It is a widely known fact that India is facing challenges in tackling the growing unemployment problem in the country. Although India is the fastest rising economy in the world, the low job growth in the country has resulted in India’s diverse problems such as social unrest and crime, poverty and hunger, and poor standards of health and wellbeing. As per a research report by Motilal Oswal, India needs to develop 10 Mn jobs per annum until 2030, which roughly translates to 8,30,000 jobs every month for the next 12 years.
As India aims for higher growth and economic prosperity, it needs to move fast on job creation, to avoid any adverse economic and social consequences in the long run. Besides, the government should also focus on economic policies to support sectors of economic activity that are likely to generate the most employment in the country. Public investments in health, education, police and judiciary can create many government jobs. More government expenditure in these sectors can develop new jobs in the government, resulting in positive outcomes.
Several tech-based developments have taken place in multiple sectors in the past few years. Fast-growing technologies like supercomputers and algorithms are working on making human lives smoother and more convenient. The massive breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, machine learning and robotics, have triggered a revolution that is now transforming everyday human life and experiences. While there are reports that these rapid developments spurred by digital technologies and automation will bring down jobs, according to industry experts AI will create as many jobs as it displaces. The analysis by Gartner found that AI will be a positive job motivator with a lot of new jobs expected to hit the market by 2020, reaching 2 million new jobs in 2025. Artificial Intelligence will not only be a mere job creator churning out new positions at various levels, but it will also improve the productivity ratio and create more opportunities in the market that involve complex problem-solving skills, critical thinking and creativity.
India also boasts of labor-intensive manufacturing sectors such as furniture, textiles, apparel and garments and leather and footwear. These labor-intensive industries require special packages from the government to generate more jobs. These labor-intensive clusters can compete in export markets by feeding the demand for customized products with the use of advanced technologies. Besides, there are over 6,000 clusters spread across the country. Only adequate government intervention and financial support in these clusters can support job creation in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Urban development could also be aligned with these manufacturing clusters to create new jobs.
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) had initiated a programme called AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) to improve the infrastructure for small towns. Infrastructure investment by the government has the ability to create many jobs. Engagement between the Urban Development and MSME Ministries can attract more investment to industrial clusters, which is where most non-agricultural jobs are. Even conducting skilling programs close to these clusters can create a demand for skilled workers and lead to more employment opportunities.
In a developing country like India with over a billion population, it is necessary for the government to provide more incentives to the private sector, including specific segments that have higher sensitivity to growth such as infrastructure and construction. The government has initiated several programs such as Make in India, NITI Aayog, Skill India Mission, Mudra loans, and Startup India to boost employment opportunities in the country. Apart from introducing programs to boost employment, the government needs to adopt a holistic action plan that will create a demand for jobs in the country. Skilling, reskilling and upskilling programs should be conducted on a massive scale to increase employability and productivity. Industries across sectors should come forward and support and invest in various training programs that can benefit the large workforce, create more jobs and more employable citizens, to ultimately lead to an unbridled growth of the Indian economy.