Author – Rishika Singh
Unemployment is not just a word but with it comes a plethora of emotions, psychological trauma, and questioning of one’s abilities which looms over, to question the existence of an individual and the condition of a nation on a true whole. Consequently, it is not about abilities or conditions which are to be questioned for their minimality, but what is to be looked at is the consequence or effect of the various factors at a global or national level.
As said by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “No country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order.”
It is the resultant of various chain reactions which occur at the global level such as global recession, population explosion, financial crisis, and the inadequate parting of education which is devoid of prerequisite skills for the required profession. Moreover, it gives birth to various other ill-effects which perpetuates in form of poverty, higher crime rate, the inadequate standard of health and education, increased social isolation, and decreased Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
A recession is the general slowdown of economic activity. It can be illustrated as a phenomenon of the wave; the economy picks up when it is at its lowest or weakest point that can be termed as a trough and starts to descend at the highest point i.e., crest. It brings forth a decrease of price in the market associated with a decline in demand and supply due to loss of jobs, private organizations lower salaries of their employees if it could not keep its pace in market this also leads to one such dimension i.e., unemployment.
Population growth and unemployment go hand in hand, with limited resources, industries, and jobs the large population proves to be a menace for providing jobs to each individual. It brings in poverty with a greater labor force demanding employment for the fulfillment of their basic needs. As per the statistical analysis of population growth, it demonstrates that during the decade of 2001-2011, the urban population has increased more rapidly as compared to the rural population which is also due to migration from villages to urban areas in search of employment. Various schemes and awareness on family planning started by the government which acted as a guiding force to reduce its effect both on global and national platform. India is the first country to start the National family planning program in 1952, though the program has undergone various transformations to not only provide population stabilization but also better health in terms of the standard with reduced mortality rates. Various schemes such as Mission Parivar Vikas that aims to reduce India’s overall fertility rate to 2.1 by 2025 specifically in districts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
Unemployment in India is statistically compiled every five years by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) is a governmental agency in India which studies the rate of employment and unemployment through sample surveys. It covers every nook and corner of the nation i.e., both urban and rural population. As per the surveys, it has been also concluded that due to stringent Indian labor laws which are restrictive as compared to other nations that welcome various job opportunities in various spheres in the true sense. This complex and restrictive nature of labor laws creates inflexibility.
In labor laws under the Industrial Relation Code 2020, the government has allowed companies with up to 300 workers to fire workers or shut plants without the prior approval of the government. Previously, prior approval was required. Firms or organizations with more than 300 workers need to still apply for approval. However, if the government does not respond to their request, the retrenchment proposal will be deemed to be approved. Earlier labor laws required a 30- to 90-day notice period before layoff of “workmen”. Though this won’t affect employees in the informal setup but affect people of lower strata who work in mines, plants, and factories who majorly do not have job security, health insurance, and stability in their workplaces.
As per the World Bank, less restrictive labor laws in India can create 2.8 million more jobs in the formal sector.
Under the suffering of poverty and unemployment weaker sections of society is not hesitant of sending their children to factories and industries which leads to exploitation, child labor, and which eventually is the infringement of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which prohibits the employment of children below 14 years. It also prohibits the employment of children age between 14-18 years in hazardous factories and industries.
Technological advancement and automation have contributed to unemployment to some extent, with robots, machines, and self-automated systems, artificial intelligence has significantly improved the quantity and quality of products. Consequently, it has reduced manual labor while focussing upon mechanized outputs.
The unavailability of prerequisite skills needed for the profession is also one of the major factors contributing to Unemployment in India. Over the years the industrialists and economists have argued that “lack of opportunity” is the cause of unemployment, but they have majorly overlooked the other side i.e., “lack of skills”, which is needed to perform the function and is the prerequisite in any profession. Formal educational qualifications are not enough to cater to the needs of any profession but what is required is the practical exposure, and skills that are ultimately demanded.
To approach this unquestioned situation the government has taken recent initiatives such as “Skill India Mission”, which aims to train and create an employable skilled talent pool of 500 million people by 2020.
India has also improved its ranking in Ease of Doing Business by 14 places and has jumped to 63rd position. With Flagship of ‘Make in India’ scheme will provide impetus to local industries to manufacture products indigenously and sell them in the national and global market, which will eventually improve the nation’s economy. This step will also employ a lot of people.
To cater to demands to rural India the government under the regime of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had previously initiated the Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act 2005, which was later renamed as the “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act” or MGNREGA), is an Indian labor law which aims to guarantee ‘right to work’ specifically in terms of rural employment.
It also focuses to increase livelihood security in rural areas and aims at providing at least 100 days of employment on wages in a financial year to every household where adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
In the World Development Report 2014, the World Bank also termed MGNREGA as a “stellar example of rural development”.
MGNREGA is aimed to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs).
MGNREGA can also help in protecting the environment, which is one of the DPSP empowering rural women, reducing rural-urban migration, and fostering social equity. Apart from providing economic security and stability and creating rural assets.
Though unemployment is one of the consequences of various factors both at the global and national level but what outsets this problem is that as in chain reactions which lead to series of events and products due to highly reactive reactants.
Unemployment also leads to various consequences and effects such as higher crime rates, as an individual is not provided with a medium to earn his living but for the existence of himself and his family to fulfill his basic needs, he chooses the path of crime while committing theft, dacoity, etc., which hampers the peace at the national level.
Lower GDP due to a decrease in purchase and prices the economy of a nation is hampered at the global level. Social isolation, depressions, and mental illness are repercussions of unemployment which are at the individual level.
Unemployment is the one such menace which tarnishes the image of the nation thus it should be addressed not only to improve the nation’s stance in the international market but also to fulfill the demands of its citizens via providing them adequate opportunity and platform to outsource their skills and eventually help in nation-building.
The Author of this Article is Rishika Singh. She is currently studying at Amity Law School.