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CPM slams govt for ‘all-round failure’ on jobs front

Editorial in party’s mouthpiece said GDP grew but employment declined.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

CPI-M mouthpiece People’s Democracy blasted the government on Tuesday for its “all-round” failure in generating employment, forcing engineering graduates and highly educated youth to seek low category government jobs.

In an editorial, the journal said according to government statistics, India’s GDP grew by 8.2 per cent in the first quarter of this financial year, i.e., from April to June 2018. However, during the same quarter, employment declined by one per cent.

“While the growth rate of GDP appears rosy, the unemployment rate rose to 6.4 per cent in August this year. This is higher than the 5.6 per cent rate in July and far higher than the 4.1 per cent unemployment rate recorded in August 2017,” the journal said.

Quoting recent developments, the journal said on 17 September, 1.9 crore applicants appeared for the Railway Recruitment Board exam to fill 62,907 vacancies for jobs at Level I (equivalent to Group D).

These were jobs of gangman, gateman, helpers in electrical and mechanical departments, etc. A large number of those who appeared were postgraduates.

Earlier, in Uttar Pradesh, the journal recalled, 23 lakh people applied for around 400 Class IV jobs, and of these 50,000 were graduates.

Similarly in West Bengal, in 2017, for 6,000 jobs in Class IV, or, Group D category, 25 lakh candidates appeared for the examination, many of them graduate, or, postgraduate degree holders.

More than two lakh candidates appeared for 1,137 vacancies for police constables in Mumbai. The basic qualification required was 12th standard, but among those who applied were 543 postgraduates and 425 engineering graduates, the journal said.

“What is striking about these figures is the huge number of job seekers and, secondly, a large number of those who applied are over-qualified for the posts. This shows the enormity of educated unemployment,” the CPI-M mouthpiece said.

Another fact was that a growing number of job seekers preferred government employment. According to a national youth survey conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, between 2007 and 2016, the number of respondents who preferred government jobs increased from 62 per cent to 65 per cent, the journal said.

The reason for this is that in the jobs available at present in the informal sector, there is no security of jobs, low incomes and poor quality of work, the party said.

“Contrary to the claims of the Modi government of generating jobs in various sectors, it is the policies of the government which have resulted in destruction of jobs. Chief among them was the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in November 2016,” the CPI-M charged.