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Indians' desperation for government jobs in the last eight years shows unemployment crisis

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India recruited just 0.3% of the candidates who applied for permanent government jobs in the last eight years, highlighting the unemployment crisis plaguing the world’s fastest-growing economy.

The government hired 722,311 candidates out of 220 million applications it received since 2014, Jitendra Singh, a junior minister in the personnel ministry told Parliament Thursday. The number of job applications as well as recruitments have declined since 2014, the data shared with lawmakers showed.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to hire a million people to fill vacancies in the country’s government departments in the next 18 months -- a move aimed at countering the criticism against him of failing to create enough jobs in a country where nearly two-thirds of its 1.4 billion people are in the age of 15-64 years.

He also unveiled a military recruitment plan that offered shorter contracts and fewer benefits, that led to protests with angry youth blocking roads and torching trains.

Data from private research firm Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. shows joblessness rose to 7.8% in June, from 7.1% in the previous month, with unemployment in the 20-24 age group at 43.7% the same month.

Employment generation coupled with improving employability is the priority of the government and it has taken various steps for generating jobs, Singh said, listing out programs such as output-linked incentives for companies and collateral-free loans for small businesses as potential job creators.

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