High number of applicants for government jobs should not be seen as an indication of unemployment as the attraction for such jobs is “huge”, Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday. The government will assess the need for social security in unorganised sector, which is seen as the main attractive feature for applying for government jobs, Goyal said, adding that the government will work towards capturing employment situation more accurately at national level.
Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said that jobs have been created, adding that people who do not work out of choice cannot be considered ‘unemployed’.
They said the government has provided enough jobs but data sources have been unable to adequately capture this trend. Goyal and Javadekar were speaking at a CII workshop on jobs and livelihoods. Citing the example of railways where 15 million applications are received for few posts, Goyal said such data is often used to highlight high rate of unemployment. “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 that. That is the reality,” Goyal said. The minister, however, noted that alternative job opportunities have increased and new sectors were encouraging self-employment, which are not being captured in any labour data.
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 postgraduate degrees apply for sweepers job in government,” he said. Goyal seconded and said it needed to be deliberated why a person wanted to join the government sector.