India is a vast country with a population of about 1.21 billion and a labour force of around 475 million. There is an open unemployment of 9.5 million as per estimates available for the year 2009-10. Employment is the main source of livelihood and self-fulfillment for most women and men. About 6% of the total work force in India is employed in organised sector while remaining 94% are in the unorganised sector. Scope of additional employment generation in the organized sector for additional wage employment is less.
India has a younger population not only in comparison to advanced economies but also in relation to large developing countries. As a result, the labour force in India is expected to increase by 32 per cent over the next 20 years, while it will decline by 4.0 per cent in industrialised countries and by nearly 5.0 per cent in China. We are, therefore, endeavoring to reap this ‘demographic dividend’ by providing for higher levels of health, education and skill development. This will create an environment where in the economy not only grows rapidly, but also enhances good quality employment and livelihood opportunities to meet the needs and aspirations of the youth.
The Government has been making constant efforts for reducing unemployment through normal growth process and implementing various employment generation programmes, such as, Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY); Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and National Rural Livelihood Mission besides entrepreneurial development programmes run by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) also assures every rural household at least 100 days of manual work at minimum wages.
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM): The Mission’s aim is to encourage reforms and fast track planned development of identified cities. Focus is on efficiency in urban infrastructure and service delivery mechanisms, community participation etc.
In Bharat Nirman, critical areas of rural infrastructure – Irrigation, Roads, Water Supply, Housing, Electricity and Telecom connectivity have been covered. This has improved living standards of the rural population and also created infrastructure which will ultimately enhance the economic activities in the rural areas and generate significant employment opportunities for the rural people.
The investment on infrastructure is proposed to be increased to Rs.45 lakh crore during XII Plan period. About half of this is expected to come from private sector.
- Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development of any country. Countries with higher and better levels of skills adjust more effectively to the challenges and opportunities of the world.
- Government is serious in creating training infrastructure and providing quality employment to youth. According to a study carried out by Quality Council of India, placement rate has increased to about 80% to 99% because of improved infrastructure in the modernized ITIs. Skill Development Initiative (SDI) Scheme based on Modular Employable Skills (MES) was started during the Eleventh Five Year Plan for early school leavers and existing workers, especially in the unorganised sector to improve their employability. About 16 lakh persons have been trained under the scheme so far.
- Sincere efforts are being made for skill development of a large number of people under various skill development programmes. The Prime Minister has set a target of skilling 500 million persons by 2022 and the Ministry of Labour & Employment is required to train 100 million. Government is systematically working to achieve the target and the training capacity has been increased from 9 lakh in 2006 – 07 to 26 lakh in 2011-12. All the Government ITIs are being modernized. New courses have been introduced and most of the ITIs are running in two to three shifts. During last five years, the number of Government and private ITIs has increased from 5114 in 2006-07 to 10,344 which is more than double. Government has also planned to set up 1500 more ITIs in PPP and 5000 Skill Development Centres in PPP to enhance the capacity further. 27 Advanced Training Institutes are also planned in PPP to produce adequate number of trainers in the country.
Focus Area in the 12th Five Year Plan
In the 12th Five Year Plan the thrust of the Government is in bringing about an inclusive growth strategy that will provide job opportunities as well as make the young of the country employable.
The main focus areas are:
a) Thrust on Manufacturing Sector-to make it the engine of employment growth-that would create 100 million additional jobs by 2025.
b) To bring in supportive policies to incentivise labour intensive manufacturing sectors such as textile & garments, leather & footwear, food processing, gems & Jewellery to generate more employment opportunities.
c) Expanding employment in services like IT, finance & banking, tourism, trade & transport.
d) Prioritizing skill training for the informal sector; creation of appropriate skill sets among rural migrants and urban poor to make growth inclusive.
e) Ensuring the employability of skilled persons by involving Sector Skill Councils in preparation of Skill Modules matching market demand.
f) Building on the potential of Modular Employable Skill programme by ensuring combination of modules to ensure employability.
g) Extending Social Security benefits to Unorganized sector Workers.
h) Enable skill loans for poor students (Credit Guarantee Fund)
i) Streamlining the skill development programs for disadvantaged sections to ensure much larger funding for skill development.
j) Setting up of National Skill Registry to link data bases across Ministries / States to provide a platform linking people who seek/provide employment.
Expenditure on social services which include education, sports, art and culture, medical and public health, family welfare, water supply and sanitation, housing, urban development; welfare of Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other Backward Classes (OBCs), labour and labour welfare, social security and welfare, nutrition, relief for natural calamities, etc. by the Government (Centre and State combined) has also shown increase in recent years reflecting higher priority to social services.
National-e-Governance Plan has identified Upgradation and modernization Employment Exchanges as one of the Mission Mode Projects (MMP). The MMP aims to progressively support all Employment Exchanges in the country to make effective use of IT in various activities of employment services. A national web portal will be developed to make all employment related services available on a single window and will work like a virtual job market. This will help Employment Exchanges to provide efficient and quality services at wider scale and speed.