The education-expectation-skill mismatch in India.

Home internet is being upgraded to optical fibre. A young technician (he’s 25) is doing it.

This is his 2nd job. 1st one was in a company handling advertising on Delhi metro feeder buses.

Company shut down in lockdown 1/n
He’s a BCA (apologetically) from a govt college. Couldn’t afford pvt fees. Was paid 18k in his 1st job (handling excel sheets etc.) & not much physical work. Spoke almost with disdain - interview aise lete hain jaise UPSC ka ho. But he badly needed the job 2/n
He went home after the lockdown but realised it’s not sustainable. A ‘gaon ka ladka’ (among the most efficient labour mkt networks in India told him about this job. Had to give an interview again. They wanted graduates (to fit Internet), 10th-12th ko bhaga dete hain, he said 3/n
He cracked the interview because his village friend had tipped him about the most important question: Is room me wiring kaise karoge?

He’s paid 20k plus 2k for travel here. But workday is longer & demanding he says.

Job starts after a day’s training w/o any practical 4/n
He’s eager to learn, happy to have got a new job (most ex-colleagues haven’t) but not the most confident about the job, esp the non-hardware part of it. Can’t blame him, he’s hit the ground running.

There’s little prospect of growth here. 40-45 of them have a team leader 5/n
Millions of young workers get into promising courses with disappointing instructors & get caught in a low level equilibrium trap in the job mkt.
Emp for them is like Ajit’s liquid (job) oxygen (salary): oxygen use marne nahi dega aur liquid use jeene nahi dega n/n

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More from @Roshanjnu

11 Nov
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1/n: A slightly theoretical thread on the political economy of #farmersbill "passed" by the RS.
In 1998 Utsa Patnaik wrote an essay called India’s Agrarian Economy & New Contradictions Following Liberalization for the CPI(M)'s theoretical journal.…
2/n: Mandatory disclosure: Utsa, who is among the most eminent Marxist scholars on Indian agriculture (& became famous by arguing in favour of capitalist dev in Indian agriculture against veterans in the now famous Mode of Production debate) was my supervisor in CESP, JNU
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1/n: My @CASIPenn Working Paper : Deceleration, Pandemic, Recession: Does India have a Plan? has been officially published now. You can read it here.

Here is a short thread summarising the arguments.…
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MPhil to be discontinued under New Education Policy
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Today is Swami Sahajanand Saraswati’s death anniversary. Swamiji started as a Sanskrit scholar, ascetic, social reformer, educationist, freedom fighter & ended up as a radical peasant leader & one of the founders of the Kisan Sabha in India 1/n
It is a pity that most people either do not know Swamiji or see him as a parochial leader of Bhumihars. His legacy is misused to justify feudal oppression. Swamiji broke ranks with the Bhumihar Mahasabha on the question of anti colonialism & peasant rights 2/n
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Landed in Delhi after a #VandeBharatMission flight from Dulles, Washington today. Some thoughts & observations.

No passengers, no flights (security takes a minute at most) and no shops.
Airports have become ghost towns. Captures the Covid-19 economic disruption 1/n
Flight was full. But it’s mostly pent-up demand. Elderly, who were visiting their children & students, mostly. Once this dries up, and the virus doesn’t slow down, things will become worse for the travel industry 2/n
Embassy & Air India ground staff; quite a few above 50 (seniors get posted to the US may be), were quite efficient & cheerful. The cabin crew dons a full body PPE, unlike passengers who get a PPE kurta. It’s flight, land & test, quarantine for 6 days and fly again for them 3/n
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