Among all things Raghuram Rajan has been talking about for the past few days, the one thing that should strike some resonance for Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be the state of jobs in the country.
Speaking at his book launch, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India stressed on boosting growth to provide enough jobs for what will be the world’s biggest workforce.
“Remember that we have what we call the population dividend. A million new people entering the labor force every month,” Rajan said. “If we don’t provide these jobs that are required, you have a million dissatisfied entrants. And that could create a lot of social mischief.”
Rajan is right in this aspect. India will have the world’s biggest labor force by 2027 and the millennial generation is crucial to anchor one of the fastest paces of economic growth. However, fresh employment opportunities are scarce and the administration has lagged in training workers to help them survive the threat of automation.
Modi’s jobs record is even poorer than that of the much-maligned Congress government that he has replaced. India needs to create as many as a million new jobs every month just to keep up with the growing population.
Under Modi, just over 10,000 jobs a month are being created instead, according to government figures from 2015.
The scale of this failure is enormous — especially since it will add to an angry army of already underemployed young Indians.
Inquiries are expanding about Modi’s capacity to satisfy his 10-million-occupations a-year battle promise with under two years to go before he confronts re-race. Maybe a couple were shocked when he upgraded his bureau, supplanting Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy with Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Labor Minister Bandaru Dattatreya with Junior fund serve Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
“There’s been an entire disappointment with regards to occupations creation and skilling,” Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, a political expert and creator of a history on Modi, told Bloomberg. “The reshuffle is an unmistakable marker that Modi knows about the political dangers this can make in 2019.”
Boss Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian additionally underscores Modi government’s situation in the second release of the Economic Survey 2016-17 — the absence of dependable occupations information.
“The debate on the measurement issues on employment and unemployment estimates has been ongoing for some time. The lack of reliable estimates on employment in recent years has impeded its measurement and thereby the Government faces challenges in adopting appropriate policy interventions,” Subramanian writes.
Creating more jobs was Modi’s important poll promise. In the 2019 election, he will be answerable on that count. But if the government neither knows the extent of unemployment nor takes adequate steps to create more jobs, Modi will not be invincible.