New Delhi: Job security irrespective of performance is the attraction of government jobs, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday, adding that the sheer volume of those who apply for such jobs should not be seen as lack of other job opportunities in the country.
Goyal and Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar were speaking at a CII workshop on jobs and livelihoods. They said the government has provided enough jobs in the last five years; however, data sources were unable to adequately capture this trend.
Javadekar remarked that people who do not work out of choice cannot be considered 'unemployed'.
Citing the example of railways where 15 million applications are received for a handful of posts, the railway minister said such data is often used to highlight high rate of unemployment.
"The attraction and lure of government jobs in the traditional Indian context is extremely huge. People think if they get a government job, they are sorted for life....they are permanent and, even if they misbehave and are found to be not good at their work, it does not matter, the unions will take care of them. That is the reality," Goyal said.
The minister, however, noted that alternative job opportunities have increased and new sectors were encouraging self-employment, which was not being captured in any labour data.
Indicating that there was a need to change and upgrade government systems, Goyal said the process of appraisal in government wherein the appraisee is shown his performance review defeats the purpose of an "honest" review.
"In this system, I have to work with someone throughout the year and I am writing their appraisal and handing it back to them. This goes down the line till the bottom of the pyramid. What can I write in that? I have to work with the same person throughout the year.”
"I am expected to give an honest appraisal and hand it to him and still continue to work with him and get the best out of him. This is something on which deliberations are needed," he said.
Javadekar also said there was a need to collect authentic data and pointed out that as of now only those in the organised sector were accounted for.
"There is no system to collect data from unorganised sector, the self-employed and also a large section of female population who by choice do not work. Are they unemployed? There are various aspects to this that need to be looked into," he said. The HRD minister also said there was a need to understand the "craze for government jobs". "We have to find out why people with post graduate degrees apply for sweepers job in government," he said.
Goyal seconded Javadekar's viewpoint and said it needed to be deliberated why a person wanted to join the government sector. "Is it because of lack of opportunities or a certain section sees this as a very 'safe, secure and permanent' employment irrespective of how good or bad the person is at work?" the railway minister said.
He rued, "Although instances of misdemeanour come to our notice, we are unable to take action because of the difficult system created"....