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Tricking out of Employment & Education: Damaging Two Generations

“Anyone who has lived in an area with high unemployment knows how it erodes social bonds, lowers the resilience of the unemployed and their families, and damages the prospects of the next generation.”

|| Jag Mohan Thaken

Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. The government should put on these pinching shoes and then decide how to walk and where to walk. To feel the sorrows of unemployment, one must go through the above lines penned down by Sharan Leslie Burrow, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and a former President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

About the unemployment situation in India, referring CMIE, Economics Times on January 20,2022 reports, “India has 53 million unemployed people as of December 2021 and a huge proportion of them are women, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said. Of these, 35 million are the unemployed who are actively seeking work while 17 million are those who, though willing to work, are not actively seeking it, CMIE said.”

Russia -Ukraine war crisis has shown the true picture of education in India. There were about more than 18,000   Indian Medical students stuck in Ukraine. Thousands of Indian students go to study medical course in such countries, as they either do not get admission in Indian Medical colleges or they cannot afford the huge fees charged by the private colleges in India. There are  nearly 90000 seats in Indian medical colleges ,out of which only 50% seats are in govt medical colleges ,where fees is within reach of the common people, but fees of private colleges extends beyond Rupees one crore , which goes out of reach . In foreign countries like Ukraine, Russia and others the fees for the whole course range between INR 15 lakhs to 45 lakhs. That is why Indian  students have to go in other countries to study medical courses. Now question arises, why  India is  not in a position to provide the educational facilities to its students in their own country, when much smaller countries are doing so ?  Why extending more and more educational institutes is not India’s priority? Public murmuring may echo someday, ‘Why India is spending the Public Tax money on erecting statues instead of opening medical institutes?’

Presently all the states across India  are facing both -unemployment & lack of educational facilities, but as Haryana tops in unemployment rate, so here are discussing  these parameters in reference to Haryana alone.

Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has reported that at the closing of February , 2022  Haryana’s unemployment rate is 31% as against India’s 8%. As per figures reported by CMIE for December 2021, Haryana toped the states in unemployment clocking 34.1%, whereas the nation’s unemployment rate stood at 7.4%.  Haryana was followed by Rajasthan by 27.1%, Jharkhand at 17.3%, Bihar at 16%, and J&K 15%.

But, rejecting CMIE’s unemployment figures, Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar had claimed that CMIE’s data are not based on actual facts as the ‘official’ data as per state govt showed that the unemployment rate standing at 6.1% only.   Khattar said that if unemployment was at 34.1%, the scenario would have been completely different.

If the claim of the Chief Minister is be taken as true and there is only 6% unemployment in the state, then for whom the state government is organizing the Rojgar Melas and why it is adamant on reserving 75% posts for Haryana domicile youth in private sector despite resistance of the sector, whereas it does not reserve the 75% of government jobs for its natives?

On March 5, Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar announced the ‘MukhyamantriShatoUdyamiSarathi Yojana’, under which work will be done to take forward about 15 lakh low income families of Haryana to the level of an annual income of Rs 1.80 lakh. It clearly shows that there are at least 15 lakh families in the state, which the government is targeting to uplift them upto an annual income of Rs 1.80 lakh. Are these families fully employed? No, they are either unemployed or partially employed. They need full time employment. Also , Haryana government’s Job portal (HREX.gov.in)  shows the number of job seeker as  880563.

Kiran Chaudhary , a congress MLA from Tosham and a  former minister , questioning  the number of unemployed youth  in Haryana on March 9 , tweets , “Before the budget, the government says that 5 lakh youth are unemployed in the state. And now it is said in the budget that 50 lakh youth will be given employment, so where will the remaining 45 lakh youth come from?”

How the Haryana Government will overcome such a big problem of unemployment in the state?

While responding to a question raised during Question Hour on the second day of the budget session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha on March 3, 2022 , Haryana Minister of State for Labour and Employment,  Anoop Dhanak  said that in order to provide employment opportunities to the youth in the private sector, the Employment Department has set a target of organizing 200 Rojgar Melas every year across the state, under which at least one mela or placement drive will be organized every quarter by the District Employment Exchange in every district of the state.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment laying stress on providing jobs in private sector, where as thousands of posts in government departments are lying vacant. Why the government is not filling these and providing the jobs to its unemployed youth?

If the figures of education department alone are noticed, the situation becomes clear automatically.

As per statement of the Education Minister Kanwar Pal Gujjar during the Budget session of the Vidhan Sabha on March 4,2022, as many as 38,476 vacancies of teachers exist in government schools of Haryana against a requirement of 1,22,798.

While stating that Haryana had 24,951 schools, of which 14,491 were government ones, the minister, in his reply, said that against 1,20,966 sanctioned posts, 72,188 regular teachers were working. As many as 12,134 guest teachers were also employed, taking the teacher availability to 84,322.  And 15,265 vacancies existed at the PGT level, 18,236 at the TGT level, 1,046 posts of head teacher were vacant, while the department was short of 3,929 JBT/PRT.

The position of higher education is also not different. Haryana Pradesh Congress President, Kumari Selja alleges that at present the college education has been left to the will of the God.

“About 5 lakh students study in government colleges, but only 3647 lecturers / professors are deployed to teach them. At present, only 48 percent of the staff is posted here as compared to the requirement. That is, there is a shortage of 52 percent staff. In such a situation, the students have to bear the brunt of lack of staff. There are 172 government colleges in the state. According to the Higher Education Department, as per the workload in these colleges, there should be 7559 lecturers / professors, but the sanctioned posts are only 5068. Also, against these sanctioned posts, only 3647 lecturers are posted. To say 1984 extension lecturers have also been posted, but due to not being regular and feeling insecure in the job, they are not able to pay that much attention. To meet the shortage of staff, the government should either regularize these extension lecturers or stop playing with the future of students by recruiting new ones”, adds Selja.

It is also pertinent to mention here that for their demand of job security college extension lecturers, who are working since last 10 years, are on agitation and some of them are sitting on dharna and undertaking fast unto death since February 21, 2022 at Panchkula under the banner of Haryana College Extension Lecturer Association. Also, there are 12,134 guest teachers, who are working since more than 15 years in government schools in Haryana. Why the government does not regularize the services of these extension lecturers and guest teachers? Why they are not being paid at par with their regular counterparts?  Why the government is giving second grade treatment? If the government thinks that they do not fulfil the eligibility norms and they are incompetent to be regularized, then why the government has been marring the future of the students by providing education through these incompetent educators since more than 10 years?  And if they have the required qualifications and are competent enough, except some ifs& buts, they should be regularized immediately and stop further temporary or contractual recruitments.

But, these days the state government has adopted the path of outsourcing, where the government hires workforce through some private firms nearly on one third or less than half salary and also has no responsibility to give them regular jobs. Which clearly shows the intention of the government that it wants to get rid of the responsibility of managing the government employees and stepping ahead on the path of privatisation even in the government departments. But this step will create some big problems like uncertainty of job and future social insecurity in the coming years.

The political parties presently ruling over the people like companies keeping only profit motive in mind should read the lines written by Dwight D. Eisenhower – 34th president of the United States.

He said, “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security and unemployment insurance, and eliminate labour laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid”.

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