[cajobportal Insights] Demographic disasters / NEETs / “sarkari naukris”

I run this recruitment setup cajobportal.com that provides white-collared jobs for CAs.

But as a member of society, I have been alarmed by the rising numbers of youth who are NEET (not in education, employment or training) in India.

It would be quite an experience when you could discuss the intricacies of technology, history, philosophy and psychology with people fetching tea/drinking water, washing toilets. We recently were having “chana sattu” (a famous drink in East India) at a roadside stall. Was quite shocked when the youngster told me that he was a B.Com graduate who also had a decent command over Accounting but didn’t have a job.

We recently read these multiple news reports

  • 3,930 candidates for 10 sweepers and 4 sanitary workers posts at the Tamil Nadu Assembly Secretariat in Sep’18

 We had numerous M.Tech, BE, M. Com and MBA applicants where the sole criteria read “Must be able bodied”

  • 93,500 applicants for 62 peon posts in Uttar Pradesh

 According to a ToI report, 3,700 PHDs holders, 50,000 graduates, 28,000 PGs applied

For a post which required a minimum eligibility of Class V. The selection for the job required just a self-declaration that the candidate knows how to ride bicycle

  • 7,000 candidates for 13 vacancies of waiters at the canteen in Mantralaya, the Maharashtra Secretariat.

 Certainly the applicants were more qualified than mandated 4th class pass. Of the ones selected persons, 12 are graduates and one has passed Class 12

Politics apart, the burning issues that I would like to place before you are that

1)      People talk about unemployment rate. Debating the unemployment rate misses the point entirely. The key aspect is meaningful employment.

Is the lure of a government job so high that you have PhDs applying for peon and M.Techs for sweeper posts?  The salary in Tamil Nadu was in Pay Scale 1 (Rs. 15,700-50,000); for the UP Peon Post was 20,000 per month etc.

2)      Will these highly educated people actually work if given the “sarkari naukri”? Won’t it be mentally depressing for them? What about a nation that uses PhDs for fetching tea/drinking water, washing toilets etc.

3) Shouldn’t these posts be contractually outsourced so as to avoid the lure of the government job, clouding the judgment of an educated person?

4) Is it worthwhile doing an MBA or M. Tech or PhD when this is your ultimate destination? Which are such institutes whose alums have embarked on this path? What credibility do they have? In India, the degree MBA can mean a full-time on campus as well as a distance learning one, from a Tier 1 IIM to a Tier 3 college in your locality. Can’t the same be benchmarked in some way so as to prevent royal misuse of the term MBA?

5) Is our demographic dividend now looking like a mounting demographic disaster? Meanwhile, migration, mobile phones and television have ensured people are more keenly aware of how the lives of others are improving faster than their own. So the harbouring social unrest is dangerous.

6) And what will happen when Artificial Intelligence & Robotics take over?