Among the various socioeconomic problems, which our country is facing today, the problem of unemployment is one of the most serious. Unemployment is defined as condition of a person who is willing to work but unable to find a paying job.

There are various factors that are responsible for unemployment in a country. Unemployment can be due to seasonal layoff particularly in the agricultural sector. It can be due to technological changes in an automated industry or due to lack of adequate skills by the workers. Unemployment can also be due to fluctuation in the economy. All these factors add us to the problem of unemployment. And because of this unemployment problem we are wasting our valuable human resource.

Why India even after 58 years of Independence is not able to solve this problem? Even after so much of planning, where are we lacking in tackling this problem?

First thing that strikes everyone whenever the question of unemployment is raised is our rapid growth of population. The employment opportunities that are getting created in our country are not able to keep pace with our population growth. According to United Nations population report, India with its annual population growth of 1.65 percent is the largest contributor to the world’s population growth, which accounts for 21 percent of the annual increase in the world population and China is in the second position with a contribution of 15 percent. If our population grows at percent pace, there is no doubt we will be surpassing China in the years to come and the employment opportunities for our coming generation will become still bleaker.

Secondly, our system of education prepares our youth mostly for the white collared jobs. With no work experience and unprepared for the challenges of work, many employers are reluctant to hire these first time job seekers. So, one of the hardest hit section of the society is youth. These scenarios compel us to look at the problems the society has to face because of the unemployment.

The problem of unemployment is going to have a multi faceted effect on the society. Unemployment in the society has led to increase in the crime rate, increase in the poverty rate, and deterioration in the health standards of the people.

Firstly, with regard to the increase in the crime rate in our towns and the cities, we find in most of the cases, the youth are the main culprits. The youth of the country, who are the real asset provided their power is utilized properly, could contribute to the material prosperity of the country. On the other hand, an unemployed youth may prove to be disastrous to a society. The increasing crime rate in the cities speaks out that truth. Not a single day passes without having new about chain snatching, robbery and murder. Another dangerous trend which we are witnessing is that of the unemployed youths are being enticed the antisocial elements and separatist movements. These    antisocial elements and separatists target the unemployed youths for destabilizing our country using them as tools for creating mayhem.

Secondly, India still has poverty on a large-scale. Unemployment is one of the reasons for this large scale poverty. The families without having any able-bodied members employed are pushed to the vicious circle of poverty.

Thirdly, deterioration in the health standards of our countrymen aggravates the problem of unemployment. Non-availability of the social security makes the life of an employed more difficult. It affects his mental health, which in turn affects his physical health also. How can a person who is struggling to get a square meal think of maintaining his health when he falls ill? For an unemployed person it is too costly to fall ill. A recent report in The Hindu, states that the people of Vidarbha (Maharashtra) have stopped seeking medical help for their ailments, as they cannot afford to pay the doctor’s fee and buy the prescribed medicines.

Since the beginning of the Five-Year Plans, Government has taken several steps for increasing the employment opportunities and eventually eradica ting the unemployment problem. Some of the centrally sponsored programmes are PMGSY (Pradhan Manrri Gram Swarozgar Yojana),       
SEEUY (Self Employed Scheme for Educated Unemployment Youth), JawaharRozgar Yojana, etc., stands testimony for this. But even then the problem still prevails then where are we failing? Let us look into the solutions for this problem.

The first and foremost thing we have to do arrest the high rate of unemployment and provide employment opportunities to our masses is to check the population growth. As the gap between the employment opportunities created in the country and yearly output from the educational institutions is too wide, it is very difficult to absorb the large number of fresher. Even though the Government is spending crores of rupees towards control of population through the various schemes, the rate of population growth has not drastically reduced. To top it, the Government has decided to abandon the 2-child norm.

Secondly, the current education system does not lay much emphasis on the vocational education. Even though a National Policy on Education has been adopted by giving high priority to vocationalisation of the secondary education, but the quality of these vocational courses is far from satisfactory and hence the progress on this front is very slow. The Government must look into it much more seriously and there should be a continuous monitoring mechanism to evaluate the implementation of these programmes. Only vocationalisation can help in diverting a part of the youthful workforce and ease the pressure on the white-collar jobs.

Thirdly, agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. The Government must continue its policy towards the encouragement of agriculture and development of agriculture-based industries. This will Test the problem of migration from the rural areas to urban areas. The Government has to take up massive irrigation development programmes in the rural areas which will not only make the land capable of cultivation but would also create jobs for the landless labourers and seasonally unemployed. Provision of irrigation facilities is the main panacea for rural and agricultural development.

Fourthly, in order to check the rural migration to urban areas, there is an urgent need for the development of the small town’s intermediate cities. This will ease the pressure on the urban cities and such restructuring helps in the development and use of the vast unutilized markets within the country rather than excessive dependence upon the report activities.

Fifthly, the economic growth of the country has a bearing on the job market. When higher economic growth is achieved through more productive use of all resources it results in higher per capita income which in turn results in more savings and investment activities creating greatest employment opportunities in the country. Even though we had targeted a growth rate of 8 percent during the 10th Plan period, we may end up with a growth of 7 percent because of slow down of the agricultural growth and high international oil prices.

Sixthly, because of the liberalization of the economy, v/e can see a new lot of foreign companies investing in our country. Government must continue its liberalization policy in a smooth way and encourage foreign companies to start their manufacturing units in our country, which in turn, would increase the employment opportunities. Now the latest mantra in India is that of Business Process Outsourcing and Call Centres. As India has got the largest pool of English speaking scientific and talented manpower, it has become an obvious choice for the foreign companies to outsource their non-core business processes to our country. But as we are racing stiff competition from our neighbouring China and because of the recent allegations made against our Call Centers, the Government must be careful in dealing with these situations and if necessary stringent cyber laws need to be implemented.