Posted on : August 23, 2018


Data from  successive rounds of nationally representative youth surveys conducted by the Lokniti research programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)  has thrown up an interesting fact; The attraction of a government job has not shown any signs of declining over the past decade. In fact, the share of youth who prefer a government job has grown slightly to 65% in 2016.

What’s worth noting is that the share of youth who prefer a private job has nearly halved to 7% between the two rounds of the survey conducted in 2007 and 2016. The share of those wanting to start their own enterprises has risen marginally to 19% over the same period.

Rural and urban youth hardly differ when it comes to job preferences. But the share of youth in big cities who prefer a government job shows a sharp increase between 2007 and 2016.The 2007 and 2016 surveys covered 5,513 and 6,122 individuals, respectively.

The rising preference for government jobs in big cities could be driven by a search for stability as well as the declining income differential between the private and public sector, especially in entry-level jobs.

As an example, the Railways Recruitment Board (RRB) has received more than 24 million applications for roughly 120,000 vacancies in the organisation.

Big cities here include the 10 most populous cities of India (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Surat and Pune) spread across eight states and the most populous cities of 11 other states surveyed. Other cities have been classified as small cities in the analysis.

Among all groups, preference for government jobs is highest among the college-educated rural youth (82%). It is this segment that has also been at the forefront of recent agitations for extending reservation benefits to new groups. Urban youth who have studied beyond high school were relatively more likely to look beyond the public sector as compared with their rural counterparts.

Interestingly, there are no substantial differences in opinion based on economic class or social groups.

The sentiment on job creation has been the Achilles’ heel of the Narendra Modi government and it continues to remain tepid. In the successive rounds of the Mood of the Nation surveys conducted by Lokniti-CSDS over the past year, it has consistently emerged as one of the most important issues for the public.Providing permanent government jobs is an even bigger challenge given that public employment has been shrinking in post-liberalization India.(Story Courtesy:LiveMint)