March , 2018
Unemployment and corruption
15:30 pm

Dr. Y. R. Singh

Around 65% of India’s population is composed of young people. The Indian economy has a large pool of educated and trained young people. But it is also an established
fact that unemployment is growing in India and there is dissatisfaction among the youth. Dependence on agriculture is decreasing. Fragmentation of land holdings is an important contributing factor. A large section of rural youth is migrating towards urban centres.

At present, there are various options for employment. People can acquire skills and set up his or her establishments or opt for employment in the private sector. Private sector employment is available for skilled personnel but most of the youth do not choose this option. They try to opt for government jobs, which are secured and offer chances of corruption. 

Government employment vis-a-vis private employment

Government employment is limited and all young unemployed people cannot be employed by the government. The biggest charm of government jobs is its security. People prefer to take government jobs as it may enable some additional income through corruption, apart from the societal prestige that comes with it. If corruption is eliminated from the system, most will not opt for these government jobs. Rather, they will opt for private jobs with better remuneration. The reservation in government job market is made to be huge issue as there is so much demand for these jobs. Highly qualified candidates are seen opting for menial government employment. The situation will change if corruption is drawn out of the system.

There are sufficient openings for the qualified and hardworking people in the private sector. Remunerations are also better as compared to the public sector. However, it has been noticed that many medical graduates, engineering graduates and other highly skilled people still prefer government service. 

Government jobs and the selection procedure

The State Public Service Commissions and the Subordinate Services Selection Commissions which are responsible for government recruitment are riddled with corruption. The recent example is demonstration in Delhi against the Staff Selection Commission’s alleged corruption.

Even after 70 years of independence, a government job is the first choice of most middle-class and lower middle-class households in the country. Most of the people from rural areas migrate to urban centres to get coaching for competitive examinations, where they are exploited unduly by these coaching centres. Even after receiving the coaching, only a few get the desired jobs and that leads to frustration among a large section of aspirants.  


Corruption in government employment has reached an alarming level. Only recently, the Allahabad High Court has stayed the declaration of results of the travelling ticket examiners. The reason was the gross irregularities that were perceived in the process of recruitment. It has been recently observed that the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission has been accused of favoritism and corruption. The selections made between 2012 and 2017 came under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

According to many media reports, CBI has unearthed a racket where dummy candidates wrote examinations on behalf of others. This cannot be possible without patronage from political circles. Often government jobs are given to preferred castes and communities. It is not uncommon in India for political leaders to patronise certain communities through government employment. Many states in India have seen
such occurrences. It has been noticed that teachers, constables and inspectors have been employed in certain states on the basis of their castes.

Reservations in Government Jobs

The demand for reservation in public sector employment is increasing due to rampant corruption in the system. Government jobs are seen to be highly lucrative and that is the reason why the demand for reservation in government jobs is increasing. If corruption is eradicated, the demand for reservations in government jobs will also reduce.

The Need

The time has come for some serious soul searching. The government should consider the following :–

l       It should use technology to combat corruption and use it for verifying applications.

l       The system of competitive examinations, especially the online tests, should be made fool proof. Additionally,
the Service Selection Boards and the members of the Service Commissions should be appointed on the basis
of proven integrity.

l       The government should provide coaching centres in small and medium class towns so that immigration to the big towns from rural areas is reduced. This will also reduce the exploitation of the unemployed.

l       Interview weightage should be limited to not more than 10% of the marks.

l               The information about the selection and merit list should be displayed on the website of the Selection Boards.

  The writer is the Honorary Executive Director of the Chambers of Indian Trade & Industry. The views expressed here are personal and not of the organisation.

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