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Y – YOUTH | #AtoZChallenge

Y – Youth | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

The fourth phase of voting has just concluded and the numbers coming in from metropolitan places like Mumbai aren’t much to cheers. Like previous years it is a pretty dismal turnout given the constant push by celebrities to go out there and vote.

India is a young country and by 2020, youth will make up 34% of the country’s population. Since the general elections of 2014, about 45 million Indians have become eligible to vote which forms about 5% of the total voters that would be going to vote in 2019.

Going by the analysis of the last election, youth played a significant part in the current ruling party coming to power. With their social media engineering, the urban and the youth take the center stage for their promotional strategies.

With so many new voters in the fray, issues of unemployment, education and skill development should have been the main topics of discussions. The top five states that have added the maximum number of young voters are Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP. Going by how the states voted in 2014 and then in their respective assembly elections – these states may hold the key to the throne with youth playing a crucial role.

To give you a perspective how their vote is important, out of the total seats about 211 seats i.e. 37% of the seats come from the top ten states that have the maximum number of new voters. You can also understand their criticality by the pitches of the PM for them to go out and vote and regularly dropping hints to vote for him.

The irony is that with the unemployment at its highest in the last 45 years and the education budget being regularly cut for the past five years, the real talking point still remains the Hindu-Muslim divide and Ram Mandir even among the youth.

I am yet to see a single debate on the skill development program initiated by the government. A data suggests not even 3% of all the people trained got a credible source of income. This surely is going to increase restless and hence frustration among the youth. The constant roughing up of students and messing up issues related to prominent universities isn’t helping either.

The issue of Kashmir is always kept on the boil using the youth machinery. Whether they pelt stones or pick up arms, there are underlying strategies definitely going wrong at some level otherwise why would so many young people choose this path.

In the cases of lynching, if you closely observe, it is usually the misguided uneducated youth that commits such heinous acts of violence. Even in the lynching of Akhlaq, the prime accused was the son of a BJP leader, who is just 20 years old. All this is propagated on the pretense of hate.

The youth comes with a lot of political uncertainty. It can swing either way or might do a completely different thing like in Kerala where more than one lakh students didn’t fill the religion and caste column in admission forms.

They are often better informed, more educated and tech-savvy than the rest of their family, and they can take a stand that goes against the family’s established political leanings.

The young voters are the most vulnerable too. They can easily be misguided by the populist sentiment and might not have the right rationale behind their thinking. With so much of information bombardment from so many touch points that it is practically impossible for the young tech-savvy voter to be away from the noise.

One thing I find in the youth of today that most of them are ill-informed and not well read and the government isn’t helping either when they are hell-bent on changing historical facts and not releasing current tenures’ performance data.

There are days when I think that this atrocious amount of free data at such cheap prices would turn out to be exactly like what drugs did to an entire generation of Punjab and Haryana. It is the latest addiction and the empty playing grounds and each neck submerged in smartphones are a prime example of it.

Everybody says that ‘Youth is the future’ but I am afraid if things continue like this, then the same youthful energy will take a perilous route that will take the country in a completely negative direction.

To all the first time voters this time, make sure when you vote, keep in mind your future and the future of this country.

For all those who feel data is the new drugs,

For all those who know that there is massive unemployment,

For all those who feel youth is being used for political gains

And

For all those who still feel that youth is the future…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 25th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the final post with letter ‘Z’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

4

U – Unemployment | #AtoZChallenge

U – Unemployment | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Unemployment is the biggest issue when it comes to the performance of the current government over the last five years. The way the government is dodging question on it makes it pretty evident. The government continues to snub the reports that have been published by government agencies and they are yet to come out with data of their own. Guess they are busy trying to come up with some favorable numbers.

In January, the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) periodic labor force survey (PLFS) stated that the unemployment rate in the country was at a 45-year high of 6.1%. The government conveniently rebuffed the numbers and the report resulting in the resignation of two senior experts of the agency including the acting chairman.

Business Standard citing the report states that ‘joblessness for rural male youth (aged 15-29) went from 5% in 2011-12 to 17.4% in 2017-18. For rural women in the same age group, joblessness went from 4.8% in 2011-12 to 13.6% in 2017-18.’

