As per NSSO data, for the 12 year period ended FY12, the total number of jobs created were 76 million, of which the number of people employed in agriculture declined by 6 million, whereas in industry, it increased by 17 million, and the residual in the service sector.
This clearly implies that there is an urgent need to create jobs in agriculture and manufacturing. We need to restructure the NREGA programme in countryside with greater emphasis on asset creation for the small and marginal farmers.
One way to look at this is by tying up NREGA with Bharat Nirman and create the best in class rural infrastructure (Water Supply, Housing, Rural Telecom, Roads, Rural Electrification and Irrigation). (Read full report)
This will go a long way in creating a huge pool of rural employment in India, as well as give a boost to agricultural productivity, with demand for foodgrains set to cross 300 mn tonnes.
In manufacturing sector, Indian industry on its own can take a big initiative in partnering with the Government in creating an employable workforce through set-up of ITIs/ICTs.
By Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Chief Economic Adviser, Economic Research Department, State Bank of India.