By 2020 India will be a developed nation. Good for us, if the prophecy comes true. But then, what would be the state of the economy (or “new economy” as the term goes), education and employment then? One never notices murky media raise such issues, actually only a handful of people talk about it publicly. Surendra Mohan, a socialist thinker, in one of his recent columns quoted scientist Dr.Randhawa saying that the incidents of violence erupting out of the unemployment issues will not remain isolated incidents but would be rampant all across if the unemployment situation is not brought under control. Reasons behind this thought are indeed scary: despite of haughty talks of development, Bharat-Udaya and all, the employment opportunities are actually diminishing. The ILO had reported that the unemployment rate in 2002 was 3.4%, a considerable increase in previous 5 years. 7 lacs posts have been cut down even in the organized sector since. Statistics apart, the situation is grave.

Dwindling employment problems have roots in our fascination for automation and technology. Logic put forth is: we would lag behind the rest of the world especially US and European countries, if we do not embrace foreign technology and investments. Bullshit! The concealed rationale behind this thinking is the greed to earn more profits and leverage exports. Why shy away from the fact that we cannot certainly increase our exports in developed nations, because however cheap our labour might be, these nations will keep on creating hitches in the name of quality, child-labour and what not. Instead of this fascination, why not encourage exports to the developing nations? Why not promote the Small Scale Industries (SSI) sector? Why not work towards removing the red tape and poor government policies that plague the growth of SSIs?

The problem is indeed burgeoning. Every year 1 to 1.25 crores of unemployed youth enter the foray. On the contrast only 5-10 lacs jobs are created for them. I am no expert on economics but feel that the disparity can perhaps be leveled only when we create jobs at local level, create more opportunities in farming and SSI. Lest we do this the feuds for jobs would not remain confined to Assam and Bihar.