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Published On:16 January 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Rise in number of jobless people in 'Vibrant Gujarat' in past two years

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: The number of jobless people in vibarant Gujarat state has risen by 97,095 in the last two years according to a government agency. In other words, on an average the number of unemployed people has been rising by over 4,000 per month.

In 2007-08, there were 7, 92,033 jobless people in Gujarat but in 2008-09 this had increased to 8, 24,769. But according to the latest figures (for the 11-month period ended February 2010) available with the state's labour and employment department, the number of unemployed people in the state is now 8, 89,128.

The number of jobless people is now close to nine lakh. An interesting aspect of unemployment in Gujarat is that joblessness is particularly rife among the educated. The official data indicates that out of the 8, 89, 128 people officially unemployed in the state, only 71,762 had no education. The rest (8, 17,366) had received education at different levels.

A comparison of the latest data with unemployment figures of previous years indicates that the number of educated unemployed has risen much faster than the figure for the uneducated unemployed. This is contrary to the state government's claim that employment opportunities have increased in 'vibrant Gujarat'.

The official data is based on the number of jobless people registered with the state's employment exchanges till November 2012.

A comparison of the latest data with unemployment figures of previous years indicates that the number of educated unemployed has risen much faster than the figure for the uneducated unemployed. This is contrary to the state government's claim that employment opportunities have increased in 'vibrant Gujarat'.

The latest data also indicates that the number of unemployed graduates is higher than that of the jobless with an SSC certificate. The total number of jobless graduates registered with the state's employment exchanges is 2, 42,344. For SSC certificate holders, this figure is 2, 25,983. But the largest number of educated unemployed (2, 64,035 people) are from the Class 12-pass category. The number of jobless people with general postgraduate degrees has also increased - from 34,061 in 2007-08 to 47,472 in February 2010 - but the number of unemployed engineering graduates is only 56 percent.

Unemployment among engineering graduates and post-graduates is very low compared to arts, commerce and science graduates.

While unemployment figures have continued to rise, the success rate of state-run employment exchanges in finding suitable jobs for them has been declining. In 2007-08, the number of people placed by the exchanges was 2, 00,562. This had come down to 1, 55,783 by 2012.

A senior government official said on condition of anonymity that graduates in general subjects find it difficult to get jobs as they are not sufficiently competitive. "But the state government has started vocational training in automobiles, call centres, and other similar employment avenues," the official said. "Also, once the projects for which commitment was made during different Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summits (VGGIS) become operational, no one will have any problem finding jobs."

The official further said that unemployment figures provided by employment exchanges were not very reliable. People rarely took the trouble to report back to the exchanges when they had finally found a job. "And under the rules, we cannot delete their names for three years, from the list of the unemployed,'' the official said.

This sorry situation of unemployment in Gujarat did not allow the state to advance into a prosperous state free from poverty.

Gujarat has a high 31.8 per cent population living below poverty line, says a Planning Commission report. This is higher than several major states such as Jammu & Kashmir (13.2 per cent), Kerala (19.7 per cent), Punjab (20.9 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (22.9 per cent), Haryana (24.1 per cent), Tamil Nadu (28.9 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (29.9 per cent). The report was submitted to the Commission by a group of experts, headed by Suresh D Tendulkar late last year.

Ranked eighth among major states, the only consolation for Gujarat is, Maharashtra, its neighbour and one of the main economic competitors, has a much higher incidence of poverty, 38.1 percent.

Poverty line for Gujarat monthly expenditure of Rs 501.58 per person in rural and Rs 659.18 in urban areas is based on National Sample Survey (NSS) norms fixed in 2005-06, which includes 'nutritional, educational and health outcomes', to quote from the report.

As long as the problem of unemployment is not solved as a step towards eradication of poverty Narendra Modi loses the right to call Gujarat as Vibrant Gujarat.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on January 16, 2013. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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