The picture is similar for the educated class as well, ‘For educated rural females, the unemployment rate ranged from 9.7% to 15.2% during 2004-05 to 2011-12 which rose to 17.3% in 2017-18.’

The current government stormed to power on major promises like creating job opportunities for the ever growing youth population of ours and bringing back black money, especially the ones hoarded in foreign bank accounts. We all know the numbers that were recklessly attached to these two promises, which was even clarified by the ruling party’s president as ‘Jumlas’ in an interview.

Quoting from an election rally in 2013, the PM said, ““If BJP comes to power, it will provide one crore jobs which the UPA Government could not do despite announcing it before the last Lok Sabha polls.” According to the Bureau of Labour and Statistics, around 48 mn people registered for employment in 2014, but less than 1% got job placements by the exchanges.

The new agency created by the government that helps in debunking these reports and stats while helping the government push across some bogus number is NITI Aayog. The new CMIE report as thrashed their claim of generating new employment and all their claims turned out to be a myth on paper.

The report states, “Labour participation rate (LPR) declined in April 2018. At 43.1%, the LPR in April was among the lowest. In the past 28 months, (since the CMIE started measuring LPR), this was the second-lowest LPR level.”

“As many as 18.3 million Indians were unemployed in 2017, and this unemployment is projected to increase to 18.9 million by 2019, according to The World Employment and Social Outlook–Trends 2018 report by the International Labour Organisation, released on 22 January, 2018 reported by Firstpost.” According to yet another report, “In February 2018, around 41 million people were competing for 1.6 million jobs posted at employment exchanges across India. The number of unemployed seeking jobs has doubled from around 3% in 2015 to 7% in early 2018.”

According to the government data – The number of beneficiaries of one government assistance programme, the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)–which aims to generate employment in rural and urban areas by starting new micro-enterprises and small projects–has fallen 24.4% from 428,000 in 2012-13 to 323,362 in 2015-16.

To their credit the FDI inflow is good but nobody gives a thought to why hasn’t this inflow helped in creating more jobs. The FDIs are more concentrating on mergers and/or acquisition of foreign MNCs in India, purchase of existing operational facilities and technology, no expansion of production facilities and employment generation, no transfer of technology. Just to highlight, the bullet train project has no clause of ‘technological transfer’ from Japan to India.

NITI Aayog identified 22 PSUs as ‘Sick PSUs’ and put them up for strategic sale. The government aimed to raise Rs 20,500 crore from the strategic sale of the PSUs. I think they could have worked around a strategy to revive them and make them profitable rather than simply putting up for sale something which you cant manage. If the government will sell everything then why will the country need a government in the first place?

For example, the public transport when operated through government machinery is expected to come at a cheaper cost since its aim is to serve the people at a large scale with focusing much on making a profit. While making a profit is also important, what good it is to see off to private players that will convert it into an expensive offering making it inaccessible for the common public to use.

When the pseudo spokesperson finally ends up putting up the question of unemployment, the PM uses Mudra loans as a scapegoat. As per him, ‘loans worth Rs 6 lakh crore have been disbursed to 12 crore people since its launch in April 2015.

India Today reports, the average ticket size of the sanctioned loans is Rs 46,530 and the average disbursed amount is Rs 45,034. As per an RTI, ‘the number of large loans disbursed under the scheme – loans exceeding Rs 5 lakh that are more likely to manage Modi’s job multiplier claim – stood at a minuscule 1.3%.

You decide for yourself how much employment a startup can generate using this average ticket size. I am sure the startup itself won’t start unless you are looking to become a hawker.

Did I mention, bad loans under Mudra Yojana have jumped almost 53% to Rs 14,930.98 crore during the first nine months of the current financial year 2018-19, as compared to Rs 9,769.99 crore reported in last year, reports the Indian Express!

After so much money spent on Mudra and they turning into NPAs, at least the government should come out with a report stating how much employment it generated. If not, at least create a fudged one because as per them there isn’t an unemployment crisis and you can’t question either.

For all those who have jobs,

For all those who have taken loans,

For all those who generate employment,

And

For all those who are unemployed…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 21th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘V’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.