Gist of Editorials: The Shape of an Urban Employment Guarantee | GS – III


Relevance : GS Paper III


Why has this Issue Cropped Up?

The unemployment rate has reached a 45-year high (6.1%) in 2017-18.

The Job Crisis

  • Unemployment mainly in cities and towns.
  • Low wages and precarity is widespread.
  • Majority of the urban population in informal sector.

India’s Towns Ignored

  • Towns are treated as “engines of growth” rather than job spaces.
  • Govt job schemes such as SJSRY have ignored the unskilled.
  • Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT benefit only a few towns.
  • Urban local bodies lack financial and human capacity.

Way Forward

  • Introduce an employment guarantee programme in urban areas.
  • Madhya Pradesh’s “Yuva Swabhiman Yojana” can be emulated by other States.
  • Urban Local Bodies should receive timely and adequate funds.
  • Urban employment programme and MGNREGA should go hand-in-hand.
  • “Green jobs” can be provided such as creation of green spaces and parks.
  • Child-care, elderly care and the disabled care jobs can be provided.
  • Unemployed with higher education can assist administrative functions.
  • Strong transparency and accountability structures should be employed.

Conclusion

An urban employment guarantee programme has multiplier effects on the economy.