Isn't the National Job Portal, old wine in a new bottle?

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PM Narendra Modi launched the National Career Counselling Portal on July 20 in order to endeavor to modernise all government-run employment exchanges. But how effective would that be?

The archaic process and a reality check

Let us consider this, the present Employment Exchange was established way back in 1948 and no significant change has been observed since then. The last change was made in 1959 and there are no reports whatsoever implying that anything was else was done for advancement in employment process.

Narendra Modi

Although government job exchanges show that there has been a marked increase in the number of registrations in the portal between 2012 and 2013, experts believe that the numbers are misleading as these have been projected by the state governments themselves. They cite another disparity within various regions within a state when it comes to actual recruitment.
PM Narendra Modi launched the National Career Counselling Portal on July 20 in order to endeavour to modernise all government-run employment exchanges. But how effective would that be?

The archaic process and a reality check

Let us consider this, the present Employment Exchange was established way back in 1948 and no significant change has been observed since then. The last change was made in 1959 and there are no reports whatsoever implying that anything was else was done for advancement in employment process.

Jobs

In the year 2014, the then deputy-general of employment and training at the labour ministry, Alok Kumar, had said that the exchanges have actually declined in importance over the past decade. He said,"People no longer prefer to go to exchanges because the functioning is very archaic," said Kumar. "It takes months for the paperwork to get cleared and even longer for them (job-seekers) to actually get placed."

A staffing and training company once said,"Employment exchanges have failed to reinvent themselves and fulfil the aspirations of job-seekers in present day India. They lack the efficiency to match jobs to job-seekers."

Quite contrary to the impression that the government websites are giving. These sites state that between 2004-2005, the total number of applicants registered with employment exchanges is 40.4 million. This has increased to 44.8 million in 2012-13.

A ray of hope

While the overall numbers are debatable, individual states like Gujarat and Maharashtra are doing well for themselves, with a combined total of 9.2%, but provided 82% of the exchange-facilitated placements in the country in 2012. Also, 91% of the employment exchanges account for just 18% of the job placement.

[Read about Modi's launch of National Employment Portal]

A senior labour official said that the two states of Gujarat and Maharashtra owe their success stories to the employment exchanges as they place people in private sectors, whereas the others are focussed on government and public sector jobs.

What the government plans now

The National Career Counselling Portal will begin modernising the 982 emloyment exchanges phase-wise. For modernising the first 100 exchanges, Modi assigned Rs. 190 crores.

Under this project, we will modernise the employment exchanges and put them under a national Web portal, which will act as a one-stop platform for both job seekers and job providers where registration can be done online.

"Under this project, we will modernise the employment exchanges and put them under a national Web portal, which will act as a one-stop platform for both job seekers and job providers where registration can be done online.

BANDARU DATTATREYA

These exchanges will now be called National Career Counselling Centres. Apart from searching and applying for jobs on our portal, candidates can also avail career-related counselling by either visiting these centres or through our helpline numbers," said Union Minister of State for Labour, Bandaru Dattatreya.

The government may be offering old wine in a new bottle, but readers, let us not forget that the older the wine gets, the better. So, we can still expect a change for good.

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