Why unemployment is at an all time high in India?

This is something, that I wanted to write about since last few days and luckily, the Headlines in different newspapers compelled me to quickly write about the same. The unemployment rate in India is at a all time high, as per the official statistics. Many people would obviously, blame the government and its policies because that is the simplest way to do it. Yes. to a certain extend the pathetic policies related to our education system is the reason, why unemployment is at an all time high in India.

Even though we are amongst the largest populated countries, why is it that there is immense failure in educated unemployment ? Is it because the jobs are less ? Is it because the number of people applying for the same position is at an all time high ? Is it simply because of corruption ? Or is it because of reservation?

I also own a company consultancy and we do recruit, for different companies. Trust me, the candidates, who are graduates do not even know that when you apply for a job via email, you need to write a covering email. Graduates, whom I was interviewing for a Call Center position, refused to even converse in English, and all this is in the Metropolitan city of Mumbai. The requirement of the position was, basic knowledge of English, Basic knowledge of Computers (to send emails and use MS – Office) and a pleasant personality, with some basic general knowledge. Education Qualification wise the requirement was minimum HSC Passed.

I posted this opening on different social media websites and job portals. I got little response from Social Media Websites. When I asked the candidates, if they could send across their CV, some of them fumbled (these are the people who claimed to have already worked in a Call Center before). I just wanted to know if they fit into this criteria. Half of them did not bother to send me an email. Some of them argued asking, why an email was necessary, some of them emotionally started saying, if they will get this job, as they desperately need a change.

I used to teach Law in colleges to Undergraduate and post graduate students, as a visiting professor. Surprisingly, the first question that students, would ask me was to help them with a guide, which will help them pass the examination. A subject like Law is very vast and cannot be studied even in a couple of years. It needs practical skills, but all that the students and colleges are concerned about are just scoring marks to get good record and NAAC Certification. Probably, that also explains, the reason why the quality of judiciary is going down day by day. After my last stint, as a law professor for an undergraduate college, the students and the college asked me to teach them only the syllabus and not the practical application of law, as they are management students and do not need to know beyond that. Irony, that college was an autonomous college.

Well let us analyse this situation:

  1. Low quality education – Since the last few years, the government has been openly pressuring students to just mug up and study, irrespective if the child understands the portion or not. The Government has made a rule that students till Class 8 should not be failed. Yet, some schools pressurize students to take a drop. There are certain good benchmarks set for the students, instead of marks, yet our schools implement the marks system and harass the students. The syllabus designed by the government lacks life skills. Though the same is available to students, today in expensive schools but not everyone can afford a school which charges about Rs.1,00,000/- per year. On an average, the quality education of our Country is reducing.
  2. Reservation – almost 50% of seats in our colleges are reserved. When we talk about reservation, the difference between a reserved student and a deserved student is sometimes more than 50%. There is a reason on why certain colleges, put the requirement of cut off at a higher percentage. Most of the times, these students are not able to clear their internal exams and find it totally overwhelming, which in turn results in students, taking a drop after second or third year of their college. I am not against reservation, but the real people, who need reservation are never able to avail the benefit of the same. If the cut-off of General Category is 95%, then keep the cut off for Reserved Category at atleast 80 %, if you let even a student with 35 % in the boards, in this group, there are high chances, he may drop out or just be casual about his studies, because he is confident of getting into a government job on the basis of his caste. Thus, many talented students loose out on their seats.
  3. Lack of practical knowledge in curriculum – We have a lot of professional courses at undergraduate level, but our education system barely encourages internship. Internship during college days help students to learn the practical aspects of their course and help them to understand better. Even if some students, go for internship, most of the small private firms, treat them as slaves, and sometimes poor kids don’t learn anything. The attitude needs to change here.
  4. Outdated Syllabus – The lesser said about it the better. Most the technical courses, have syllabus, which is literally of no use in the practical world. We need to teach our children about topics, that will help them in future and not things that are almost about to be replaced or already replaced. Probably, this is the reason why a lot of Software Engineers are unemployed.
  5. Pathetic Exam System – We encourage Mugging openly, if a student writes an answer, by analyzing the points in his own way, then he has to compromise on his marks. We judge students, only on the basis of their capability to mug up and not understanding the concept. The students, who are at an undergraduate level do not even know how to do a proper google search and write a few paragraphs of original content. They openly, copy, paste the content from Wikipedia, no alignment, most of the times their Power point presentations have too much of data or too little data and as teachers, we are forced to pass such students. Seldom any student writes original content or analyses the problem. Neither the college, nor the students, want to take that extra effort.
  6. Underpaid/ Under qualified Teachers – Teachers are least paid professionals and therefore, not many brilliant students, decide to take this profession. A lot of colleges avoid appointing full time professors, and appoint visiting professors, who are unable to give time to the students, with the only intention of cost cutting. The criteria for clearing NET/SET changes as per the whims and fancies of the ministers. The conditions of Ph.D’s in our Country is pathetic. We are least bothered to encourage research until and unless it is an elite institution.

A lot of times, colleges, which take high amount of donations, enter into some kind of arrangements, with companies, who do mass recruitment for colleges. These companies, then keep these students on bench for about a year and then when the next batch of recruits are ready to join, they remove the previous batch in name of layoff. The students, who are smart enough secure their positions, or look for a job change or apply for masters, but the rest are victims of layoff and end up either being jobless or work for a lesser salary in a different profile.

To a certain extent, the outdated policies are the reason for increasing unemployment, but simultaneously, it is also the lack of desire to upgrade ourselves, that has contributed to unemployment.

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