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The first ques that arises after looking out at this move of government is “Where will these 10% be employed”. Even though the Modi government sustained the “high economic growth” achieved during the Congress rule, but that did not restate into jobs, poverty elimination, better healthcare and education for all. The government’s latest stunt of reserving 10% of jobs and seats at academic institutions for the economically weak upper castes is quite a perplex thinking as none can refuse its effectiveness as an electoral strategy, but neither can one terminate its counterfeit in providing employment opportunities.
Just like the perpetual motion device in the limerick, which makes hunger satiation unattainable, the recent quota arrangement too are equally pointless for any worthwhile recruitment.
“Where are the employment opportunities after all”. A recent report by CMIE shows that the situation of job in Indian market is miserable and the incidence of joblessness is the highest among the economically weaker sectors and sections, around 80% of the jobs lost are in the rural sectors, already facing the agricultural crisis and almost 80% of joblessness is borne by women, which ironically forms the focus of BJP’s new “vulnerability” politics.
Recruitment in the government sector is a cumbersome process where almost one third of the vacancies are already of the “reserved” categories. Simultaneously, the unorganised and informal sector that has been a source of employment is evidently healing from the ‘surgical strikes’ of demonetisation and Goods and service tax (GST).
A higher share of jobseekers are competing for less than half of jobs left unreserved, and the reserved categories can hardly gain from it.
While the aspiration of youth is a common occurrence in political history, the understanding of such aspiration seems totally fake, based on a rather uncaring assumption that throwing crumbs at them in the name of vague promises for employment, or a job anyhow, can get their political support. With such deliberate dismissal of the youth’s agency in the job markets, the government is turning his back to the issue of underemployment, which is the reality.
The international labour organisation’s reports have classified almost four-fifth of the employment in India as dependable with less than a fifth of the workers being regular salaried employees and another two fifths perceiving them to be underpaid.
With all of this results one may alternatively assert that the current unemployment in India, and particularly youth unemployment could be potential rather than actual unemployment. That is, youths willing to work are not putting efforts to find jobs because the existing jobs do not fulfil their expectations for payments and privileges.
Help to the economically less prosperous “upper cast” in communities?
It’s a complicated question. If the Economically weaker section is accounted as a category just like the SC, ST and OBC, a large number of general category candidates are going to apply for just 10% seats and the cut-offs would rise. While the non-reserved 40% open seats should be open seats based on merit, there are complexities here too. For example, the UPSC accepts a reserved candidate in the examination making it in the general merit list as general only if he/she has not benefited from reservation in the preliminary, mains, service choice (if one gets a better service option, say IAS or IPS, due to reserved seat, one is counted as reserved irrespective of one’s overall rank) .So, many who are above the general cut-off may still occupy this 10% quota, as they get a better service option in it.
So concluding the above point it can be said that the problem of reservation is different for upper caste and should be handled considering other factors. “Nobody is resisting reservation but create more employment opportunities”.
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