Anxiety over quality and quantity of jobs may be behind Agnipath protests | Latest News India

Protests continued for the third day on June 17 in a new recruitment scheme for firefighters or armed forces in various parts of the country. Agnipath protests are the second major setback the current government faces on policy decision – the first three agrarian laws were passed in 2020 and repealed in 2021.

The government’s stand is that protesters are not fully aware of the benefits of the new scheme. The same logic was given during the peasant protests and Prime Minister Narendra Modi admitted that it was wrong for the government to not convince people of the benefits of peasant law when announcing the repeal of agrarian laws.

Many commentators attributed the protests to the rising unemployment problem. There were also large-scale protests and riots over railway recruitment earlier this year.

But agrarian laws and major reforms, such as Agnipath, are another reason to face such setbacks. This may have to do with the fact that these reforms have been announced while the economy is dealing with the epidemic, which has worsened material conditions and increased economic worries for a large number of people, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid. Here are four charts that explain this in detail.

At the time when agriculture became the last dodgy employer, agricultural laws created the perception that agriculture was a big business takeover.

Listing two key economic figures that capture the impact of the epidemic on the Indian economy, it is the biggest GDP contraction to date in 2020-21 and will increase the share of agriculture employment. As millions of migrant workers return home during the 68-day long lockdown, they find the last dodgy job on their family farm.

Experts have looked at the disillusionment and inadequacy of urban earnings as a major reason why younger populations are attracted back to farming. “When we understand the dual urban-rural life and livelihood strategies required by India’s simultaneous agrarian crisis and unemployment growth, the seeming paradox of urbanized Jat youth participating in peasant protests is resolved. In 2020, the BJP government has created a fear of losing the land that is essential for the diverse livelihood of the farmers, ”Sathendra Kumar wrote in a November 2021 article in the Journal of Peasant Studies. Kumar’s argument raises an interesting contradiction. If the government waits for the economy to improve, are agricultural law protests experiencing a similar traction, especially among young people?

There has been fears that the jobs of the armed forces will disappear at a time when the quality of work has worsened following the epidemic.

The 2020-21 report of the Periodic Labor Force Survey (PLFS) clearly demonstrates this. Although unemployment rates have fallen, there are qualitative deterioration signs in the labor market. The share of salaried jobs, social security benefits and government jobs is lower compared to the previous period, but the share of employees in non-wage workers is higher. In most of these fronts, younger workers are worse off than their older peers. The perception that the sources of big jobs disappear with social security at such a time (even if it is a mistake) only heightens the anxiety that already exists in the job market.

Access to education, which unlocks income opportunities in the new economy, excludes the relatively poor

One can always argue that India’s young workers should look beyond old-fashioned government jobs and keep their eye on India’s dynamic new-economy, which includes sectors such as IT and the fast-growing start-up ecosystem. This is easier said than done because the ability to land these types of jobs is directly related to access to technical education rather than general college / university-based education, which does not really increase student employment. Because technical education is more expensive than general education, the poor have difficulty enrolling in these programs. This can be seen in data from the 2017-18 National Statistical Office (NSO) Survey on Education, which shows that students from poorer families are disproportionately represented in general education programs but that the rich have higher representation in vocational and technical education programs.

To be sure, the Government believes that the New Education Policy (NEP) will review the existing higher education scene in the country and place greater emphasis on employment in education. The question is, should the government wait to realize the fruits of the NEP’s perception before it asks young people to shift their aspirations from government jobs to better salaries in the new economy?

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