Job creation should be the priority

Apropos of the editorial “Mantra of growth” with special reference to the Mckinsey report prepared in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (March 12), employment exchanges have long stopped offering jobs to the youth. And politicians do not seem to have time to solve the unemployment problem. They offer moon to the people without understanding the ground realities.

The problem becomes acute when the available job opportunities are curtailed. In the name of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation, even the profit-making public sector undertakings are being privatised. The policy should be such as to revive even sick units. If the private sector is able to revive them, why cannot be Centre and the states? There is need for a new work culture, professionalism and modern management skills.

The fear of privatisation could rejuvenate the workforce and make the units efficient and profit-oriented. If the Centre and the states collect the desired revenue, they can easily disburse salaries to their employees instead of thinking about downsizing, disinvestment etc. So, the need of the hour is to create more and more job opportunities. The politicians should look beyond raising their own salaries, allowances and perquisites.






The Mckinsey report reveals the alarming degree of unemployment in the country. Though it is a common malady faced by every country, the nature of unemployment faced by developing countries like India is different. Here the problem is endemic in both urban and rural areas. If necessary measures are not taken expeditiously, according to the Mckinsey report, the situation would become serious by 2010. New jobs should be created, but the question is how? The education system should be re-examined so that every student, after completion of his/her study, could be self-employed.

As 54 per cent of the country’s population are between 15 and 25 years, the youth have the power to transform the nation if their potential is tapped in right earnest.



No serious steps have been taken by the government in the last five years to tackle the unemployment problem. There is frustration and restlessness among the jobless youths whose number is increasing every year after they complete their studies. Mckinsey’s observation that “India is sitting on an unemployment time bomb ticking very fast” serves as a warning signal.

The new government that comes to power at the Centre after the ensuing Lok Sabha elections should take up the issue of resolving the unemployment problem on priority. On the one hand, it should spread awareness on population control and, on the other, it should explore ways and means to provide jobs to the unemployed. The government should also explore the possibility of giving unemployment allowance to the unemployed youth as in some countries.

R.K. JAIN, Panchkula

Turning the tide against TB

World TB Day is being observed today. Despite some results, tuberculosis (TB) is yet to be eradicated in the country. Being a chronic disease, TB requires a long treatment. When most patients feel better, they either stop treatment or become irregular, leading to treatment failure or drug resistance. It is because of this reason that the National TB Control Programme has not succeeded.

The World Health Organisation has prescribed a short course called the “Directly Observed Treatment” (DOT) as the global strategy for TB control in 1991. This is also being implemented in a phased manner in India since mid-1990s. Under DOT, treatment is provided to every TB patient under the direct supervision of DOT providers who undertake quick remedial measures in case of defaulters.

Countries implementing DOT on a wider scale have shown remarkable results. Its implementation is rather slow in India for various reasons — the lack of political commitment, poor quality of health system, irregular supply of anti-TB drugs and dearth of financial resources.

In India, most patients first go to private hospitals for treatment even though they have not been associated with DOT. There is an urgent need to have sincere and dedicated treatment (DOT) providers. Through extra incentives, the government can turn the tide against TB.

Dr R.S. BEDI, Patiala

Misplaced jingoism

The Kashmir valley has become a victim of misplaced jingoism of two powerful South Asian countries. Patriotism is a sacred notion, but even high doses of it cannot resurrect even one Kashmiri lost to bullets in the state.

Indian democracy hasn’t been able to live up to its secular ideals. There is little representation even today for minorities in the media when we have half-a-dozen Hindu religious channels on air. In such circumstances, it is natural for the Muslim community to feel insecure. A positive solution to this problem could emerge only if the people of Kashmir are closely involved in the talks by the Centre.



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