The unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2 percent in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9 percent in February 2018, a Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) report said. And, according to CMIE, nearly 11 million people lost jobs in 2018 after the demonetisation of high value notes in late 2016 and the chaotic launch of a new goods and services tax in 2017, hit millions of small businesses.
The Opposition parties blamed the Narendra Modi-led NDA government for its failure to create jobs and to satisfy the expectations of the youth. After the report was out, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had tweeted, “The Fuhrer promised us 2 Cr jobs a year. 5 years later, his leaked job creation report card reveals a National Disaster. Unemployment is at its highest in 45 yrs. 6.5 Cr youth are jobless in 2017-18 alone.”
The Fuhrer promised us 2 Cr jobs a year. 5 years later, his leaked job creation report card reveals a National Disaster.
Unemployment is at its highest in 45 yrs.
6.5 Cr youth are jobless in 2017-18 alone.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 31, 2019
VIDEO | Rahul Gandhi – the challenger
Polling for the 17th Lok Sabha election has already started with the first phase ending on April 11. Before every general election, political parties use the manifesto document to set the party agenda and the list of promises it would fulfill if elected. Here’s a quick look at what political parties are promising in areas of jobs and education.
17th Lok Sabha elections 2019: Promises made by political parties on jobs, education
Indian National Congress (INC)
‘Compulsory and free education in public schools’
The country’s oldest national party promised free and compulsory school education from Class 1 to 12. “We will especially focus on learning outcomes. Schools will have adequate infrastructure and qualified teachers. To achieve this, we will double the allocation for Education to 6 per cent of GDP by 2023-24,” the manifesto mentioned.
The Congress promised to generate 34 lakh jobs in the public sector by filling four lakh central government vacancies before March 2020.
The Congress also promised to create 10 lakh new seva mitra positions in every gram panchayat, and to persuade state governments to fill their 20 lakh vacancies.
VIDEO | Why first-time voters are important in this Lok Sabha Elections
The Congress’s manifesto limits itself to only rewarding companies for job creation and highlights the necessity of apprenticeship programmes.
The manifesto touches two key points in private sector jobs:
a. Rewarding businesses for job creation and employing more women
b. Requiring businesses with over 100 employees to implement an apprenticeship programme.
BJP focuses on ‘Quality learning’, proposed to open over 200 KVS by 2024
The Bharatiya Janata Party has put emphasis on ‘Quality learning’. To promote talented students, the BJP said it would initiate a ‘Prime Minister Innovative Learning Program’ to bring together children in one place from all over the country and train them at a state-of-the-art facility.
The national party proposed to open more than 200 Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas by 2024, and to establish a National Institute of Teachers’ Training.
LIVE UPDATES | Lok Sabha Elections 2019
The party also proposed to increase the intake capacity of the Engineering, Law, Science, Management institutions by 50 per cent.
It promised to promote entrepreneurship and help startups. “We will launch a new schemes to provide collateral-free credit up to Rs 50 lakh for entrepreneurs. We will guarantee 50 per cent of the loan amount for female and 25 per cent of the loan amount for entrepreneurs,” the manifesto mentioned.
All India Trinamool Congress
The Mamata-led All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) in their manifesto does not highlight any constructive plan for employment and education, apart from promoting some education and job-based schemes for the youth in the state.
VIDEO | Mamata Banerjee: The ‘mercurial’ CM of West Bengal
“In West Bengal, the general classes and the economically backward people do not lag behind in terms of education, culture and employment, or in being a part of any other welfare work. All can enjoy the various privileges of the Swami Vivekananda Merit-cum-Means Scholarship, and that of the schemes such as ‘Kanyasree’, ‘Yuvasree’, ‘Sabuj Sathi’, ‘Sabujsree’, ‘Rupasree’ and ‘Samabyathi’, in the society,” the manifesto reads.
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
The age-old Communist Party of India (Marxist) is silent when it comes to education despite criticising the current system, and how RSS functionaries were appointed to high positions in universities and other higher institutions of learning. And neither does it address the current job scenario in India.
VIDEO | Narendra Modi’s journey from RSS pracharak to PM
“Our youth are frustrated due to the sharp fall in employment opportunities during the last few years. Modi had promised creation of 2 crore new jobs annually, i.e., 10 crores by now,” the manifesto reads.
The regional parties- Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), including others hardly highlight the issues of jobs and education in their manifesto.
The Lok Sabha election will conclude on May 19, with the result on May 23, 2019.