Political parties spin web as jobs elude the youth

Shimla: Din of an early election has set up spin doctors of political parties dolling out the carrot of employment before the growing numbers of unemployed youth in the state even as successive governments have failed to address the problem.

Neither BJP nor the Congress party is serious about solving the problems being faced by the youth, says Naresh, president HPU Student’s central association (SCA). Citing and example he said, “Only recently about 7500 admissions to B Ed courses were made for this year’s batch, but there is no assurance from any quarter that when they pass out that they will be employed.

The congress manifesto of the 2003 election promised high priority for job creation in labour intensive industries based on tourism, horticulture, agriculture and information technology.

On the verge of completion of its term, the Virbhadra Singh government has ended up attracting investments in sectors other than what it had promised to create jobs in. Though the government howled hoarse about having created immense job potential in the industry sector, real jobs that have percolated down is very low.

The much touted live labour and employment portal has not been updated since March 2005 and records 8.80 lakh unemployed people in the state. On the other hand government employment has reached a saturation point as Himachal already has the highest percentage of government employees in the country.

A recent World Bank study on Himachal Pradesh categorically stated that “‘difficult choices in public policies will be needed that mark some break from past development strategies. The role of the state, in particular, must change increasingly from a direct provider of services and jobs to being an enabler of human and natural resource development potential.”

With government jobs still catching the fancy of the youth not many prefer to take to opportunities being created in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial belt. Some among the about 70,000 persons who applied of 447 jobs of government forest guards were highly qualified individuals holding doctorate degrees.

Naresh, president of Himachal University laments that the government is not filling vacancies and only offering contractual and temporary jobs. “It has failed to cash on the information technology boom that would have created some high value jobs for the youth” he said.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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6 Comments

  1. says: Akshay Sharrma

    Dear Sir,
    This spinning of web by the political parties is a continuous process and if I can put it like this, “For men may come and men may go this goes on for ever”. Lekin kahavt hai ki “makadi apne jal mein apne aap hi fans jati hai”. I think the time has come.

    Akshay Dehli

  2. says: RKS

    Unemployment is perhaps the biggest issue for election in Himachal. Unfortunately no one understands the potential damage it commands. For the past some times, I have been continuously writing about the declining education standard in the government run institutions. The gap between “haves and have-nots” is widening rapidly. It is impractical to expect a quality education from a highly politicized and severely experimented sector with ad hock and back door entries. Moreover, the courses are also outdated. Products of these institutions are highly unfit for the growing job market of modern India.
    Perhaps the vision may be to help the elite class, educating in convents and top private institutes, indirectly by lowering the competition level simultaneously with an unawakened society. I can clearly foresee a bleak future of children studying in these institutions. Policy makers have to think about it very seriously otherwise it will lead to a big crises in the coming times.

  3. The problem of unemployment demands the maximum attention from the government and the successive govts have failed on this front. One reason as mentioned by ‘RKS” is the politicization of the education system. Over the years, the standards of education have gone down due to political interference both at the school and college/university level. The institute of excellence have become the hotbeds of politics. To mention, the appointments to these educational institutes are not based on merit but based on political affiliation of the aspiring candidates.
    The other casualty is the law and order situation in the hilly state which has been deteriorating over a period of time.
    All these problems pose a challenge to the new coming govt which shall uphold the highest standards of merit and law and order.
    Otherwise, the state will soon become another Bihar……….ooooops sorry Uttar Pradesh. Because Bihar has been improving off-late. Courtesy to some of the tough decisions taken by the present Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
    One of the major decision is the depoliticizing the school education system. I have posted one article on this issue couple of weeks back.

  4. says: Avnish Katoch

    Sudarshan/RKS,

    Nice thoughts. But as Sudarshan ji, say HP is also going to become UP, it really worries me, and this election would show Himachal how aggressive Mayawati cruises. HP is not really known for strong caste based aggressive politics and Mayawati would sure show why she is queen of UP politics, where she has rooted stalwarts like Malayam and of course complete Congress and BJP. It might be start but she would show her strength in this election. Himachal when you see overall lacks visionary leaders and our so called nice image is in fact hurting us and would hurt a lot in future.

