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Rush for government jobs doesn't mean rising unemployment: Piyush Goyal


New Delhi, Jan 16: Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday rejected claims of largescale unemployment in the country, says that unrelated issues cannot be cited to arrive at such a conclusion.

Citing the example of railways where 15 million applications are received for a handful of posts, the railway minister said such data is often used to highlight high rate of unemployment.

Piyush Goyal

"The attraction and lure of government jobs in the traditional Indian context is extremely huge. People think if they get a government job, they are sorted for life....they are permanent and, even if they misbehave and are found to be not good at their work, it does not matter, the unions will take care of the. That is the reality," Goyal said.

The minister, however, noted that alternative job opportunities have increased and new sectors were encouraging self-employment, which was not being captured in any labour data.

Indicating that there was a need to change and upgrade government systems, Goyal said the process of appraisal in government wherein the appraisee is shown his performance review defeats the purpose of an "honest" review.

"In this system, I have to work with someone throughout the year and I am writing their appraisal and handing it back to them. This goes down the line till the bottom of the pyramid. What can I write in that? I have to work with the same person throughout the year.

"I am expected to give an honest appraisal and hand it to him and still continue to work with him and get the best out of him. This is something on which deliberations are needed," he said.

Javadekar also said there was a need to collect authentic data and pointed out that as of now, only those in the organised sector were accounted for.

"There is no system to collect data from unorganised sector, the self-employed and also a large section of female population who by choice do not work. Are they unemployed? There are various aspects to this that need to be looked into," he said.

The HRD minister also said there was a need to understand the "craze for government jobs".

"We have to find out why people with post graduate degrees apply for sweepers job in government," he said.

Both Javadekar and Goyal said that current labour data takes only those in the organised sector into account, and there is no mechanism to represent increasing alternative job opportunities and emerging sectors that encourage self-employment.

Although both the ministers maintained that the government has provided enough jobs in the last five years, they admitted to not having the data to prove it. Their claim comes amid allegations by opposition leaders especially Congress president Rahul Gandhi that the government has not been able to generate even a fraction of the employment opportunities promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to the last Lok Sabha elections.


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