Recently, the country was rocked with revelations of the government trying to bury reports that showed unemployment rates in India were at a four-decade high at 6.1 per cent in 2018. This is a stark rise from 4.9 per cent in 2013, according to data released by the Labour Bureau of India.

As per a yet to be published report by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), unemployment rates were observed at 6.1 per cent in a survey conducted nationwide, the first one conducted after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial demonetization of 500 and 1000 Rupee notes a couple of years ago.

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Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of days, you might have already heard about the controversy surrounding the report released by the NSSO, and the backlash the BJP government has faced for trying to bury it. Adding fuel to the fire, the acting chairman of National Statistical Commission (NSC) P.C. Mohanan and member J.V. Meenakshi resigned from the commission stating Government’s interference to try and bury the survey report.

With the entire country asking questions about the rising unemployment and what it means for the future of the nation, we at Social Cube intend to answer the country’s questions by delving into the facts. So without further ado, let’s get started with this week’s blog!

The NSSO Report: What it means

The report of a survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office, which was recently published by Business Standard, put India’s unemployment at 6.1%, the highest since more than four decades. So India, a country whose economy has been steadily increasing by more than 7% every year-the fastest growth among all major world powers, in fact, suffers from a Job Crisis.

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And if that wasn’t all, the report further paints a rather harrowing picture of rising unemployment in the cities, with unemployment rates in urban areas at 7.8% and 5.3% in rural areas. The youth in the country don’t seem to be doing too well either, with the report highlighting “much higher unemployment rates in youth when compared to previous years“.

You might think the educated populace might be spared, but no. With unemployment rates in rural educated males rising to 10.4% from 4.4% in 2012 whereas, for the educated females, a 2% increase in unemployment was observed from 2012.

Why such a rise in Unemployment?

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During the 2014 elections, Narendra Modi, still a party candidate for the post of Prime Minister, mentioned how he would boost India’s economy and create millions of new jobs for the upcoming workforce. Now, 5 years later, how successful was the Prime Minister in achieving his goals? This is the question we will try and answer.

In the last few years, with the internet age at its peak, the world has grown smaller. It’s much easier to know what’s happening on the other side of the globe than it was a few years ago. Why are we mentioning the rise of the Internet in India you might be asking yourself at this point. Well, because the Internet brought Western education to the world and with it came the Startup Trend. Dotcom millionaires became common phenomena and inspiring success stories floated all over the Internet.

And Young India graced the idea with open arms, according to survey reports which show a 3% decrease in job seekers in India since 2012. Now, recent college graduates in India prefer they’d rather wait and start a company of their own than wait in line for a job, leading to temporary-high unemployment rates. While the other half who chase the Indian Dream, government jobs. The survey conducted by the NSSO does not take into account the voluntarily unemployed population, ultimately leading to untrue-higher unemployment rates.

Another such reason is our education system. Schools have become a tool to cram knowledge for the purpose of passing exams up until the 12th grade, after which the baton is passed onto Colleges and Universities, where students are tested on a curriculum which is decades old to ultimately get an underpaid job. Which has, as a result, led most students to never fully understand their potential and follow their dreams. Only when the workforce is strong-willed and determined in its objectives can the country ultimately thrive.

Meanwhile. in the rural areas, the younger generation has been steadily moving to the cities, thus leaving the agriculture sector for better work opportunities. The educated class relatively has a better time getting jobs than the uneducated, with majority of the latter working in the unorganized sector, which is not reliable due to often hazardous work conditions and no job security.

The Government Overreaching or Public Overreaction?

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Measuring unemployment is not as easy as it sounds in a country like India. There are a number of reasons why that is, the primary being that the definition of employment-having a job for a fixed amount of hours every day with a certain salary, comes from developed nations. In a country like India, where more than 80 per cent of the work population works in the unorganized sector, most working more than two jobs at a time, the definition of the term “employed” is different altogether from its western counterparts. So in fact, these numbers may not mean anything at all, since it’s pretty clear that these numbers do not reflect the actual state of affairs of the Indian workforce.

Thus, it is fair to say that even though the Government is at fault for these horrendous numbers, but the public is a little to blame as well. The political interest surrounding the NSSO report is nothing but empty political agendas being played out and holds no real credibility.

If the government is overreaching and overriding the NSC, we don’t know. However, we do know that the numbers don’t show the complete picture, and are all but a part of the complete story.Current India is a lot better than it was a decade ago, with it being one of the fastest growing economies in the world and with room for more.

However, there is so much yet to be achieved. Healthcare is scarcely available, there are still more uneducated people living in the country than educated, still millions of people live without a roof over their heads, thousands starve to death every year. A country that prides itself on its rich culture and tradition of kings and emperors, India is yet to reach to its former glory. And a long way to surpass it.

So we at Social Cube hope India realizes its destiny and rises to the superpower it hopes to be leaving behind petty partisan politics. Thank You for reading!

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