An unemployed state

A Samajwadi promise remains unfulfilled

GN Bureau | September 16, 2015




2012: As soon as the exit polls predicted majority for the Samajwadi Party in the assembly polls, a huge number of people started assembling outside employment exchange offices across Uttar Pradesh. Over 10,000 people on average registered their names at each office in the first week of the new government.

2015:
Over 23 lakh people have applied for 368 posts of office peon in the UP secretariat, i.e., almost one in 93 people in the state has applied for the job. Among the applicants more than 200 hold doctorate degrees and over 22,000 have master’s degree in various disciplines. Over 1 lakh applicants have BTech and other professional qualifications.

Back in 2012, the reason for the heavy registration at employment exchange offices (an almost dead institution in providing assistance to job seekers) was not any job opportunity, but the major poll promise of free laptops and unemployment allowance that the party made in its manifesto. After coming to power, young chief minister Akhilesh Yadav launched the much awaited unemployment allowance scheme for youth at a grand function held in the state capital. More than 10,000 people were given cheques of Rs 1,000 in the function. Under the scheme, people in the age bracket of 25 to 40 years were eligible to claim Rs 1,000 a month from the government, subject to minimum family income conditions. Besides giving the allowance, the government also assured suitable jobs to registered candidates.

“After the farmers of the state, it is the youth who continue to suffer the most. It is our duty to help them,” the chief minister said while launching the scheme.

The scheme, however, was discontinued soon, along with the laptop scheme, amid reports that the state had no funds to run these initiatives.

Three years after the mega launch, the Akhilesh Yadav government seems to have failed conclusively in job creation, as can be seen from the applications received for the post of office peon.

The situation in 2012 and 2015 described above are not different but are two faces of the same coin. The government has failed miserably in guaranteeing jobs to youth in the state in the past three years. The educated and jobless youth who were lured by the unemployment allowance are feeling cheated twice over: First by the state’s decision to discontinue the scheme, and second when they are forced to apply for a position that is well below their educational qualifications.

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