Learning to no avail
Editorial

Learning to no avail

November 6, 2019

The nation is facing tough times, to describe its present economic, social and even political health, saying so metaphorically. The people in different strata of society across the country are up with difficult times, even as the top brass in the nation’s Central Government seem to be putting up a brave front. Its threesome at the helm are taking turns visiting different countries both in the West and in the East, interacting with their respective counterparts, formalising agreements for co-operation in mutual progress and returning home in a virtually triumphant mood, taking harsh comments from persons in public life in their stride, a testimony to the stoicity of the ruling class. Troubles, it is said, visit people in an annoying sequence as in the case of the country too. The nation is just now facing a slowdown of its economy, with seasoned analysts attributing it to the goings on in industry, including those in the core sector such as power, oil, coal and others. The country’s youth owe it to themselves to emulate the administration in staying steadfast in days ahead.

The manufacturing sector, accounting for almost half of the contribution of industry as a whole to the country’s economy, has declared unequivocally that significantly reduced consumption of their output has left them with no option other than laying off the employees in thousands. Even the IT sector has the same story to narrate.

Graduates of the country’s more than 900 conventional Universities and 13 Open Universities offering courses under Open Distance Learning (ODL) are the worst hit, more than 75 percent of them left to fend for themselves, forcing a fraction of their growing numbers scrambling for odd jobs which prompts one to say “Learning to no avail.” The Mysuru-based Open University, having a running feud with the University Grants Commission, is further facing the embarrassment of its graduates being told that their degrees don’t have any value as qualification for being recruited by various employers, including the Mysuru Co-operative Milk Producing set up. Their number runs into thousands, raising the issue of wasteful resources spent on training them and imparting learning.

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Joblessness among educated youth has reportedly risen to nearly 18 percent, a threefold increase in a period of six years from 2011, amounting to loss of nine million jobs. Shockingly, more than 37 per cent of graduates with technical education are unemployed. The economic worth of these features can never be determined, even approximately. India’s youth are made to learn skills but left unutilised. The land’s intelligentsia owe it to the nation for drawing the road map to arrest the breakdown.

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