This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Nanoosh Kumar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Why Are 50% Of India’s Graduates Unemployable?

By Nanoosh Kumar:

Work is a measure of societal status from the days of the early civilization, besides being the basis of our survival. But the societal stratification has erred in the past decade and the plight of Indian unemployment is a categorical example of it.

Image source: Twitter
Image source: Twitter

The current demography of India, with its young population, would be a bliss for many nations including the developed. For India, the elderly dependency ratio is a mere 9%, while for Germany it is 32%, Japan, 33%, Greece, 33%, US, 22%. India has 50% of its population below 25 years, 65% below 35 years and by 2020 it is predicted that an average Indian will be 29 years old, while for China and Japan it will be 37 and 48 years respectively.

Any blessing, if carelessly dealt with, will lead to catastrophe. This catastrophe can be more clearly pictured by imagining 23 lakh candidates with mixed educational backgrounds, from primary school educated people, to postgraduates standing in a long queue in front of a kiosk offering the job of a peon. Assuming each person occupies a linear space of 30 cm, a 690 km long queue will be formed. This is what precisely happened in Uttar Pradesh in the second week of September 2015, when 23 lakh candidates applied for just 368 vacancies, for the post of a peon in the government secretariat. This incident highlighted the graveness of the unemployment scenario of India in a nutshell, as the applicants included 250 doctorates, 25,000 Postgraduates, 1.5 lakh graduates, 7.5 lakh Higher secondary school pass outs and 11.2 lakh class 10 or equivalent pass outs, for a job which required only a qualification of a class 5 student and cycling skill.

If, similarly, the whole percentage (4.9 %) of unemployed youth between the age of 18-29 in the total population of India, amounting to about 6 Crore, is made to stand in a queue, it will be a jaw-dropping 18,000 km long, greater than the entire frontier of India (which is only 15,200 km). This is equal to the entire population of Italy which is the 23rd country in the UN by population.

A statistical bird’s eye view of the same can be pictured from the Annual Employment and Unemployment Survey Report, 2013-14, conducted by the Labour Bureau. Unemployment ratio for the age group of 18-29 years is 12.9%, while for above 30 years it is 1.4%, which points out that there are very few opportunities for fresh entrants. Unemployment among those with degrees is 28%, while for below primary and pre-primary literates in the age group of 18-29 years, it is 4%. Among graduates it is 14%, postgraduates, it is 12%, while for illiterates it is 2%.

Thus, the normal notion that higher the education, higher the employment chance, is under folly. A strong reason for the same can be attributed to the survey findings by NDTV and The Hindu that stated that around 50% of Indian graduates are unemployable.

The foremost step to counter the same should be to formulate precise, authentic information on employment and related data. This should include at least a 5-year medium-term future forecast of employment and its characteristics with greater emphasis on the forthcoming year. This can be achieved by coordination of various agencies involved in data assimilation, like NSSO, CSO, Labour bureau etc. The implementation of knowledge commission recommendations, like revised standard syllabus, development of a research culture, industrial collaboration of education, MoU between various national and international institutions with greater importance to indigenous requirements, development, trade, commerce and services along with the forecasted data on employment can be effectively utilized for predicting the characteristics of forthcoming employment requirements to equip the candidates with greater employment-related skills rather than drawing lines on water.

The best solution to the problem of unemployment can be deciphered from the same Labour Bureau Report, 2013-14. The majority of employed in India are self-employed (42%), while 35% are casual labourers and only 23% are salaried employees among the age group of 18-29 years. Thus, in new innovative start-ups and ventures lies the future of India. A hard push given to the low labour intensive service sector must be repeated with greater force to the SME’s and agri-related business where ‘Amul’ like magic by visionaries like Dr. Varghese Kurien can be repeated across the nation.

Indians are now giving a better social position to the entrepreneurs who are job creators than job seekers which itself is a bit adventurous, a change in trend from the recent past where a safe salaried job was highly sought after. Indians were the best of traders and entrepreneurs in the precolonial period and were very prosperous, and such risk-taking ventures had a high value in the society then. I hope that the same era will soon arrive which has become a necessity due the grave unemployment mess in the society at present than ever. The government on its part should facilitate the smooth and swift shift of such a societal strata for the betterment of a vast wide section of unemployed youth to bring back the pre-colonial entrepreneurial atmosphere and prosperity.

You must be to comment.
  1. shalini

    there are more than several reasons for unemployment – but the largest I see is the lack of mentoring the youth – the lack of grooming them to be employable – why would someone hire a fresher who can not even communicate…..

More from Nanoosh Kumar

Similar Posts

By Akshat Vats


By Imran Khan

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below