#WhereAreTheJobs – ‘Job Market Is Pathetic’

I work as a journalist with Radio Dwarka (www.radiodwarka.com), India’s first online Community Radio, an initiative by a group of old media hands in Delhi. According to Wikipedia, community radio stations are operated, owned, and influenced by the communities they serve.  They provide a mechanism for enabling individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own stories, to share experiences and, in a media-rich world, to become creators and contributors of media. In short, it is a mini democracy in action, a media service of the people, for the people and by the people.

As a reporter I try to get an in-depth understanding of issues. I have been able to look at people’s confusions, aspirations and fears from close quarters. And in my opinion, our country is in urgent need of a Universal Basic Income. The employment situation doesn’t look that bright to me.

There are various schemes that have been introduced by the current government to skill people and generate employment. The government’s social media machinery has done a good job publicising these schemes. Youngsters from privileged backgrounds, who probably do not need to avail benefits of government schemes want to participate as volunteers wherever possible. However, the schemes should reach the people from the back of beyond, who really need them the most.  

Perhaps the most talked about business loan scheme is the ‘MSME Business Loans in 59 Minutes’.  Financial assistance of upto Rs 1 crore is given to micro, small and medium enterprises that form the backbone of any economy. MSMEs contribute to around 40 percent of the GDP. A time frame of 8-12 days is taken to verify the credentials of the business, but the actual approval or disapproval is given in 59 minutes flat. It saves one from so much stress.

Some day, I would like to start my own initiative –a community radio for my hometown, Gaya. Gaya has numerous stories in its bag apart from the Mahabodhi temple. The world needs to know about us. I keep updating myself about the various ways in which the government is aiding people, who want to work towards their own businesses.

As about voting in the last elections, yes I had voted for the BJP and my vote will again go to the same party.

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#WhereAreTheJobs – 'Govt Schemes Help'

I feel the employment situation has remained static over the last four years under the Modi regime. However, since I have never entered the workforce, I am not in a position to make a very informed and in-depth comment about the issue. But most people my age who opted to take up jobs, have found employment. Whether they are happy with their jobs and the salaries they are getting is another issue altogether. 

I have definitely heard of quite a few government schemes, but never tried to enrol myself in any of them. I don’t even know anyone personally, who is availing the benefits of any of the government schemes. I think by far the most popular scheme is the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana. Almost everyone has heard of it and it has centres across the length and breadth of the country. In Delhi you have these centres in places as diverse as South Extension 1, Narela, Najafgarh, Uttam Nagar, Rohini, Khajuri Khas etc. 

I am currently not working anywhere and focusing my energy on procuring a government job. I want to serve the country as an efficient policewoman and study long hours to be able to live my passion soon. I also attend coaching classes for these exams. However, if I am not able to clear the exams essential to secure a government job, then perhaps I would like to go for self-employment. I still haven’t figured out what business I would like to take up if I go for self-employment. 

I didn’t vote in the last elections, but I would like to vote for BJP in the upcoming elections for I believe they truly understand the essence of India, right down to the grassroots level.

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#MyVote2019 – ‘Govt Supporting Startups’

I am not an economic expert and thus can only speak for myself. In my opinion, the employment situation has improved, though the recent report released by NSSO (National Sample Survey Organization) says otherwise. Having said that, to form an opinion about matters as serious and as multi-layered as this, one needs to delve deep into the subject.  

I am happy about the fact that the government has increased the taxable income slab to 5 lakh per annum. I understand that it still needs to be passed in the parliament and as of now is only a proposal, but is a good start nonetheless. The ESIC (Employees’ State Insurance Scheme) amendment that came into effect on January 1, 2017, is also a welcome step for those already in the workforce. After the amendment, the wage limit of employees covered under the scheme went up from Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000. This new move also included insurance cover for family members of employees.

The current government has definitely created a conducive environment for start-ups with the launch of the Start Up India Scheme launched in 2016. I particularly like the fact that the Mudra Banks Scheme (Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana) provides micro-finance at low-interest rate loans to entrepreneurs from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This means anybody, who has a great idea, irrespective of their socioeconomic background, can dare to dream and take the leap.

As someone, who would love to start his own enterprise, I love to read about how the government is helping turn ordinary people’s ideas into reality through steps such as, creating a Rs 10,000 crore start- up funding pool; reduction in patent registration fees; improved bankruptcy code, to ensure a 90-day exit window; freedom from mystifying inspections for first three years of operation; freedom from Capital Gain Tax for the first three years of operation; and self-certification compliance.

I have heard about the Skill India campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 July 2015 which aims to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022.

As I mentioned above, even though I currently work as a business analyst, sooner or later I would like to start my own business, or in other words looking forward to being self-employed. Currently I am doing research about what it is that people need, so that my business can help fill the gap in the market.

I did not vote during the last elections, however since 2014 I have begun to take a keen interest in politics and must say I am impressed with the ruling party’s work and would like to vote for them in the upcoming elections.

