Thursday, January 21, 2016

Aspirations of educated youth!

Times of India has published a news today (January 22, 2016) with the heading '19,000 graduates, post-graduates, MBAs, BTechs apply for 114 sweepers' jobs in UP town.

The job was advertised by Amroha Municipality. The salary is Rs17,000 per month. The post does not require educational qualification because the work involves manual labour like cleaning streets with brooms, maintaining drainage and municipal sewer lines. The news paper reports that Balmikis, the dalit community whose traditional job is sweeping, have opposed the recruitment, as they are demanding th at th e job should be reserved for the Balmiki community.

Some may consider the news heartening, as it indicates that educated youths have understood the 'dignity of labour' and  are not shy of taking up menial jobs. But the reality is that the salary is enough to attract  young people who have completed higher education, particularly because it is a government job. They cannot aspire for better jobs. I can imagine that there are not  many 17,000 rupees a month jobs available in Amroha. Even in metros, entry level salary in call centres, which employ large number of graduates and post graduates, is below Rs 10,000 a month. The entry level salary for MBAs from lowly rated institutions is around Rs 10,000 a month. Even some professional accountants accept jobs with salary around Rs 15,000 a month.

Higher education in India does not guarantee a livelihood. Many of the graduates and postgraduates are not employable in the jobs that are available in the market and the number of jobs is less than the demand. Only those who are above average performers can get a job to support a decent livelihood. Therefore, it is a sin for a below average performer to aspire for a decent living. The fault lies with our education system, which offers useless diplomas and degrees but fail to impart skills and knowledge.

We need to create jobs and build capabilities needed for those jobs rather than distributing degrees and diplomas. Our education system results in waste of resources and few vital years of young people. We should close down some institutions imparting higher education and build more institutions for imparting vocational training.

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