worldwide also hinders the economy of the domestic industries which are competing with imported products which could have been relatively cheaper. 

Other reasons such as underemployment, agricultural distress that can create seasonal unemployment, rapid population growth that hinders the pace of job vacancies, labour laws, low-quality higher education, and slow industrial growth which lacks in promoting innovative ideas, and technologies and does not provide an encouraging environment to the emerging talents force them to move and settle in abroad.

In India, some people in villages still find it frustrating to be forever in a village, but some people with advanced agriculture knowledge, export-import ideas, and also great awareness levels about government schemes have created livelihood out of agriculture and today make some great amounts of money in return.   

Overall, India’s desperation for jobs is caused by many factors including the education system, lack of skills, and arbitrariness of private sectors for the employees. Considering this, stakeholders need to effectively work on reforms in industries, education quality, and skill development focused to meet the needs of the market and industries. 

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