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Why millions of workers continue to face a bleak future in India

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Things are looking bleaker and bleaker for workers in two of the world’s largest nations India and China. Not only are rapid technological changes reducing the employment prospects of semi-skilled and unskilled workers around the world, but now a global economic slowdown threatens further hardships on the worker class. Rapid technological change in robotics, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and Internet of Things is automating things faster and faster. Mechanical and repetitive tasks performed by unskilled and semi-skilled workers are being rapidly taken over by machines and robots. This is making many workers redundant and it is expected that many professions will become extinct over the next decade or two. For example, vehicle drivers could be completely eliminated over the next 10 years with the evolvement of driverless cars. This would lead to millions of redundancies. Global capital has become extremely powerful and mobile these days. It is impossible for governments to become protectionist of workers as capital and technology can move elsewhere, leading to the further impoverishment of the country.

India has always faced high unemployment and under employment rates. It needs to create millions of jobs as massive numbers of young people enter the workforce. However, it may not be possible to find decent jobs for most of its population. Not only will the industries in future not require many workers, but also India’s industrial growth will not be fast enough. The paucity of jobs is reflected in the fact that the job of cleaners attracts thousands of applications from graduates and post graduates. A paltry salary of around ~$200/month is attractive for many MBAs and engineers, who think a secure government job is much better than low paying and unsecure private jobs. Also the quality of Indian education remains extremely poor with 80% of Indian engineers estimated to be unemployable. With millions of educated and uneducated workers entering the Indian workforce every year, it remains doubtful how even a tiny fraction will find gainful employment.

When the municipality here advertised for 114 posts of ‘safai karamchari’ (sweepers), it had hardly imagined that 19,000 applications, mostly from BA, BSc, MA, BTechs and MBAs would come in. While officials of Amroha Nagar Palika are expecting yet more applications …While no educational qualifications are required for the posts, municipal officials have been overwhelmed by the number of highly-qualified applicants so far. “The process of uploading application forms for all 114 posts is still going on and we have uploaded 5,000 of the 19,000 received. Most are graduates, postgraduates, BTechs and even MBAs,” said Faiz Alam, Amroha Nagar Palika office superintendent, talking to TOI.The posts do not require educational qualifications because the work involves manual labour like cleaning streets with brooms, maintaining drainage and municipal sewer lines. Candidates will be informed about the interview stage. The salary for each post is Rs 17,000 per month.

Source –TOI


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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