Acute Laziness or seriously no jobs for PhD and BTech holders in the country?

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 11, 2018 10:40 hrs
Daily wage workers wait for employment on a street side at an industrial area in Mumbai. (Reuters image)

Disclaimer: If you are a research scholar or someone who holds a degree in Information science or engineering the following news may appear appalling.

Meager jobs in the country may have prompted multiple PhD holders to apply for the job of a peon. The development has been recorded at the Jadavpur University.

The University advertised openings for 70 posts in the rank of a peon, clearly mentioning minimum eligibility of Class 8th Pass for the job with an approximate pay of Rs 15000 per month.

Surprisingly, the University recorded a massive 11000 responses and more surprisingly a good number of them turned out to be PhD holders and even MSc, MTech, BTech and BSc degree rank holders.

The University managed to shortlist 500 for interviews from the lot of applicants via a written test last year.

The Telegraph carried the report quoting the University's acting registrar Chiranjib Bhattacharya. When quizzed whether this was an act of desperation caused by unemployment, he said, many were already employed in private firms and applied for better job security. Teachers from Jadavpur University also added that the local jobs market in Bengal had shrunk forcing students with engineering degrees to look for alternative employment routes.

The lure of a government job that promises to offer better perks and post-retirement benefits is unrestricted to Bengal alone. 

About a fortnight ago, there was news of 738 peon posts opening up in Bhopal. 2.81 lakh applied for the jobs, many of them MBA holders, Engineers and even law graduates from the city and nearby Gwalior.

Jobless intellectuals passing out from colleges have also applied for the jobs of watchman, driver, peon, sweeper, with the Madhya Pradesh High court. In most cases these jobs would have guaranteed them Rs 12000 per month. These jobs in Madhya Pradesh were also in the news for calling the police to disperse angry mobs after the prospective agencies could not handle the interview processes.

Although several economic reports have indicated a growing GDP after implementation of demonetisation and GST in the country, scenes of joblessness forces one to question the economics of GDP. A fortnight ago, 2.8 crore people applied for 90000 jobs with the Indian Railways. The lure in this case was the 7th pay commission which forced applicants to apply for jobs such as carpenter, assistant loco pilots, gangmen, switchmen, crane drivers, etc. In the case of Railways, the pay band started at Rs 18000 to a maximum of Rs 63200 (loco-pilot) per month.

Here are some statistics to suggest nothing amiss with the formal employment index of the country.

  • Recruitment activities soared by 6% in February 2017 according to Monster, the search portal. Cities such as Kolkata, Baroda, showed sharp growth while metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai recorded single digit growth.
  • Santosh Kumar Gangwar, the minister of state for Labour and employment had replied to a Parliamentary question during 2015-16. He said that there was no official record of a job index created by the government. Unemployment rose to 5% in 2015-16 from 4.9% in 2013-14.
  • In 2017, unemployment was pegged at 3.6%. The unemployment recorded as on 31st March 2018 according to data from CMIE (Center for Monitoring Indian economy) suggests unemployment at 6.23%. Of this, the urban component is highest at 6.45% while rural unemployment stood at 6.11%. It was the highest on 31st May 2016- 9.68%.

On a lighter note, there was news of a Rajasthan MLA's son bagging the job of a peon in the state assembly. Reports claimed the MLA's son had faced competititon from MBA graduates and PhD holders.

It may be easier to say that unemployed youths should turn into entrepreuners and start their respective start-ups but there is nothing concrete yet to prove whether these youth have been offered easier access to financial resources and programs aimed at creating employment in their respective states.

The turn of events and news reports sadly proves that India's educated youth are tilting towards jobs like that of a peon which includes running official errands or transporting files from one desk to another when their brains could have been used for the betterment of the country. The developments has invited debate and split opinions. 

A section claims this indicates jobs are disappearing and the government is to blame. Another section claims that this is because MBA and PhD holders are possibly putting little effort to bag a decent job.

Does the tweet below sound like a solution to the current challenge?

Here are some responses from Twitter:

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