‘Minimum’ govt to offer 400 new jobs Jobs
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government, which had promised to facilitate the creation of 10 million new jobs each year, can finally boast a direct hand in carving out employment in a season of layoffs and self-inflicted economic wounds. But the jobs are in a sector the Prime Minister had promised to trim: his own administration.
The foreign ministry plans to hire 400 computer-literate men and women to help it meet an exploding demand for passports, at regional passport offices and smaller centres scattered across the country.
The hiring spree is the single largest of its kind at India’s vast passport-issuing organisation, and follows easing of eligibility norms by the government that have spawned a rush from citizens to access the document.
Prime Minister Modi had insisted when he came to power that he would focus on “minimum government, maximum governance” but a growing army of jobless or underemployed youth is unlikely to complain.
They are hurting far more from a second promise that too Modi has spectacularly failed to keep: that under his government, India would generate 10 million (1 crore) new jobs each year. Instead, only 2.3 lakh jobs were created between April and December 2016.
What has grown is the number of Indians applying for, and receiving passports – 13 million received the document last year, a number behind the annual figures of only the US and China.
“Not only did we simplify the passport rules but we also took giant strides in taking passport services closer to our citizens,” foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had said last month, addressing passport officers across India.
The new jobs that the passport offices are offering include 300 for the post of data-entry operators and 100 for office assistants. Their number, 400, is no more than a tiny drop in the ocean that is India’s labour market.
But the offer of jobs – even from an administration that had promised to streamline government – marks a rare, even if miniscule, sparkle in contrast to the employment churn India is witnessing. India’s information technology giants – that offer glass and chrome offices as opposed to betel spit-stained government buildings – have fired thousands of employees in recent months.
The Modi government’s policies haven’t helped. Far from creating the volume of jobs promised by the Prime Minister, India shed 150,000 jobs as a consequence of the demonetisation exercise in November when Modi overnight banned old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the central government labour bureau’s data suggest.
The demand for data-entry operators and office assistants to help man India’s passport infrastructure, though, is the direct fallout of an expansion in access to passports facilitated by the foreign office, a process expedited by the Modi government.
Apart from 39 regional passport offices, India now has 96 smaller centres that serve as local nodes for applicants to deposit documents and collect passports. In addition, the foreign office last year tied up with the postal department to turn larger post offices into supplementary passport centres too.
In June, Sushma announced that the Modi government intended to make passport services available to all Indian citizens within 5km of their residence.
Courtesy: By Charu Sudan Kasturi, Source link