• In common parlance anybody who is not gainfully employed in any productive activity is called unemployed. However, it can be of two kinds: 
    i. Voluntary unemployed and 
    ii. Involuntary unemployed. 
  • Here we are concerned with the second category of unemployment persons. 
    Hence unemployment can be defined as a situation when a person seeking job is able and willing to work at the prevailing wage level but are unable to get the same. 
  • In India unemployment is structural in nature due to lack of productive capacity and resources. 
  • During the ninth plan, a total of 3.6 crore freshly unemployed began to look for employment

Reasons for Unemployment 

  • Slow economic development 
  • Population explosion 
  • Outdated technique 
  • Improper education system 
  • Limited effect of government planning 

Labour Force Growth and Employment During The Tenth Plan 

  • Job opportunities will need to be created for 53 million people during 1997-2002 as a consequence of labour force increase for 58 million during 2002-07 and thereafter for 55 million during 2007-12. 
  • Applying the sectoral growth rates to work opportunities in 1997, the employment potential in 2002 has been worked out. 
  • The data reveals that employment is likely to increase from 391.4 million in 1997 to 441.5 million in 2002—indicating an increase of 50.1 million work opportunities. 
  • Out of the projected increase of employment of the order of 50 million during the ninth plan 24.2 million employment opportunities or 48.2% would be created in agriculture alone. Obviously agriculture is expected to absorb nearly half of the additional labour force. 
  • Next are the community, social, and personal services accounting for 7.43 million additional jobs—I4.8% of total; followed by wholesale and retail trade contributing 6.9 million jobs-13.7%; and manufacturing contributing 4.66 million jobs-9.3% of the total. 
  • Aggregating these four major employment generating sectors, 86% of the total additional work opportunities will he provided by them. 

Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)

  • Instead of achieving an employment elasticity of 0.38% as projected in the ninth plan, the actual employment elasticity achieved during 1993-94 to 1999-2000 was 0.15.
  • The IRDP is financially assisted by the centre and states in the ratio of 50:50. 
  • Under IRDP, the targeted group includes 50% families belonging to the schedule caste and the schedule tribe. Apart from this, among the beneficiaries, 50% were females and 3% were physically handicapped. 


  • Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA): It was started in September 1982. Under this programme, a group of 10-15 women was taken belonging to the families living below the poverty line. They were given training for starting any economic activity. Every group was given the economic assistance of Rs 25,000. 
  • Training Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM): The objective of TRYSEM was to provide training to those rural youth (ages 18-35 years) who belong to the families living below the poverty line. This programme was started on 15 August 1979. 

Swarna Javanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) 

  • The Government introduced the Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana on 1 April 1999. 
  • Six ongoing schemes were merged with this programme. They are: 
    i. IRDP 
    ii. TRYSEM 
    iii. DWCRA 
    iv. MWS 
    v. STRA 
    vi. Ganga Kalyan Yojana. 
  • The SGSY in a holistic programme covering all the aspects of self-employment. 
  • The scheme is funded on 75:25 ratio by the centre and states. 
  • A total number of 6,81,680 swarozgaries received banks credit amounting to Its 559.56 crore (and govemement subsidy amounting to Its 241.58 crore) under the SGSY during the year 2004-05 (till December 2004).

The Drought-Prone Area Programme 

  • It was started in 1973 with the objective of developing the drought-prone areas and also re-establishing the environment balance. 
  • This programme is financially assisted by the centre and the concerned state government in the ratio 50:50. 

Desert Development Programme 

  • The Desert Development Programme was started in 1977-78 to end the ill-effect of drought in desert areas and also to stop the process of desert expansion.
  • This programme is implemented on the basis of cent-percent financial assistance rendered by the central government. 

Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme 

  • The Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RL EGP) began on August 15, 1983 with the objective of creating employment, constructing the productive project and improving rural life. 
  • During seventh Five-year plan, these programme were merged with Jawahar Rozgar Yojana. 

Nehru Rozgar Yojana 

  • The Nehru Rozgar Yojana began on October 1989 which was revised in March 1990. 
  • Under this Yojana the following schemes were included: 
    i. Scheme of Urban Micro Enterprises—SUME, 
  • ii. Scheme of Urban Wage Employment-SUWE, 
    iii. Scheme of Housing and Shelter Upgradation—SHASU. 

Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) 

  • This was started on October 2, 1993 for the educated unemployed youth and initially was in operation in urban areas. 
  • From I April, it was implemented throughout the country. 
  • Its objective was to give employment to 10 lakh educated unemployed urban youth by establishing 7 lakh micro enterprises during the eighth plan. 
  • SHGs (Self-Help Groups) are considered eligible for financing under the PMRY, effective from December 8, 2003 (terms modified on July 30, 2004), provided all members individually satisfy the eligibility criteria laid down and total membership does not exceed twenty (20). There is also a ceiling on the loan amount. During 2004-05 banks sanctioned loans amounting to Rs 1479 crore in 2.36 lakh accounts, while disbursements amounted to Its 851 crore in 1.42 lakh accounts (data provisional).

Bharat Nirman Yojana 

  • The union government launched a new comprehensive scheme named Bharat Nirman Yojana on December 16, 2005. 
  • This scheme aims at developing rural infrastructures. 
  • The duration of implementing this scheme has been fixed for four years with an expected expenditure of Rs 17,400 crore. 
  • The major six sectors and their targets for next four years are: 
    Irrigation: To ensure irrigation for additional one crore hectare of land by 2009.
    Road: To link all villages having a population of 1000 with main roads and also link all Scheduled Tribes villages and villages in the hills with a population of 500 each with roads.
    Housing: Construction of 60 lakh additional houses for the poor.
    Water Supply: To ensure drinking water to all remaining 74000 villages.
    Electrification: To supply electricity to all remaining 1,25,000 villages and to provide electricity connections to 2.3 crore houses.
    Rural Communication: To provide telephone facility to all remaining 66,822 villages.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee ACT (MGNREGA

  • The National Rural Employment Guarantee bill was passed by the parliament on August 2005. It secured presidential assent later in 2005 itself and became an Act.
  • The Act provides for at least 100 days of employment to one able-bodied person in every rural household every year.
  • The wages admissible are around Rs. 100 per day.
  • The Act (MGNREGA) came into force from February districts had been selected for the enforcement of the scheme.
  • Work under the MGNREGA generated 90 crore (nearly one billion person per days of employment in 2006-07 at a cost of about Rs. 9,000 crore.)
  • 2.83 billion person days were generated and 52.5 million household benefited from it in 2009-10.