    Now why it worries me is that we all know goal of low level politics which we see in UP is to gain power to few individuals by playing with emotions of downtrodden whom politicians never want to see rise. Reason is simple, look at people like us, we educated sitting in good places, we never care about politics, we never vote and we hardly try to influence political scenario. Up above that we never join as TEAM.

    Main worry for now is that Himachal has no visionary leader, experienced people played politics for long time, Sat mahajan retired at 80, Virbhadra is 74 and Shanta Kumar is also old but good administrator, Mankotia was never someone who has shown great strength as a visionary leader, but I can give a benefit of doubt to people like him as they were simply marginalized by politics of VirBhadra Singh. Dhumal has good understanding but would never take a decision which would go against his career. Look at Shanta, good decisions destroyed his career. Man is not MLA nor MP now! However he is best administrator Himachal could have ever produced, but teachers in 70s cared more for salary than future of Himachal and now government employees lobby is so strong that no politicians would even dare to anger them. So where do we go from here? The current system is built in such a way that without a strong popular leader who is able to make people aware that unemployment is not because government is unable to do things but because system has become so corrupt and old that to overhaul it, some hard decisions would be required!

    But alas not a single statement is coming for this from Himachal. Monkey menace is more important and so are small issues which appease people but real core issue why so many of our rural youths are doing paltry jobs like waiters and drivers in Delhi and Mumbai are never discussed. Why so many labor calss jobs are coming to HP not BPO or IT? So many B.ED. and M.Sc. people are sitting idle and not even able to earn labor class salary? Some serious thinking and plan with strong implementation is required from intellects of Himachal who always believed that if they leave Himachal their worries will be over.

  5. says: RKS

    Unemployment in Himachal is only due to no man power planning at all. Only our CM who also holds the education portfolio owes explanation for this growing problem. Opening of 22 more colleges in a year only serve a goal for regaining power. It has no relation with literacy as the colleges are out of the elementary education purview. Colleges are meant for empowering youth for finding jobs, as the agriculture and business in Himachal has no potential now to absorb more manpower. Now the question is, whether the courses taught in these colleges has any potential to offer employment? The answer is a “No”. Education system designed by Lord Macaulay’s has become obsolete now. It was giving some results up to a few years back when the government was recruiting employees in good numbers annually. Now, the government and private sector institutions in Himachal can afford to offer lower end wages to a few graduates only. For the majority, situation is grim and it is only the private sector jobs outside state, especially in big cities that can fetch good returns. But for the national competition a sound education system is direly needed.

    My advice is to focus on education up to 10+2 level. Select quality teachers and pay high salaries equally at all levels as teaching also requires equal efforts at all levels. Difference in salary should be only on the basis of seniority and educational qualifications. Mechanism should be developed to increase the efficiency of teachers and motivating them for accountability. Also please stop playing education politics with adhock and back door entries. A good dust free school campus with all essential facilities and experienced teachers with about 5 years minimum stay at a station will also contribute to the quality. Such an investment will empower children passing out of schools to choose higher education streams that are in demand. Higher education can be handled efficiently by the specialized institutes in competitive private and government sector supplying human resource to the market.

  6. says: VJ

    most unfortunate part of Himachal is that govt is been chosen by govt employees. So whoever will give them small, short term benefits at the cost of other state interests, they will choose them. In short we can say, whoever will give them “PAY FOR NO WORK” they will choose them.

    see govt teachers, who are building the future of 95% Himachal. They did their JBT, TGT, PGT decades ago. Things have changed a lot in last decade or two, but these guys are not enhancing their skills and are teaching students same things same way which used to be 10 or 20 years back. As a result, even after completion of +2, students don’t know what to do and where to go.

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