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#MyVote2019 – ‘BJP Hiding Facts On Jobs’

A leaked National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report says in 2017-18, the unemployment rate was 6.1% and the highest in 45 years. Those in power, make their best efforts to paint a rosy picture to mislead people so that do not have any clarity over the unemployment rate in the country right now. But one thing is certain- there are fewer jobs available in the market. This can be observed on a daily basis when one skims through the pages of newspapers with news stories that talk about PhD and MBA holders applying for a peon’s job. There’s no doubt about the fact that the situation of unemployment has worsened in the last few years. I have heard about the Skill India mission but haven’t been enrolled in any such program. However I have also read about how this mission has been a massive failure since its focus has been largely on the short-term skill courses, resulting in low placements. Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner and head of education and skill development, KPMG in India, recently said PMKVY was an ambitious scheme to impart short-term skills. I am currently a research scholar so haven’t intensively searched for a job but I have looked for jobs in both the private and the government sector during vacations and have had harrowing experiences. In the government sector there aren’t enough jobs available and the private sector has jobs but they are underpaying and exploitative in nature. I didn’t vote for the BJP in the last general elections but wasn’t bitter against this party since I was a little too young to understand the kind of politics of hatred it indulges in. This year I am definitely going to acrimoniously campaign in my capacity against the current government. I don’t think I would ever be able to give out an exhaustive list of reasons to vote against this party because it would be a colossal task. In short, the current government is a fascist one that has always focussed on dividing the country on communal grounds. Not only have lynchings against minorities increased but the government has also successfully provided impunity to the perpetrators of the crime, meanwhile creating false enemies of the nation like farmers and students protesting for their rights.]]>

#MyVote2019 – ‘Modi Has Nehru's Charisma’

th amendment to the Constitution. Of course, there is a flip side to being too decisive, it can turn into rigidity if one is not careful. Narendra Modi needs to be careful and balanced if he gets a second term as the prime minister. I would love to see him get a second chance in 2019. I see no other leader, who can stand up to Modi. Rahul Gandhi needs to better himself many times over to be taken seriously as a potential candidate for prime ministership. Having said that, there are some things that Modiji needs to take care of if he gets the mandate. He needs to take care that he doesn’t just limit himself to being a ‘ghoshna naresh’ (king of big promises and announcements). He should fulfil the promises he made to people or else people will stop trusting him.  The Indian electorate is very astute. A certain section of the society is not happy that he has not followed up on his promise about the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Artists like me feel hurt that he only talks about curbing cow vigilantism, but does not act on it. As a pensioner, the price rise in petrol costs and the subsequent rise in prices of perishable items like vegetables etc. do pinch my pocket, yet being a part of the middle-class, we have been making adjustments almost all our lives. Also, Modiji should think several times over before taking a step like demonetization. I was preparing for my daughter’s wedding when the announcement was made and had a very difficult time organising her wedding and paying off everyone. I think it was purely a political strategy, rather than an economic one, that was played out keeping the then UP elections in mind. Recently the government announced 10 percent reservation for the economically weak among the upper castes, but what use is it if there is no job creation? Practical legislations are the need of the hour. However, I feel Modi has done some good work as the Prime Minister. People now take cleanliness way more seriously. Modes of public transport like buses and trains are cleaner — one doesn’t shudder at the thought of undertaking long journeys. The seed of being sincere towards taking care of the country has definitely been planted in the minds of youngsters. However, end to end waste management still needs to be taken care of. That is something that should be focused upon in 2019. Some members in Modi’s cabinet, such as external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj and defence minister, Nirmala Sitharaman have thoroughly impressed me. I love how they conduct themselves without any fear. I am impressed by the way women are taking centre stage in Modi’s cabinet. When I hear people say that there is an atmosphere of hatred that has been created, I feel that they are just jumping to conclusions, without going in-depth. I have many friends in the Muslim community and we have no problems with each other. We participate in kavi sammelans and mushairas and enjoy being together. Yes there are people who kill others in the name of religion (lynchings), but in my opinion they are not representatives of Hinduism, rather they are anti-social elements who deserve to be punished. There’s a lot of love in this country of ours and I am proud that as an artist I have been able to spread love among the people. In 2019, I want a balanced country; a country that is strong both on the outside and inside; a country that values both modernity and tradition. People, who will vote this year need to be careful not be swayed by fake news that is being spread around these days. I personally try to keep myself well-informed, so that I am able to take the right decision when the time comes.]]>

#MyVote2019 – ‘Modi Must Return As PM’

‘apna toh roz ka kamana, roz ka khana’ (we live on a daily basis). We don’t hoard cash and thus when demonetisation happened, it was pretty easy for me to get the notes in my possession exchanged. I believe the note ban was a courageous move that no other leader could pull off. There is not one leader in the Opposition of this calibre. People say that political decisions should be taken with a cool head. But I feel sometimes, one should strike only while the iron is hot. Decisions should be taken with a courageous heart at the right moment. Only then a real change will come. I believe in the dictum ‘Apna hath jagannath’ (Your destiny lies in your own hands). And I believe I share this trait with our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi ji. This means we keep our focus on what can be done and not what cannot be done. No one is perfect and we will keep making mistakes, but we can’t be living in doubt. When it comes to decisiveness, the Opposition pales in front of Modiji. Good or bad, our PM is at least proactive. I sincerely hope that he will learn from his mistakes and come back in 2019.]]>