India’s Congress vows ‘first job’ for all graduates if voted into power

India’s Congress vows ‘first job’ for all graduates if voted into power
India’s Congress vows ‘first job’ for all graduates if voted into power

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Opinion polls predict another big defeat for the party that has ruled India for much of its independent history but was thrashed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the last two general elections. — Reuters pic

NEW DELHI, March 7 — India’s main opposition Congress party said today it would guarantee paid apprenticeships to every graduate under 25 if it wins the upcoming election, as it tries to tap into voter concerns over high unemployment, even among the well educated.

Opinion polls predict another big defeat for the party that has ruled India for much of its independent history but was thrashed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the last two general elections.

National elections are likely to be held in the coming weeks.

“We are going to ensure your ‘first job’ of Rs 1 lakh (RM5,700) per year,” former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, said on X social media. “This historic plan of ours is a forever cure for the disease of unemployment.”

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Gandhi, who is in the middle of a cross-country march exhorting young people to vote for Congress, said the party would enact a ‘Right to Apprentice Act’ guaranteeing a one-year apprenticeship in a government or private institution, with the opportunity to continue in the job.

“This revolutionary scheme will change the face of Indian industries and the destiny of the youth by closing the skill gap between industry and India’s workforce,” he said.

According to a report by Azim Premji University last year, the unemployment rate for graduates under 25 was 42.3 per cent. This fell to less than 5 per cent for those aged 35 and above. India’s overall unemployment rate increased to 8 per cent in February from 6.8 per cent in January, according to data from the independent Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.

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Economists and business leaders have often complained about the employability of young graduates in the world’s most populous country because of a lack of suitable skills. A recent study showed that less than half of India’s young graduates who apply for jobs are employable. — Reuters

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