Unemployment is a curse. Its this reason that Nations with high rates of unemployment keep struggling in petty internal governance issues rather than embarking all out on development and leading their countries on international fora. Unemployment further aggravates with high density of populations and India is an example of this.

Lack of employment increases poverty and social problems. It deprives people of sources of income. Many social problems crop up comprising of cheating, fraud, dishonesty, gambling, bribery, theft etc. As a result of unemployment the overall social security of the masses is jeopardized. Unemployment even gives a fillip to religious fundamentalism and extremism as an unemployed person often finds solace in religious activities.

The recent spurt in incidents of lawlessness across the country, to quite an extent, can be attributed to this very unemployment. The various Una type incidents and incidents of criminals in the garb of Gau Rakshaks lynching cattle transporters can be attributed directly or indirectly to this rise in unemployment. This is bound to increase, unless job creation and employability is increased by the government.

To cite some recent statistics. The rate of Unemployment in India has risen to 3.8 percent of the total estimated workforce of 48 crore in 2015-16. The country created 1.35 lakh new employments in 2015. This is seen as a sharp decline since the figure was 4.21 lakh in 2014. These statistics are quite worrisome. Of late, there has been a chatter on India’s demographic advantage, i.e. more than 50% of our population is under 25 yrs of age. However if the pace of job creation moves at this dismal rate, this army of youth is bound to become a liability. Many of the socio-economic problems that India faces today is due to high unemployment. This bare fact, am sure, must have been realized by now, by those in governance.

Ever since the NDA government came to power, job creation, especially in the manufacturing and core sectors, has remained one of its priority. A number of steps, including several bold initiatives on land reform, skill development and labour reform, have been taken. But a lot needs still to be done as these efforts have not yielded enough jobs. There are also an array of barriers that have been responsible towards low job creation. These include poor power and logistics infrastructure, high administrative burden, high interest rates, corruption and red tapism etc. In such a scenario, it is essential to have a well planned manufacturing led job creation strategy, to boost the country’s jobs market.

Also read: Unified GST – Mr. Modi’s Game Changer for the Indian Economy

Exports to International markets, Manufacturing and MSME are the core sectors which need to be pushed if the government wants to move in the right direction of development.

The decline in exports for past 2 years has played a key role in poor employment generation. Per Official figures, the number of jobs created across the eight core sectors i.e. textiles, leather, metal, automobile, gems & jewellery, transport, IT/BPO, handloom and powerloom has gone down by more than two-thirds in the calendar year 2015 in comparison with the year 2013. Most of the aforesaid sectors are export-oriented, and this clearly implies that healthy external trade is a must for job creation.

There is also little doubt that MSMEs play a game changing role in employment generation. This sector is India’s second largest job provider after agriculture, employing more than 100 million people across diverse sectors. It has a share of 45% in the country’s manufacturing output growth and contributes 40% to exports. MSMEs, besides boosting the economy, also play a key role in promoting rural industrialization and social inclusiveness.

In the recent past, the sector has seen a number of positive and negative interventions. One such being that of RBI Governor. As per BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s fiscal handling were to blame for a dip in the growth rate of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In my personal opinion too, the blame holds good as numbers don’t lie. “As you can see the MSME growth has sharply declined in one year. In 2015-16 data seen sharper decline. R3 effect!” he tweeted, while sharing the snapshot of a dismal report on MSMEs’ performance since 2013-14, the period of NDA governance.

Based on the development hype and promises that the NDA government played to come to power, its now imperative for it to show results. Not only the credibility of the govt is at stake but the future of the nation is at stake too. With 2 years of governance gone, the stats on the job creation front, paint a grim picture.

Nonetheless, I, on an optimistic note will give full marks to Mr. Narendra Modi, if his government sincerely continues pursuing its developmental efforts, at a steady pace and achieves even 50% of what was promised. We all know that the gestation period for development efforts to convert to actual job creation is always high and 2 years is too less a time to assess. The present efforts by the government moving in the right direction, I do not find it impossible for this government to pull off with a perceptible change in coming three years. The numerous distractions by those with political agendas or by petty ‘cow’ politics need to be overcome in the stride of good governance and ‘Raj Dharma’. This will ensure churning out gainful employability figures that will eventually absorb even the countless unemployed amongst the “Gau Rakshaks” and put them on track, in the larger run-up to India’s development. Jai Hind.

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