Government will create 10 lakh jobs in next 18 months

The unemployment rate in urban areas was 7.8 per cent while in rural areas it was seven per cent

New Delhi: Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-led government at the Centre has launched a massive recruitment drive, during which roughly 10 lakh -- or one million -- people will be hired in the next 18 months for government jobs both in ministries and departments as well as in public sector organisations. While the BJP and its ministers hailed the decision, the Opposition termed it as yet another “jumla” of the government.

According to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy, India’s unemployment rate as on June 13 was 7.3 per cent. The unemployment rate in urban areas was 7.8 per cent while in rural areas it was seven per cent. PM@narendramodi reviewed the status of human resources in all departments and ministries and instructed that recruitment of 10 lakh people be done by the government in mission mode in the next 1.5 years, the Prime Minister Office tweeted.

Information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur said that as per the the directions of Mr Modi, the Central government will recruit 10 lakh people so that all vacant posts in different departments are filled. “All ministries and departments have been instructed to fill 10 lakh posts in the Government of India. We have started taking meetings so this may be done at the earliest,” Mr Thakur said.

Other Union ministers too joined in to hail the decision. While Union home minister Amit Shah said the PM’s directive will bring “new hope and confidence among the youth”, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar termed it as a “historic decision” and “especially beneficial for the youth of the country”. He added that instructions have been given to fill up all vacant posts under the ministry of agriculture at the earliest.

This major announcement comes on a day the government approved a new recruitment policy for the armed forces called “Agnipath” in which soldiers, sailors and airmen will be recruited for four years. This year 46,000 soldiers, who will be known as “Agniveers”, will be recruited.

The government’s move comes at a time when it is facing huge pressure from both the Opposition parties and the people to provide jobs. The country is going through high inflation and joblessness due to the Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns and shutdowns that have hampered production lines and caused the loss of jobs. The government had said in March 2020 in Parliament that there were about 8.72 lakh posts vacant in various Central government departments. The Indian Railways, being the biggest recruiter in the country, has nearly 2.3 lakh posts vacant.

Taking a jab at the announcement, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the new promise of 10 lakh jobs is similar to the one the Narendra Modi government had made eight years ago. “The way eight years ago the youth of the country were given false promises of two crore jobs every year… the same way it is now the turn of 10 lakh jobs. This is the government not of ‘jumlas” but of ‘mahajumlas’. The PM’s expertise is not in making jobs but making ‘news” on jobs,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.

Similarly, the CPI(M) said: “Having miserably failed in his promise of crores of jobs every year with record high unemployment, Mr Modi now seeks to deflect criticism over his abysmal record by announcing 10 lakh recruitments in ‘mission mode’ in the next year and a half!”

Responding to the Opposition’s criticism, commerce minister Piyush Goyal said that Mr Modi’s decision shows that the youth will have a major contribution in developing modern India. “The Congress doesn't understand the speed at which India’s economy is growing,” he added.

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