THE UNEMPLOYMENT PARADOX PLAGUING INDIAN YOUTH
Just being educated isn’t enough to land a job, as studies indicate that there has been an increase in unemployment with rising education levels
Upset over his failure to get a suitable teaching job, Atanu Mistry, a 30-year-old from West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, allegedly committed suicide recently. According to Mistry’s family, he had armed himself with a B.Ed degree after completing his post-graduation in English to chase a childhood dream of becoming a teacher. But failing to crack the recruitment examination for primary teachers, he only managed a housekeeping job in a private entity, which shattered his morale.
Again, a 21-year-old engineering graduate, Arpit Ravish, who topped the final semester examination, reportedly took his life by hanging from the ceiling of his residence at Girinagar in south Bengaluru after failing to get campus placement.
There may be many Atanus and Arpits languishing after unsuccessful attempts at finding jobs in the organised sector in the depressed Indian job market despite having higher academic degrees.
Take another telling instance. In July, authorities at the Malda Medical College and Hospital in West Bengal were in a quandary following a rush of applications from post-graduates, and even Ph.D holders, for a “Group D profile” job that required them to handle bodies in the hospital’s morgue. The eligibility for the position was only a Class VIII pass certificate.
Such incidents have not come as a surprise. In fact, government documents have reported a similar trend.
The fifth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey, 2015-16, shows that with rising education levels, the unemployment rate has also gone up in the age group of 18-29 years.
“The unemployment rate for persons aged 18-29 years and holding a degree in graduation and above was found to be maximum with 18.4 per cent based on the Usual Principal Status Approach at the all-India level,” said the Survey report on Youth Employment-Unemployment Scenario, Volume II.
Based on the Usual Principal Status Approach, the unemployment rate for the age group at the all-India level was estimated at 13.2 per cent. For men, the unemployment rate was estimated at 11.3 per cent whereas for women, it was 20 per cent for the same age group, the report said.
The Survey’s Volume I also suggested the unemployment rate was estimated to be five per cent at the all-India level. Among the states and Union Territories, the unemployment rate displayed wide variations. Tripura had the highest unemployment rate of 19.7 per cent followed by Sikkim at 18.1 per cent. On the other hand, Daman and Diu had the lowest unemployment rate of 0.3 per cent, followed by Gujarat (0.9 per cent)
In the job market, demand must watch supply. Adding qualifications would not be helpful unless it creates employability Ajitava Raychaudhuri, Economist and professor