The Problem of Unemployment
The problem of unemployment has become very acute in developing countries. Cicero regarded unemployment as a sort of suicide. Jameson considered it as the burial of a living person. It aggravates the poverty of people. An unemployed person remains crestfallen. He is like a piece of wood tossed about by the eddies in a river. Rising unemployment can create unrest and indiscipline in society and, in the process, may become a threat to any government. In our country, unemployment has assumed such a serious form that it must be regarded as one of the most serious problems and given top priority.
The World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993 stressed the necessity of protecting human rights. But it did not mention anything about including the rights to work as a fundamental right in the various constitutions of the world. The right to work has been included in the Article 39 of our Constitution, but it cannot be enforced through a court of law, since it is only a Directive Principle of State Policy.
There are various causes for unemployment in our country. The first is the increasing population. In 1951, India’s population was thirty-six crore. In 1991 it became eighty-four crore, and today it stands at over one billion. Thus, during the five decades there was an increase of over sixty-four crore, but the opportunities for employment have not increased. Our system of education is defective.
A large number of graduates and post-graduates come out of colleges every year. There are no sufficient vacancies in the government department to absorb them. Often they prefer white collar jobs. Further, the educated persons are not enterprising. Even one who has a degree in agriculture does not like to start a farm and make money. The pace of industrialization is slow. Frequent strikes by workers discourage industrialists from starting new industries. Village and cottage industries remain neglected. During the last five decades several schemes have been initiated by the government of India to provide additional and seasonal employment, but they do not ensure continuity of employment or income. According to Mr. M.L. Dantwala, even though these schemes are meant to benefit the weaker section, they may in actual practice serve the better off.
Let us now suggest a few measures by which this problem can be solved. Population explosion impedes the economic development of the country. Every effort must, therefore, be made to reduce the birth rate. The Chinese government gives a number of incentives to the people to reduce nasality. Such incentives should also be given to the people in our country. We made a great mistake by spending huge amounts of money on higher education. This has created massive unemployment among the educated. In China, only those young men and women are brilliant selected for higher education. After school, all students have to work on farms or in factories for two years. When this period is over, most of them continue working there. The other students go for higher education. Further, the admission of students to key universities is based on entrance tests. Those who pass the test need not pay any fee. They are given scholarships. Further, they are assured employment on completion of their education. To reduce the unemployment in our rural areas, village and cottage industries should be developed. Thus, the rush of the people from villages to towns and cities can be checked to some extent. In the USA, there are Ph.D’s workings as taxi-drivers and waiters. Those who wish to start- their own industries have to be given financial assistance.
The workers should create a peaceful atmosphere for industrial growth. The workers of Japan are highly patriotic and industrious. They believe that the progress of their factories is their own progress. Only rarely do they resort to strikes. The Indian workers should learn something from their Japanese counterparts. By rapid industrialization it will not be difficult for India to get rid of unemployment.
But India does not have sufficient capital for this. The government and the people should avoid extravagance and save more arid-more money, which should be used for industrializing the country. We must also attach importance to job oriented education. We should say goodbye to the conventional courses like B.A. and B.Sc. We must have more colleges for such courses as B.Sc and MSc in subjects like leather technology, plastic technology, rubber technology, computer science and printing technology. There should also be courses for degree and post-graduate degree in business management, tourism, nursing, microbiology, and biotechnology etc. These courses have good scope for employment.