Why the Present Job Crisis in India is a Perfect Storm of Converging Trends
Why India is in The Eye of Perfect Storm With Regards to the Jobs Crises
By now, there is a consensus among all experts and other stakeholders that India is in the midst of a severe Jobs Crisis brought about due to several converging and intersecting trends.
With Unemployment at a 45 Year High and worse, with no reliable data and outright fudging of statistics, the true extent of the jobs crisis can only be guessed at.
Indeed, as there is a lack of good jobs coupled with Unemployability of fresh graduates, and made worse by the so-called Demographic Dividend that is now turning into a Demographic Nightmare, there does not seem to be any respite from the problems plaguing Indias economy.
We will discuss each of these trends in turn shortly. It would suffice to say that absent serious intervention from the present government, the Jobs crisis can lead to severe social unrest and rupturing of the social fabric and the breakdown of the social contract.
Indeed, if not anything else, the rising instances of violence for petty reasons and the skyrocketing suicide and crime rates are all testament to the underlying unemployment of Indias youth. Therefore, it is high time the Indian government did something about this.
Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone?
First, while the government routinely puts out statistics and data indicating job creation, it is anybodys guess as to which sectors it is referring to and what the exact number of jobs being created is.
Even if we take the governments announcements at Face Value, the fact that there are no high paying jobs that are being created means that whatever little job creation is in place, it is those jobs that are low skilled and low paying.
Indeed, this is the reason why we regularly see millions of engineers and graduates and not to leave out, post graduates who apply for menial jobs in the railways and other governmental departments.
Even in the Private Sector, the jobs that are being created are at the lower end of the value chain and mostly part time and contractual in nature.
Moreover, with the rise of the Gig Economy, whatever jobs are being created are for Freelancers and Gig Workers in this sector who are not protected by healthcare and other benefits.
Therefore, it is a legitimate question as to where be all the good jobs in the present context?
Unemployability, Underemployment, and the Need for Academia Industry Collaboration
Second, there is a serious problem of Unemployability of the Graduates who are in the job market.
Unemployability is a term that refers to the phenomenon of jobseekers applying to jobs but is not selected either because they do not have the necessary skills or because they are just not capable of performing such jobs.
Indeed, most private sector business leaders have been Crying Hoarse about how Indias Fresh Graduates are Unemployable and hence, no matter how many jobs are being created, there are simply not enough potential recruits who are fit for such jobs.
In other words, there are jobs and there are jobseekers and the Twain Shall Never Meet. To put in layman terms, Indias youth are simply lacking in their abilities to be employed.
While this is an indictment of our educational system, it is also a commentary on the lack of cooperation and coordination between Academia and the Private Sector which can team up to work for mutual benefit.
Moreover, Unemployability often leads to Underemployment as the Frustrated Jobseekers take up the par time and the contractual jobs described in the previous section, some of which are seasonal in nature leading to such graduates not being productive throughout the year.
How Indias Demographic Dividend Became a Demographic Nightmare
Next and perhaps the most potent trend of all is the so-called Demographic Dividend wherein India by virtue of having the worlds largest youth population can reap the benefits of such dividends by attracting investments that can result in jobs for all.
The theory is that with such huge numbers of young people, India can easily meet the demand of industry for more jobseekers and hence, can enjoy the fruits of the same,
However, the reality is that India is neither attracting investment nor it is creating jobs in the domestic sphere leading to the spectre of joblessness all round.
Moreover, already existing industries are being hamstrung by the laws such as reservations for locals that make it difficult for the private sector to expand and hire as many people as possible from different states.
In addition, India is yet to see a Manufacturing Renaissance and even the Much Hyped Make in India policy has not really taken off.
Therefore, instead of reaping the Demographic Dividend, India is now living through a Demographic Nightmare that is creating chaos and unrest across the country.
Whats worse is that there does not seem to be any serious attempt to solve this problem by the government.
Last, at some point in the near future, all these converging and intersecting trends would collide into each other and create a Perfect Storm of crises that can derail the economy and lead to collapse.
Therefore, it is in the interest of the policymakers and the elites as well as other stakeholders to address this Gathering of Storm Clouds on the Horizon and Dissipate them before they burst and cause destruction.
To conclude, Indias job crisis is getting worse by the day and hence, urgent action is needed lest we become a failed state like some countries.
Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
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