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330,000 govt jobs up for grabs!

By Shine Jacob and Sanjeeb Mukherjee
November 06, 2018 09:30 IST
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The railways, the country's largest employer, will be hiring 127,000 people in 2018-2019, for which 23.7 million are competing.
Shine Jacob and Sanjeeb Mukherjee report.

The central and state governments seem to be on a hiring spree ahead of the 2019 general election in which unemployment could be a key issue.

This includes the world's largest recruitment drive by the Indian Railways at a time when the Narendra Damodardas Modi government is facing criticism over alleged jobless growth.

The unemployment rate rose to 6.4 per cent in August 2018 compared to 4.1 per cent a year ago.

Conservative estimates show that over 330,000 people could be recruited for various posts and categories across the country by the end of 2019.


The railways, the country's largest employer, will be hiring 127,000 people in 2018-2019, for which 23.7 million are competing.

The posts range from assistant loco pilots, technicians, gangmen and trackmen to technicians, cabinmen, welders and porters in Group C and D categories. The railways started the online recruitment in August.

This is the second time in Modi's tenure that the railways is hiring candidates for vacant posts. In 2016-2017, the transporter had conducted exams to hire about 18,000 people, for which 9.2 million applications were received.

According to official sources, major Central Public Sector Enterprises are likely to provide over 25,000 jobs this year.

"Oil sector PSUs might hire around 5,000 people. While Indian Oil Corporation is set to hire 1,000, ONGC could offer 800 to 1000 jobs," said an industry source.

Several companies are doing so in line with the government's target under Make in India of creating 100 million jobs by 2022.

Twelve oil companies have seen a 13 per cent decline in its workforce in the last 15 years, excluding the contractual workforce.

According to the data available with the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises, the apex body of public sector enterprises, CPSEs employ 1.13 million people, excluding casual and contractual workers.

Meanwhile, states have also come forward with their own contributions to the job mart. According to multiple sources, around 78, 000 teaching posts have opened in 10 states at various levels.

Of these, 51,000 are in the election-bound states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Officials said the Uttar Pradesh government would recruit 100,000 policemen, mostly constables, by June 2019. As many as 42,000 are already in the process of getting recruited, which is being billed as one of the biggest employment drives of policemen in UP.

Besides, jobs are being created in other departments as well at the Centre and states. Officials said a big reason for rise in recruitment was that several posts had been vacant for years in many state and central government departments.

The Opposition has taken on the Modi government over failing in its commitment to generate one million jobs a year. There are arguments and counter-arguments over this due to lack of job data in the country.

Critics claim that the country is unable to meet the needs of 12 million new job entrants every year. According to a study by Azim Premji University, the unemployment rate in India is the highest in the last 20 years.

However, the government relied on figures released by the Employment Provident Fund Organisation to claim that jobs were being created in the economy.

A study by SBI group Chief Economic Advisor Soumya Kanti Ghosh and Pulak Ghosh, a professor with the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, estimated on the basis of this data that seven million jobs were created in the formal sector in 2017-2018.

Prime Minister Modi had talked about this study in an interview where he cited the much-criticised example of 'pakoda wala' to emphasise the point that job generation in the unorganised sector should also be taken into account.

Now, the EPFO data has been put in the public domain. It shows that 3.2 million jobs were created in the formal sector in the first four months of the current financial year.

However, the data suffers from various limitations, including duplication. Also, the latest data showed that nearly a fourth of the net payroll in the formal sector comprises people who are switching their jobs.

A scene from the film Bangalore Days. Kindly note that the photograph has been published only for representational purposes.

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Shine Jacob and Sanjeeb Mukherjee
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