Government Jobs & the Predicament of the Educated Unemployed
Usman Jawed Siddiqi & Anirban Bhattacharya
As researchers in the Centre for Equity Studies, we have been grappling with the question of the lack of job creation in the India economy over the last few years. The crisis in the job market is no secret anymore. Despite the present government’s efforts to withhold or distort official data, a recent ‘leaked’ report from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) claimed that the unemployment rate in India has touched a 45-year high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18. The Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) estimated that the Indian economy lost 11 million jobs during 2018, and pegs the unemployment rate at 7.5% as on 25th April 2019. From the 5th Labour Bureau Employment Unemployment Survey (2015-16), we know that the unemployment rate among those with qualification of graduation and above was at an alarming 28.2% (as per usual status). 2 Among youth at large (15-29 year olds), it told a story of double digit unemployment.
A Study of Internal Migrants
To Vulnerable Occupations in Delhi
Harsh Mander and Gayatri Sahgal
Millions of footloose and impoverished men, women and children in India, migrate from the countryside each year to cities – in crowded trains, buses, trucks and sometimes on foot – their modest belongings bundled over their heads, in search of the opportunities and means to survive. Some arrive alone; some are accompanied by family or friends. Some stay for a season, some several years, some permanently. Many tend to drift quickly to low-end, low paid, vulnerable occupations – picking waste, pulling rickshaws, constructing buildings and roads, or working in people’s homes. They service a city which does not welcome them. Forever treated as intruders and somehow illegitimate citizens, they live in under-served makeshift shanties, under plastic sheets, or on streets and in night shelters. Police and municipal authorities notoriously harass and drive them away. Laws protect them in theory, but rarely in practice. Their wage rates tend to be exploitative, illegal and uncertain, works hours long, and conditions of employment unhealthy and unsafe. They are often unable to easily access even elementary citizenship rights in the city, like the right to vote, a ration card, supplementary feeding for their children, and school admissions. Their numbers are substantial; their economic contributions enormous; yet internal migrants tend to remain in the periphery of public policy.