How Employment Numbers Become a Source of National Anxiety Even After Much Progress
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India is progressing and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Despite being a developing country, with game-changing policies such as Demonization and GST introduced and some more on the cards, India continues to struggle with real issues, the biggest one standing out, is employment.
According to a report released by Azim Premji University, some shocking numbers have come into light. According to the report, 67% of the households manage earnings up to Rs. 10,000. The report also added that the minimum salary recommended by the Seventh Central Pay Commission is Rs. 18,000. These bewildering numbers make one wonder of what significance are the growth and progress statistics that are spoken with beaming faces on several platforms if more than half of the population is unable to live a life of dignity.
A monthly income of less than Rs. 10,000 robs the dignity of the life of an individual because it clearly doesn’t promise a decent living or quality work standards in any way. The report raises an important question. What is the point of being the fastest growing economy if it is not resulting in any “meaningful, secure and remunerative employment?”
Moreover, a 10% increase in GDP but less than 1% increase in employment should be deemed as a blessing in disguise. A number that does not meet the needs of the people or serves any benefit to them is regrettable.
A Tale of the Past
Gender disparity is a tale that has been customarily harped time and again. The report also revealed that while 82% males earn less than Rs. 10,000 a month, a dismal 92% of the females earn less than Rs. 10,000. Moreover, women, overall earn 65% of men’s earnings. The report speaks volumes about gender disparity, “Women earn between 35 and 85 per cent of men’s earnings depending on the type of work and the level of education of the worker.” The sole silver lining statistic in the list of these unfortunate numbers is the narrowing of the disparity gap from 35% to 45% in the organised manufacturing sector.
Voices That Can’t Be Left Unheard
Thus it is crystal clear that efforts to generate meaningful employment are not being met with adequate efforts. Structural and strategic reforms, fiscal measures, employment policies, all need to be reworked in order to make sure that the voices related to employment don’t go unheard. Employment is the starting point towards a macro-level change. Benefits of employment will trickle down to creasing out predicaments the country is faced with in terms of poverty, growth, progress etc.