This is a piquant situation. Jobs there are aplenty, but fewer and fewer people to fill them. This is not to suggest there is dearth of ‘qualified’ candidates. On the contrary, there is an appreciable glut of candidates, but they are not suitable by industry standards. One can’t help but notice a dilemma here. Let’s see what it means on ground.
Commensurate with age-old mindset of Indian parents, we tend to teach our youngsters to study well in order to establish in life. One recalls the Bengali saying, lekhapora kore je, garighora chore se, which translated literally means those who study ride cars. This has meant that we’ve preferred our kids’ scoring good marks in exams than letting them engage in extra-curricular activities.
In so doing, our kids have become competent individually than collectively, a bane than a boon. In today’s knowledge-based world, this doesn’t work because industry chieftains have found that teamwork yields more meaningful output than what can be obtained totaling individual performances.
Working in a group means that its members perform in tandem keeping in view the pluses and minuses of each. This is something that can be learnt in practice, not from books. What are the traits that today’s job-searchers are looking for? In short, here they are (excerpted from an Anandabazar Patrika article of Nov 6):
- Ability to converse with and listen to other person.
- Behaving politely and putting across points without loosing calm.
- Ability to reason with a clear mind.
- Knowing to apply knowledge and competence as situation demands.
- Earning confidence on oneself.
- Ability to work in a team.
- Be responsible and alert to the work on hand.
- Having discipline in doing work so as to complete it on schedule.
- Ability to understand and appreciate other person’s needs.
A look at these and it becomes clear that they just cannot be learnt automatically. It’s only through exposures to working in groups over a long period that one learns how to seamlessly gel with team members while being responsible for collective output. An ideal example may be that of Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank model (read this story).
That being so, it’s not difficult to surmise why only 22% of approximately 14,000 engineering graduates passing out every year in Bengal get good jobs. The situation in other states is nearly same.
At a time when Indian economy is gradually blossoming, which in turn is attracting global investment, it’s no secret that the job market is set to explode. Unfortunately, not many in our young brigade are in a position to reap the benefits.
- India Struggles to Keep Up With Surging Employment Needs
- Glut of Tech Talent, Lack of Teachers
- Performance of Indian Industry