Unemployment – an Immutable Truth

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-Indrani Medhi
India, a country of 1 billion, faces a big challenge in terms of providing basic education, health care and subsequent employment for the people especially in the north eastern region. In the last few years, India has scaled heights in the global field and has projected a competent image for the world to witness. But nevertheless India has been confronting with a flow of significant problems which has hampered its growth over the years and which has in turn affected the people of the country.

The basic ills of unemployment has been a major issue of concern. Unemployment for years has induced a state of hopelessness and meaninglessness for years among the youth of north-east India. The number of private enterprises, small and medium businesses which usually are the employment generators of our country are very less in this region. It is primarily the government organizations and the educational sector that one is left with to seek a job. Therefore, the people here have limited job opportunities the ratio of jobs and the population is extremely low.

A usual scene here is that of the educated young boys loitering around aimlessly or playing carom or cards at the corner shop or just gossiping endlessly. Many talented youths seem to live a depressed life. The increasing number of degree holding unemployed youth in this region points towards the failure of the pragmatic or utilitarian system of education.

Consequently, education is slowly losing its value in the minds of the people here. Some people choose to move to another state or city in search of employment and a better life.

Moving out of the state for a better life maybe satisfying for some, amidst many challenges, when it is mere a choice. Scarcity has the power to create fights. Competition for the scarce end user resources has created hatred and intolerance among the people here leading to internal conflicts; riots being the worst. The crime rates in north-eastern states have increased at an alarming rate. The circumstance has pushed the youth to undertake these measures for survival and engagement. It is unemployment that has pushed the north-eastern youth towards terrorism. Being a part of such arrangement has become an easy source of income generation for the youngsters. They terrorize the local civilians seeking ransom amount from them. With every passing year, the numbers of such small terrorist groups have been on a rise.

Making the education system more job and practical application oriented is the need of the hour. Encouraging vocational training also will be a good start. Entrepreneurship too, can be a constructive solution to the unemployment problem if stimulated enough in the right way in the region. The entrepreneurial mindset is not stimulated enough among of the indigenous people of the area. The area needs a push and strong support from external agents like the government or NGOs in this regard which may empower lot of people and provide a moral boost for the rest. The setting up of medium and small enterprises will in turn generate employment in large numbers. The handloom, agriculture, dairy, food processing are some of the industries which have immense growth potential, not just in the region but much beyond. Tourism is another area which if worked strategically can benefit not just the north-east but the entire country.

The incidence of unemployment in the north eastern states is in general higher than national average. It is highest for Assam among these states. The data suggests that the common belief that youth unemployment is high in NE states is indeed true. There is an urgent need of all out efforts for a job-oriented economic growth. We need to achieve the conversion of the rich natural resources of the region into prosperity of the people to eliminate unemployment.