Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Smoke and mirrors

Cong youth manifesto throws up lot of promises with no road map for delivery

10th January 2017, 04:58 Hrs
All political parties seem to think that a promise of
jobs is more than enough to woo the youth and that
there is no need to explain how these jobs will be
created. The Aam Aadmi Party promised 50,000
jobs (and loss of jobs by outlawing casinos) and the
Congress has promised 100 per cent employability. If one were
to consider the number of names on the live register of the Employment
Exchange as a benchmark of unemployment, the
Congress would have to create 1.30 lakh jobs. Is that feasible?
Can any government create so many jobs in five years?
The manifesto promises to increase the number of industries
and focus on information technology, communication, tourism,
hospitality, mining and agriculture. This covers almost
every sector with no special focus on any. The manifesto was
apparently drafted as if nothing had happened in the last five
years. During the tenure of the BJP government, the Investment
Promotion Board was formed as a single-window clearance for
industries, an IT park was proposed
in Chimbel for which land was acquired
and a park to encourage
electronic industries is taking shape
in Tuem. Apart from these developments,
the Industrial Development
Corporations has been clearing industries and allotting plots
in estates. A huge number of hotels of all categories have been
cleared by the IPB and the number of schemes for the agriculture
sector has increased. As far as training goes, the number
of seats in engineering colleges has outstripped demand and
the ITIs are churning out trainees at record levels. The Goa University
has initiated BVoc course to enable students who have
taken vocation training at the 12th standard level to acquire degrees
and the hospitality industry has well-developed training
institutes. And free wi-fi is already available. Because these developments
were ignored by the Congress the youth manifesto
reads like an internet creation with no relevance to ground
The other problem with the manifesto is that it is wordy and
long-winded and totally out of sync with the world of messaging
apps which are a rage with the youth. It would be interesting
to know if the youth are willing to invest time to read, leave
alone study, the 14-page document which is very heavy on text
and borrows heavily from the International Labour Organisation.
Worse still, the document neither promises anything new
nor delves into how the Congress hopes to deliver on these
promises. The youth are not a bunch of fools. They are career
oriented and well connected. They have dreams and want
those dreams to be realised with or without the help of the government.
To understand their mindset, one has to engage with
them. It seems no one thought of asking the youth how they
want to participate in nation building and that is the key error
committed by those who authored the youth manifesto.