In a bid to counter protests led by youth complaining about lack of jobs and also to create a positive image ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled in December this year, the Gujarat government has launched a drive to hold mega job fairs at district levels to bring job seekers and private companies together. In the last two years, Gujarat has witnessed a number of agitations and caste mobilisation on the issue of quotas in education and jobs and distressed agriculture and lack of employment opportunities. Patidar protestsPatidar agitation leader Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor, who runs an ambarella agitation for backward communities, have been raising the issue of joblessness in the State, which attracts high investments in the industrial sector. The pressure from these agitations and social movements has forced the government to expedite its recruitment drive for hiring more than 60,000 posts across various departments including police, education and also for subordinate staff for government departments. Currently, the government is in the process of a massive recruitment drive to fill up almost 65,000 vacancies in its departments. “A total of 68,000 people will be recruited in the government before the Assembly elections,” a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told The Hindu.In the recently held mega job fairs, as many as 2,184 job providers participated and offered jobs to 1,09,520 candidates out of 1,42,970 applicants, said Gujarat Chief Secretary Dr JN Singh. “As per the official figures of 5th Annual Employment/Unemployment Survey by the Centre, Gujarat has the lowest unemployment ratio per 1,000, which is 0.9 per cent. That means only 9 out of every 1,000 persons in Gujarat are unemployed,” Dr Singh said. Youth leaders like Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor have been alleging that despite high rate of investments, Gujarat has failed to create jobs. “More than 50 lakh people in the State are either jobless or underemployed…but the government is not admitting it,” Mr. Hardik Patel recently told The Hindu. Mr. Thakor said jobs in Gujarat were taken away by “outsiders because the government has not enforced its labour policy which prescribes all factories to hire 85 per cent locals”.
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