Gujarat Vs West Bengal is a contrasting story of employment vs unemployment, development vs petty politics and opportunity for all vs minority appeasements.
While Gujarat boasts of the highest per capita income, West Bengal can feel good about being the only state with two Haj houses.
One wonders what the majority Hindus of West Bengal think about how their leaders dole out special privileges to minorities. Does the CM of WB thinks that there is no poor Hindu in WB. Don’t they also need jobs or vocational training. And if the Hindus are waiting for Mamata Didi to take care of them … well, good luck!
TNN, Aug 28, 2010, 03.37am IST
NEW DELHI: Gujarat has topped the list of 35 states and union territories in providing maximum number of job placements through employment exchanges, accounting for 5.50 lakh of the 8.30 lakh job offers facilitated by the government agency.
Labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge told Rajya Sabha in response to a question that in the three years — from 2007 to 2009 — Gujarat had managed to place 1,78,000, 2,17,000 and 1,53,000 workers, respectively, through employment exchanges.
None of the states were in the striking distance. The second best, however, was Maharashtra that had managed to place nearly 8,000 in 2007; 11,000 in 2008 and 24,000 in 2009. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh were among other states in that order that had made some contribution along with Maharashtra.
An important agency before private enterprises replaced the public sector as the favoured employer, employment exchanges have lost their sheen in the post-liberalisation phase. They, however, still remain an important mechanism for lower-category government jobs.
What is surprising is that all these states had a long list of applicants, who had registered with the employment exchanges with different vocational capabilities.
Though Left-ruled West Bengal and Kerala were among the top five states that had highest number of people registered with employment exchanges, their placement records remained dismal.
In West Bengal, 64,00,000 were registered with employment exchange as on May 31, 2010 while the figure for Kerala — that was third on the list of highest unemployed — was 30,14,000. Tamil Nadu came second, with 55,65,000 unemployed.
Across the country, the total number of job seekers registered with employment exchanges as on May 31, 2010 were around 3.80 crore. Maharashtra, UP, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Haryana were among the top 10 states with highest registered unemployed.
Gujarat’s contribution to providing employment is commendable as what placements we see through employment exchanges is only a fraction of the actual scenario. In many of the organised and unorganised sectors that constitute for most of the employments, job seekers approach directly avoiding the employment exchanges.
This also reflects in Gujarat per capita income, at $833 it is higher than the national average of $627 as per the 2005-06 data. In the past few years, the state has significantly added its manufacturing capability which alone accounts for highest employment.
Mon, Aug 30 05:57 AM
Nearly 1.4 crore backward Muslims in West Bengal would be issued OBC certificates under a reservation policy for poor people of the community after the state Cabinet approves the decision on September 22. This will be in keeping with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s promise in February this year that the step will be taken before year-end.
The policy decision has been taken and it awaits approval of the Cabinet on September 22, Bhattacharjee said on Sunday while inaugurating a Haj House-cum-Empowerment Centre at Kaikhali near Kolkata Airport. In effect, after September all advertisements for government jobs will mention that there will be reservation for OBC Muslims.
The move will go a long way in winning back the support of the Muslim community whom the state government antagonised over the years resulting in a dent in Muslim vote bank.
“If SC and ST population can come under reservation, why not the minorities like Muslims?” Bhattacharjee said, adding that the state government was encouraged by recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission in this regard.
The state has 2.2 crore Muslim population and most of the remaining people will come under reservation soon, according to Abdus Sattar, Minister of State for Minority and Madrasa Education. “Fifty-two groups are already in the OBC community and others are going to be included soon,” Sattar told The Indian Express.
When the plan is implemented Muslims will be entitled to a 7-per cent reservation in government jobs. However, since Bhattacharjee had announced for a 10-per cent reservation for Muslims, it was not clear where the remaining 3 per cent will come from.
The Rs 10-crore Haj House is the second of its kind in the state after the one situated near Park Circus in the city, which made West Bengal the only state to have two Haj Houses for the benefit of Haj pilgrims, he said. Bhattacharjee said there was need for such a facility to cater to the growing number of Haj pilgrims in the state. While 1,410 pilgrims went to Haj in 1985, the number rose to 10,272 in 2010.
Bhattacharjee said “minorities were not living in anybody’s mercy” and the government had given approval for starting 12 English-medium madrasas in the state.
In addition to 600 madrasas in the state, steps have been taken to prepare a list of 300 more of the institutions to impart education not only in religion, but also in subjects like science, mathematics and computers to make the minority community students more competitive.
Sattar said unemployed Muslims would be imparted vocational training in 37 trades in the Haj building for nine months by the Aliah University.