Labour migration is global phenomenon, individual states need prevention mechanism

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
The large scale migration the world over just for jobs or for permanent or temporary settlement is giving world leaders sleepless nights. On the other hand, Australia could be among a small handful of countries that refuse signing a United Nations pact on migration, with Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton again terming the deal as a threat to the nation’s sovereignty and border security.   
The UN global compact for migration would not be legally binding but says signatories should only put migrants in immigration detention as a “last resort” for the “shortest possible period of time”. It also means that the individual state should have a say when it comes to migration policy, because only the individual government will understand their respective capacities and ground reality of infrastructure, coupled with the cultural practices, when most of the tribals areas are still introvert and not ready to welcome such drastic change to the demography.

Migration is actually a global phenomenon; even Indians have sought shelter in almost every other country, including Afghanistan, where the Sikh community was attacked killing 19 in the Jalalabad suicide attack. Most of the Indians who shifted their base to other countries mainly in search of greener pastures due to unemployment and increasing population means that the jobs will be scarcer and hence the youth opted to move out.
Similarly, others are migrating to India which began since the inception of the Silk Route, followed by the British East India Company and now Globalization. They all expected to find greener pastures here in India, the only widely publicized of reverse theory could be the recent cases of Nirav Deepak Modi, an Indian fugitive businessman, who is yet to be traced. Then comes Vijay Vittal Mallya, who was even as an elected Rajya Sabha member has now openly insulted the Indian Jails, which he said are not suitable to housed him if he is extradited from the United Kingdom where he now resides. Of course, even Mehul Choksi, a diamond expert, who is of Indian origin now has Antiguan citizenship, where an arrest warrant has been issued against him in connection with the alleged Punjab National Bank fraud case. He was allegedly involved in stock market manipulation in 2013.
It is time for all political parties to accept that India is drowning in a sea of unemployment, as per a study, India has around 600 million young people, with over sixty percent of them being educated youth, while the remaining are either dropouts, daily wage labours and the illiterate, yet all have one common goal which is to get a job.
A few incidents have exposed how unemployment is the most serious issue in India, one is how the job seekers from Bihar go berserk, damage railway properties in the stations while most of them are to appear for a recruitment test for 600 Group-D Positions in the West Bengal government. As there were over 30 thousand applicants, the Railways could not provide enough seats for the young enthusiasts, a similar thing happened when the examiners ransacked New Jalpaiguri station.
More than the critical exposure of huge unemployment in India, it is more worrisome to note that most of the people in India could not afford to even pay for their stay in hotels or guest houses when they moved out to other states to appear for Staff Selection Examinations. Most of the jobs are already sold off to the affluent, as is also the case with the entrance tests for various professional courses like Medical, Engineering or various Management courses.
India has today become the nation with the most number of unemployed in the world. In the inclusive growth index India is at number 60, far behind the neighbouring countries, as was stated in a study by Labour Bureau statistics. On the economic development front, inequality and increasing unemployment are the biggest challenges for the fast emerging India. Self-employment opportunities are declining in the country and jobs are continuously decreasing.
According to another report from Oxfam, the ‘Widening Gaps: India Inequality Report 2018’, economic inequality in India is increasing rapidly. In the country’s GDP, 15 percent of the wealth has been made, while the share was 10 percent five years ago.
India has the second highest population in the world and about 65 percent of the population in the country has an average age of less than 35 years. Such a large young population could be our strength, but due to lack of adequate employment in the country, a large number of youth are unemployed. According to data from the Economic Cooperation and Development Organisation, the number of young unemployed in the country is very high. This is causing the feeling of dissatisfaction in the society.
Strangely, both the government and the general masses alike are proudly boasting of Indians heading a number of companies abroad, not understanding that some of the country’s most talented people could have been developing India but are now actually serving other countries. It is either due to lack of scope for growth or total failure to tap the best Human Resources available.
Meghalaya is a youth dominated state as is seen in the rest of India. In a country where 51 percent of the population is under the age of 25 years, the enrolment figures in various educational establishments touches nearly ten million students annually. A similar number of graduates, post-graduates and technical graduates are added to the society in India every year and this hill state too needs to find its own footing in the world of competition.
On the other hand the industries of the day require manpower on the job on day one, unlike in the past where the candidates can learn the skills on the job. Such a shortfall of skilled manpower due to conventional instruction in educational institutions coupled with reservation even in appointment of teachers has caused a disaster in Meghalaya with regard to producing unemployable and unproductive human resources, who only focus on government jobs.
Adding to the woes, the untrained section of the population will not even allow others who are intending to do so to acquire the skills, either due to the phobia of influx if the trainers are to be invited from outside, or unwillingness to compete with the rest of the nation if the youth have to go out for training or study.
Meghalaya has a long way to go to motivate our youth to change their perspective with regard to learning and employment, otherwise the new face of unemployment in the state of Meghalaya will be the fallout of untrained manpower and saturated government jobs which will only produce more unrest and conflicts within the society. It is time to think of multi-tasking of skills rather than specialization and reservation of quota.
Under such political blunders, how does one expect the best brains in India to survive in the midst of politicking? It seems that politics is the main stumbling block for the growth of the nation and is hampering the retention of the best brains available to serve our own nation.
In an attempt to prevent influx, the respective state governments should first generate employment avenues, besides government jobs, they should allow only the migrant workers with proper permit, and the contractors concerned should be held responsible if the migrant workers vanish in the state. The contract bills should not be cleared till the missing person is traced, otherwise there will be no progress. Also, the respective district administration and the stake holders should be more vigilant, then the phobia of influx can be solved under this prevention mechanism of the state.


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