Creating Employment Opportunities in India

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India is a large country with a large population. She is faced with an alarming situation of widespread unemployment. A large number of people are unemployed both in the urban and rural areas.

Unemployment is a condition of involuntary or forced idleness, which on the one hand hinders effective demand for agricultural and industrial products, and on the other paves the way for anti-social activities. It indicates a situation wherein all human resources which should have been geared to maximise the natural production are not being utilised. Such a situation results in far-reaching consequences. It makes the measures to increase production and renders the rights of labour unsafe. It is a criminal waste of pro¬ductive power. Though it is a world-wide phenomenon, its consequences in under-developed and developing couptries are more dangerous than in industrially advanced countries, where it is only fractional and largely due to occasional deficiency in aggregate demand. In developing countries like India the production is labour Intensive rather than capital intensive, the wages and earnings of the workers are very inadequate resulting in general poverty all over. There is large scale under-employment in rural areas. In the middle class the extent of unemployment has reached alarming proportions. It is a most serious problem faced by India and a great challenge to the planners and administrators of the country. In recent years the problem has become a cause for grave concern as it has started threatening our economic and social fibre. It needs most immediate attention. Before we discuss the ways and means to solve the problem of unemployment, it is better to examine the exact nature of it. The pro¬blem is widespread in rural as well urban areas. So far as rural areas are concerned, a very large number of people living in villages remain without any work for about five to seven months in the year. More than 70 per cent of the total pouplation of the country is engaged in or dependent on agricultural or allied operations. The total amount of work actually done by these over 70 per cent people, if measured in man-hours, is far below what this population is capable of doing. As a result of increasing poverty due to acute unemployment in rural areas, there has been a continuous movement of rural unemployed to urban areas. The population in the villages has increased at a much faster rate than the rate at which fresh land has been brought under cultivation. Lack of pro¬ductive employment as well as decline of rural arts and crafts have been largely responsible for a move from the village to the town. Agriculture in India is seasonal and thus it causes seasonal un¬employment, which varies from region to region and with the type of crops. With the continuous growth of population and with almost static area of cultivable land, there is a chronic redundance of agricultural labour, which has assumed the shape of disguised under-employment. Of the present total population of 600 msilion, a little less than 500 million people are dependent on agriculture. It is estimated that only about 20 per cent of these are actual culti¬vating farmers, while others are farm labourers. A large volume of disguised unemployment exists among workers in small and cottage industries, which have declined due to competition with big factory products, made within the country or imported from abroad.

The urban unemployed constitute the industrial labour and the educated youth. In recent years there has been a steady increase in their numbers, because of (0 rapid increase in the general popu¬lation and (ii) large scale shift of labour from rural to urban areas. The industries and factories in the towns and cities have not been able to increase opportunities of employment to absorb these new additions. The rate of increase in the expansion of industries has not been adequate and the industries have concentrated oh fuller utilisation of their idle capacities...
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