The problem of unemployment is a difficult one for India. Although the problem had existed in the past, it has become more acute after the independence.
Backwardness of the Indian economy and increasing population are mainly responsible for this problem. Empty mind is a devil’s workshop. Unemployed man gives up all moral standards and defies all social laws.
A few salient feature of the unemployment situation in India may be noted.
First, the incidence of unemployment is much higher in urban than in rural areas.
Second, unemployment rates for women are higher than those for men.
Third, a larger difference between the “usual” and “weekly” status unemployment rates, on the one hand and “daily status” unemployment rates, on the other, in the case of women than of men suggests that underemployment is of much higher proportion among the former than the latter.
Fourth, the incidence of unemployment among the educated is much higher at about 12 percent than the overall usual status unemployment of 3.77 percent. In fact, unemployment rate rise with every successive higher level of education.
The nature of unemployment differs according to the level of economic development in a country, India being an underdeveloped economy. It has the following types of unemployment:
It is of two kinds, and Disguised or underemployment.
It is again of two kinds: Industrial unemployment and Educated unemployment.
No dependable statistics are available in India to determine the exact number of unemployment persons. However, according to estimates of the planning commission and National sample survey, the number of unemployment is the highest in the age group of 19-26 years.
The magnitude of unemployment was nominal in 1951. In spite of the large number of jobs opportunities offered to the unemployed, the total number of unemployed persons in India today is about 380 lakh.
To assess the extent of employment problem in all its dimensions and facets and to suggest suitable remedial measures, Government constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Mr M. Bhagwati in 1970. In its report, submitted in 1973.
The committee suggested rural electrification, construction of roads, house sites and minor irrigation projects, and the establishment of Agro-service center in the rural areas. In 1977, Government decided to solve the problem of unemployment within 10 years and for that employment-oriented policies were launched.
Some of the important measures taken by the Government can be described as under:
1. With a view to increase employment, Government made sincere efforts to adopt and encourage labour-intensive investment and production programmes. In this connection emphasis was put on agriculture, agro based industries, and cottage and small scale industries.
2. With the primary objective of generating additional employment especially in the backward region and among weaker sections of the society, a number of employment programmes were starts by the Government, e.g. IRDP. JRY, NRY, TRVSEM, SEPUP .etc.
3. Educational reforms were also planned in such a way that educated youth should be free from employment programme, Vocational education consistent with the needs and requirements of the country is being stressed.
4. In pursuance of the plan strategy most of the state Government set up District manpower planning and employment Generation Councils. The Councils expected to look into the needs of the district and prepare integrated manpower.
It is recognized that the adoption of an employment- oriented strategy, but only over a period of time. According to the present estimates, such a goal could realistically fix for 2002 AD.
As such, the main thrust should be on the acceleration of the rate of employment growth over the year so that the need for special programmes declines in successive year so that the need for special programs declines in successive years and tapers off by the end of the decade.
Continuing necessity of such programmes on a large scale would, in fact, imply failure of the employment oriented development strategy that is envisaged as the main plan strategy can be summarized as follows:
(i) A faster and geographically diversified growth of agriculture.
(ii) Development of infrastructure and marketing arrangements for agrobased and allied activities to accelerate growth of these sectors.
(iii) An expanded programme of development and utilization of wasteland for crop cultivation and forestry.
(iv) Development of an appropriate support and policy framework for the growth of non-agricultural activities in rural areas.
(v) Greater attention to the needs of the small and decentralized manufacturing sector.
(vi) Large scale programmes of construction of infrastructure and residential accommodation.
(vii) Loentification and relaxation of legislative and policy measures found to restrict growth of employment.
(viii) Greater flexibility in special employment programmes and their integration with sectorial development with a view to ensuring their contrinution to growth and sustainable employment.
(ix) Revamping of training systems to introduce greater flexibility and responsiveness to labour market trends.
These measures are expected to contribute to the faster growth of the economy and, at the same time, increase the overall employment content of growth. The envisaged GDP growth rate of 5.6 per cent during the English plan is expected to result in an employment growth of around 2.6 to 2.8 per cent per annum or an average of about 8 to 9 million additional employment opportunities per year.
A continuation of employment growth of the Eighth plan into Ninth plan, implying an average of 9.5 million employment opportunities per annum, should be able to reduce unemployment to a negligible level by 2002.