The schemes were all aimed at creating jobs for the country’s youth, but the government has failed to deliver on that promise.

Unemployment is a major hurdle in India’s growth path. One key election promise of the BJP government in 2014 was job creation. Criticising the UPA government for failing to provide employment, the BJP ganifesto (2014) stated that “The country has been dragged through 10 years of jobless growth by the Congress-led UPA government. Under the broader economic revival, BJP will accord high priority to job creation and opportunities for entrepreneurship.”

Though reducing unemployment was a major goals of the BJP government, data shows that it has not been able to fulfill its promise of job creation. As per the Economic Survey (2015-16), the rate of unemployment has increased from 3.8% (2011-12) to 5% (2015-16). Additionally, in 2015 only 1.35 lakh jobs were added in eight labor intensive sectors, compared to 9.3 lakh jobs that were added in 2011-12.

A worker separates casting joints of gearboxes inside a small-scale automobile manufacturing unit in Ahmedabad, India, October 12, 2015.
A worker separates casting joints of gearboxes inside a small-scale automobile manufacturing unit in Ahmedabad, India, October 12, 2015. © Reuters/Amit Dave/File Photo


With the rising rates of unemployment, the educated youth opt for higher education and the illiterate youth often resort to crime. In this context, an analysis of these two implications is also important.

A recent study conducted by Aspiring Minds (2017) indicates that 97% of engineers want jobs in software or core engineering. However, due to shortage of jobs, many engineers as well as non-engineers prefer to join a PhD programme. The regular stipend is an incentive for many to opt for higher education in India. Not only engineers but students from other streams such as science and arts also do not find jobs. As a result, higher education is the alternative for them.

According to the Indian Labour Report (2015), 1.6 crore individuals enrol in higher education due to a lack of jobs. Hence, the government should refrain from cutting research grants and reducing PhD seats. According to the recent UGC Regulations (2016) in any university, a professor can guide eight PhD students, an associate professor can guide six PhD students and an assistant professor can guide four PhD students at a time. As a result, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), one of the largest universities in the country, witnessed a massive seat cut from 1000 to 194 in the PhD programme. The government should focus on improving the quality of higher education in India because a lot of students enroll for a PhD programme due to unemployment.

In April 2012, Maoists in Sukma had kidnapped the district collector, A.P. Menon. At that point, a young Maoist guarding the officer had approached him with a small request. The young man had applied for the post of a hand-pump mechanic and requested the district collector to review his application favourably. In fact, it has been indicated that rural-urban migration often results in a lack of jobs, and the youth resort to criminal activities. While there is no official data which indicates that unemployment has resulted in crime, several studies such as Crime, Gender, and Society in India: Insights from Homicide Data by Jean Dreze and Reetika Khera, and A New Perspective on Violent Crime Burden Index: Evidence from Indian Districts by K. Chaudhary, have suggested that unemployment has been the cause of an increase in robbery and thefts.