In job mar­kets, a higher ed­u­ca­tion de­gree is of­ten a road to nowhere

Mint ST - - FRONT PAGE - Sha­ran Poovanna sha­[email protected] HYDERABAD/BENGALURU

At 19, Kalyan Reddy is like any other col­lege­goer: am­bi­tious, vul­ner­a­ble and un­sure of his fu­ture. Now in the fi­nal year of his bach­e­lors in biotech­nol­ogy course, he is eye­ing a post­grad­u­ate de­gree in the same stream. His hope: a bet­ter stand­ing in the job mar­ket than some­one with just a bach­e­lors de­gree.

His el­der brother, Durga Prasad, 22, com­pleted his bach­e­lors in tech­nol­ogy ( last year. Now he idles away his time, wait­ing for some job va­cancy to open up in the Te­lan­gana gov­ern­ment ser­vice, no­ti­fi­ca­tions for which have been scarce. His ap­pli­ca­tion for the post of a vil­lage rev­enue of­fi­cer last year has made no progress.

“Job op­tions are the same but post-grad­u­ates might get bet­ter pref­er­ence,” Kalyan says, speak­ing in Tel­ugu and bro­ken English.

A re­cent re­port by the Cen­tre for Sus­tain­able Em­ploy­ment at Azim Premji Uni­ver­sity, State Of Work­ing In­dia 2018, noted that un­em­ploy­ment among the well-ed­u­cated is thrice the na­tional av­er­age. There are roughly 55 mil­lion peo­ple in the labour The un­em­ploy­ment rate among the highly ed­u­cated (grad­u­ates and post-grad­u­ates) is about three times the na­tional av­er­age of 5%.



4.2 force who hold at least a grad­u­ate de­gree, and about 9 mil­lion of them are es­ti­mated to be un­em­ployed, the re­port added.

Te­lan­gana’s em­ploy­ment

7.4 statis­tics may not sound much dif­fer­ent from that of the rest of the coun­try; how­ever, the key dif­fer­ence is that the state’s birth in 2014 was pow­ered by a sus­tained so­cial mo­bi­liza­tion led by well-ed­u­cated stu­dents. It’s five years since the state was carved out from Andhra Pradesh. Since then, Te­lan­gana has sub­si­dized and in­cen­tivized ed­u­ca­tional ad­vance­ment through a se­ries of pop­ulist schemes. But what hap­pens when the pro­tag­o­nists of bi­fur­ca­tion do not find jobs?

As in many other states, Te­lan­gana too sees a large num­ber of highly qual­i­fied can­di­dates for low-level gov­ern­ment jobs.

Boddu El­la­iah, 39, who holds a PH.D in eco­nom­ics, left his job as a gov­ern­ment teacher in Karim­na­gar’ Thimma­pur vil­lage in 2006 to join the ag­i­ta­tion for state­hood. But since 2014 when the state was carved out, El­la­iah, like thou­sands of other stu­dents, feels dis­en­chanted and left out of the growth story.

“We didn’t just fight for [mere] bound­aries,” he says. “We fought for neellu, nid­hulu, niyaa­makaalu (wa­ter, funds, and jobs),” El­la­iah says, quot­ing the slo­gan which an­i­mated the state­hood ag­i­ta­tion.

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