A Patwari is a lower level land revenue official and this year’s Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (popularly known as Vyapam) will conduct the online exam for about 9200 patwari posts in the state.
The officials were not expecting that 1 out of every 70 persons in the state will apply for the job especially since the minimum qualification was recently raised to Graduate level. As reported by Hindustan Times, MPPEB officials said about one-third of them who applied for the lowest pay job with a pay grade of 5200-20200 possessed PhDs, post-graduate degrees in arts, science and technical education.
The exam will be held in two shifts every day over a period of 23 days (9th Dec – 31st Dec) at 16 district headquarters which translates to roughly 25000 applicants giving the exam daily.
The opposition parties say that this is a sign of rampant unemployment in the state and a sign of abject mismanagement by the Shivraj Singh Chauhan led BJP government which has been in power since 2005.
This is not the first time
In 2016, more than 9 lakh aspirants, including those with PhDs, postgraduate or engineering degrees, applied for the post of about 14,000 police constables in Madhya Pradesh. For a detailed report, click here.
In 2015 too, out of the 6.1 lakh candidates who had applied for the post of a forest guard in MP, about 1.17 lakh were graduates, 23,416 postgraduates, more than 12,000 were engineers and 34 PhD degree holders.
For some time now, Madhya Pradesh, the heartland of India, has been lagging behind other states in almost all social indices and sectors except in agriculture but this is a problem which is not just limited to MP.
In 2017 itself, 25 Lakh applications were received for 6000 Group D Posts In West Bengal while two years ago, in Uttar Pradesh 23 Lakh people applied for 368 Peon’s Job.
The Larger Problem
The prospect of a steady, secure job in one’s own region is one of the driving forces behind the deluge of applicants to even lower level posts. It is a strange thing that we, Indians, who routinely refer to anything associated with the government (Sarkar/Sarkari) as slow, inefficient and time-taking and yet when it comes to a government job (Sarkari Naukri) we covet it most dearly even when overqualified.
As NITI Aayog in its 3-year Action Agenda pointed out that although the unemployment rate is under control, the problem of under-employment (or disguised employment, it leads to low productivity and low wages) is an issue which needs to be dealt with.
Job creation has stagnated even though measures like Suryamitras and various skill training initiatives have been started by the government. The Government is also facing an uphill task trying to get better and more reliable employment data as more than 85% of Indian economy is part of the informal sector which is characterized by easy entry-and-exit, lack of formal records, and immigrant or part-time labour.
The population pressure on agricultural land and declining productivity are forcing people to look for rural non-farm jobs, but there are hardly any. The education sector over recent years has been more focused on quantity rather than quality and mushrooming of sub-standard colleges has resulted in degree holders who are not capable of doing the most basic things in their field. The inequality in income and opportunity at the state level has resulted in high unemployment in some of the larger states.
The election campaigns perhaps should focus more on this-worldly issues like jobs, education, health, sanitation and safety and overall systemic and structural change rather than on other-worldly issues especially in states where the same party is also in power at the Centre.