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Why are most Indian graduates still unemployed ?

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India continues to grapple with rising unemployment. Recently lakhs of youth applied for the jobs of sweeper, watchman, driver, peon, etc in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The salary for these jobs is about Rs 12,000 per month only!! The MP High Court had released an advertisement in the zilla court for appointment in Grade 4 jobs. The deadline to apply was December 31, 2017. For 738 posts, more than 2 lakh youth applied. The maximum number of forms were filled in Gwalior – for mere 16 posts, 70,000 youth applied. Twelve panels had to be made for taking interviews that will go on till February 18.

Just by collecting application fees for forms filed in Gwalior, the state exchequer pocketed Rs 1.2 crore. In MP’s Morena Zilla, 5,300 youth applied for 22 posts in four jobs. The number of people who came to give interviews was so large that the police has to resort to lathi charge to control the crowd. In Barwani, just for 5 posts, 1,500 youth applied, these included the ones from civil engineering background. The same situation was reported from Ujjain where 7,000 candidates applied online for the post of sweeper, watchman, etc. Police had to lathi charge on the crowd.

Though school, college, MBA, engineering graduates have also applied, only the ones who have studied till standard 8 have been shortlisted because the eligibility criteria was such. What is the reason for this? Are we not being taught in proper way?

The problem seems to be in roots. Today our children face differentiation since young age.  India has approximately 250 million children going to about 1 million schools and 30 to 40% of these students are enrolled in private schools. While in  2001, only 18% of Indian children were enrolled in private schools it is estimated that by 2025, 75% students will opt for them, if the current trend of disillusionment with government schools continues. In most nations, the state takes responsibility to educate children. In UK 93%, in USA 92%, in Finland 98% and in Sri Lanka 97% of the children are enrolled in public schools. Private schools across the world have been the preserve of the elite, who believe that the mass public school education system does not meet the all-round development needs of their children, who were born privileged; and are expected to live in privilege.

We see mostly engineers are the one who suffer the most without having a job. According to a 2016 report by job skills credentialing company Aspire Minds, nearly 80 per cent of engineering graduates in India are not employable. Most of them are forced to take up jobs in non-engineering fields or remain unemployed. The skill sets required have also changed. IT now requires higher levels of leading-edge skills like cloud analytics, robotics, process automation, and so on, and engineering graduates of the day do not always come qualified.

Similary MBA’s and those who have done post graduation courses do not have the skills required for particular job. Commenting about this, Shreyas, an engineering graduate working in a popular nationalised bank in Mangaluru said, “I have done my Software Engineering in popular college in Bengaluru. I was assured of campus placement in my college. But I did not get any job which I wanted. I was jobless for a year, as I wanted to job which I studied. However I could not find any. Later due to financial issues in my house, I was forced to work in retail company ion Bengaluru. I was working in something in which I had no interest. I was fed up with corporate life and decided that it is better i try for government job. I wrote banking exams and cleared. I got posted as officer and I am getting great salary. My future is secure. But I still feel bad that I could have done better in my field. However the system in India is such that, most of them do not end up working where they want. If you see in banks now, half of the employees will be engineers. The reason is that engineers can clear aptitude, which commerce students find tough to do. In banks, commerce students’ should work actually. But that is not the case.”

The current, fast-paced market environment needs a higher degree of responsiveness. These requirements can hardly be fulfilled by most of the colleges.  The country’s educated youth are out on the streets either protesting against the government’s inaction to give them jobs or applying for jobs much below their potential and academic background. Government should work on this and make sure our youths get job.

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