liberalise medicine, other studies to generate employment

practicing medicine is a job, same is with practicing chartered accountancy, cost accountancy or company secretaryship. there is, however, a difference when we talk of a law practitioner. and this difference is the one practicing law does not have to fight her way out to become a lawyer, a 3 or 5 year study programme with easy enrolments enables one to do so.

engineers too have the prospect of employing their skills at work after a 4 year programme. but what about practicing medicine or being a ca, cwa or cs; for these professions, one has to struggle with getting admitted into much-coveted medical colleges or appearing repeatedly in competition-styled exams where only a miniscule percentage of aspirants is awarded a pass certificate.

it is a known fact that our country lacks the number of doctors as per the world health organisation norms. chartered accountants and other finance professionals, owing to their small fraternity have formed a cartel which indulges in abetting tax evasion and other corporate irregularities.

when it is compulsory for a company to get its financial statements audited by a ca and a compliance certificate from a company secretary is an obligation, why then are institutes, the icai, icsi, allowed to decide on the number of professionals to be released into the market every year, which they deliberately keep low?

is diagnosing a viral fever and recommending basic antibiotic such demanding a task that just a few doctors are operating for such a large population? access to quality healthcare has become a costly affair. with availability of information on all subjects being so handy today owing to technological advances, making procuring a degree or a certificate of practice a tough and coveted task is only equivalent to license raj and red tape, a practice that has fueled the growth of unimaginably rich doctors and chartered accountants.

the example of law practitioners and engineers, both of whom are being supplied in the market in abundance, which has mandated skills and discipline to be pillars of one’s success, tells us that unless medicine, ca and like studies are deregulated to an extent that market is at least adequately served, income disparity and joblessness in india are to here stay for long.

lower the superannuation age of state employees to use demographic dividend

india is being positively looked upon by the otherwise aging world economies owing to its ever-high proportion of population in the working age group that is expected to spur economic growth. you may find endless bonuses of this, the bottom line is this group needs work, while the sad contrasting picture is dismal job growth rate of the indian economy.

while infrastructure spending spree of the current government has given the hope for some occupation opportunities in roads, railways, ports, energy and similar sectors, would this state-backed, public spending-fueled exercise be able to serve the millions staring at work in coming days?

the most rational solution is freeing the government sector employment space by lowering the age of superannuation, be it in central, state, autonomous bodies, public sector enterprises or state-owned banks. from current 58 or 60 as the age of retirement, it has to come down to at least 55, or even 52, and as a compulsion, not as a voluntarily exercisable option.

the logic behind this is that most of the indian workforce possesses skills that cannot be categorized as specialized or exceptional, hence the economy will not be able to produce jobs through market determined factors.

banking and many other state jobs require at least 90 per cent of the staff to perform general accounting/ transaction tasks and an employee with even 20 years of such experience and drawing unrealistically high salary is no better than a fresh graduate.

the current government is facing a dilemma where a proportion of population employed as government servants is well-off and can lead a modest life after retirement, while on the other end is the so-called demographic dividend, the youths, that seeks urgent job creation.

and the bitter truth is that the information technology sector is fading, 3d printing is further threatening livelihoods of factory workers, industrial growth rate isn’t encouraging enough and infra projects cannot employ them all.

the only possible way out to stall any hostile outcomes owing to unemployment that will only produce frustrated and disheartened youth is to free space in government jobs by lowering age of superannuation, providing reduced pay benefits to these retired employees and placing the young generation in these roles.

believe it, neither this demographic dividend will all become entrepreneurs, nor the present job-intensive sectors like information technology, bpo, textile, leather, steel or agriculture can provide ample prospects for this impending trouble (yes, trouble, if not taken care of wisely and rationally).

has conventional recruitment practice failed us?

if the economy could produce enough jobs on its own, the government would have been relieved of pumping funds into programmes like mgnrega and other sops to support low income groups. that sadly isn’t the case. let’s see how conservative recruitment norms inspired indian industries’ incompetence.

economists and analysts will talk of low industrial growth, rising non-performing assets of banks and the losing sheen of indian information technology sector owing to lack of skill upgradation in indian engineers, but rarely does anyone talk of how human resource failures fueled these downturns.

india may be inching closer towards a place amongst top 5 economies in the world, we may be the fastest growing major economy, stats including worst credit growth, dismal private sector investment, failure of indian industry in matching up with global competitiveness and technological prowess and inadequate job growth show the ground beneath is hollow and vulnerable to collapse; not to say of our so-called demographic dividend that is eying jobs, not india’s gdp growth rate.

it is never the bank, a company or any business that peddles the bicycle, it is always humans who drive these through decision-making. and the qualitative difference between these decision-making skills of humans is what makes one company profitable and the other a loss-making venture.

let’s talk more basics. while a regular bank employee does not need to demonstrate higher skills than that used by a regular accountant with a mid-sized enterprise, the former is paid more by employers like sbi and pnb (a major reason behind their deteriorating ratios). the reason to worry is the selection process of both private and public sector enterprises that has failed prudent economic theories.

for a bank job, a written test is conducted to know candidate’s knowledge of language, reasoning and basic arithmetic. is that all you need when you function as a banker, what about effectively managing queues during demonetization drives? at managerial positions, b-school graduates, who pass out with theoretical lessons on leadership and organization, are biasedly preferred.

while it is logical that a medical graduate must be someone who shall undertake practicing of medicine, totally irrational is a naïve, a learner of simple leadership skills hired at a managerial position owing to an utterly unreliable b-school degree. in 4 years of engineering, what the passed out engineer is taught is something that can easily be acquired within 6 months by a person with inclination toward engineering and science.

in the entire process of hiring against the backdrop of communication skills and degrees, we are ignoring a fundamental equation that real world scenarios demand not the acquired (or forcefully injected) know-how but operational dexterity.

the only way possible to judge any applicant on this is to float an assignment during job interviews, for recruiting only through predictable tests and verbal one-on-ones has not only resulted in losses to corporates but has also made it hard to achieve and sustain efficiency and competitiveness for the economy at large. the sole road ahead is therefore a prudently conceived and designed assignment to assess real capability of any candidate.