On an ongoing day, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that India is witnessing a problem of underemployment and an unsatisfactory job scenario more than unemployment.
Kumar said, “We must be cognizant of the fact that India is competing or moving on an economic transition in a very-very turbulent time. You have an emerging trend of automation, robotization, artificial intelligence (AI) on one hand and employment generation on the other. And therefore we need to find some very clever and smart ways of handling this.”
In a post-budget conference by CII and Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) Kumar said that no cut-paste model from abroad will succeed. Everyone needs to work together to address this issue.
Kumar further said, “Young people are, of course, are not satisfied with what they have on the ground. Their aspirations are running miles ahead of the ground reality. “And that is the fact. I don’t think that we are suffering from unemployment. Perhaps, it is not unemployment but underemployment or unsatisfactory employment that may be the real cause of this situation we are facing in our country.”
Kumar further added that the government is now focusing to upskill the younger generation through apprenticeship. On the lack of capacity utilization in the agro-processing industry, he said, “We need to correct by improving the logistics between the farm gates to the market–the agro-processing centers. “We at NITI Aayog are looking to bring farm gates closer to processing centers and if we can bring the agro-processing units closer to farm gates, I think the capacity utilization can be much better.”
Kumar on India-China economic comparison said, “I think we always tend to forget that between 1986-2005, China permitted every American company, every Japanese company, and even Taiwanese company… and said…you have a free hand. At that time, our per capita incomes were same. We did just the reverse, we bottled up our economy and closed it and said that nobody is allowed here because we wanted to create the national champions.”