The jobs debate has consumed Indian society and the polity. The recent instance of the Indian Railways receiving 25 million applications to fill 90,000 vacancies is the tip of the iceberg. India’s jobs challenge is not just one of creating jobs for the entrants into the labour force, but also one of creating “better paying productive jobs” for the large swathes of workers trapped in poorly-paid and low-productivity jobs in the informal sector. So, what fits the bill of a “good productive job”? A salaried job or a self-employed one? The government has put its weight behind the latter, arguing that India's youth should aspire to become job creators and not job seekers. The World Bank, on the other hand, in a Systematic Country Diagnostic for India, has asserted that the need of the hour is to create more regular, salaried jobs.
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