Employment, Education and the State
Publication dateFeb, 2017
DetailsNIPFP Working Paper No. 188
The 2016 India Employment Report demolishes the myths of both ‘demographic dividend’ and ‘jobless growth’ in the India growth story. But it recognises that the growth of decent, productive employment is too slow even to absorb the annual increment of new workers in the workforce, let alone eliminate the huge backlog of open unemployment and low productivity underemployment. This paper argues that this challenge is a man-made problem, the consequence of a range of dysfunctional policies that have a strong anti-employment bias. Moreover, a long standing elitist bias in education policy has pre-empted the provision of quality basic education without which the bulk of the workforce cannot be suitably skilled for decent, productive employment. The paper suggests that these dysfunctional policies are attributable to a fractionalized polity and India’s soft state, which stands in sharp contrast to the hard states seen in the dramatically successful East Asian model of guided capitalism.