Randeep Singh Surjewala
Randeep Singh Surjewala

New Delhi: Congress on Thursday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in the United States that 'everything is fine' in India is a "big, bold white lie, weaved to fool" not just the international community but 130 crore Indians.

Party's Communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said that amid "deliberate diversions, distractions, and digressions," a stark ground reality has emerged in the form of "two scathing reports" and it has again "proved the monumental crisis" on jobs and education.

He cited data from the eighth annual All India Survey on Higher Education 2018-19 (AISHE) by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and 'Unemployment in India - A Statistical Profile' for May-August 2019 by the Centre for Monitoring India Economy.

Referring to AISHE report, he said it states that 74 per cent of the young population (aged between 18-23 years) was not enrolled in higher education.

"Our higher equation system awards a little less than one crore degrees (90.92 lakh to be precise) every year. Most of these (about 65 lakh) are students who get an undergraduate degree. Most of the students with such degrees learn very little in terms of knowledge, life-skills or any other skills relevant to employability," Surjewala said.

He said only 2.5 per cent colleges in the country run PhD programmes.

"A total of 1,69,170 students are enrolled in PhD programmes that is less than 0.5 per cent of the total student enrolment. We produce less than two lakh MPhil and PhD degree holders annually, who presumably have some research skills. This is a pittance as compared to our young population," he said.

Surjewala said there are 34.8 per cent colleges, which run only single programme, out of which 83.1 per cent are privately managed. "Among these privately managed colleges, 38.1 per cent colleges run BEd courses only," he said.

The Congress leader said that when the world is at the cusp of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the report reflects a drop in the enrolments for technology-led courses.

"The teachers are seriously under-represented in reserved categories. There are only 8.5 per cent SC teachers (compared to their 16 per cent share in population) and only 2.3 per cent ST teachers (compared to 8 per cent share in population)," said Surjewala.

He said according to the CMIE methodology, unemployment rate at 8.19 per cent in August 2019 has hit the highest level since September 2016.

"This is much above the current global average of 4.95 per cent as estimated by the International Labour Organisation," he said.

The Congress leader said that the "real unemployment rate" has skyrocketed to 17.5 per cent for graduates, a rise of 2.35 per cent from August 2018.

For the entire labour force, it is 10.64 per cent.

"The urban unemployment rate was 9.6 per cent and the rural rate was 7.8 per cent in August. Both these are also the highest rates since September 2016," he said.

Surjewala said alarmingly, the report states that unemployment levels rise rapidly with a rise in education level.

"Unemployment level jumps to 15 per cent, roughly double the national average, among those who are graduates and above," he said.

"There are a little over 10 crore graduates in the country, and of them 6.3 crore are in the `labour force', i.e., willing and available for work. Of these, 5.35 crore have some kind of employment. That leaves nearly one crore (94 lakh to be precise) persons, mostly youth, with graduate or higher degree who do not have any job whatsoever," he said.

The Congress leader said that the rate of unemployment among women is 17.6 per cent, more than double the rate for men (6.1 per cent).

"In urban areas, unemployment among women is a staggering 24.1 per cent and in rural areas, it is 14.9 per cent. In the BJP-ruled Haryana, the unemployment rate amongst graduates stands at a whopping 22 per cent," he said.

He said the rate of unemployment rate among graduates was 15 per cent, a rise of 3 per cent or 20 lakh unemployed graduates from a year before.

"Demographic dividend is converted into demographic disaster by Modi government," he said.

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