Thursday, May 29, 2003
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By Aarti Dhar
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention 181 seeks to regulate the working of private placement agencies. Though India is not a signatory to the convention the decision has been taken following complaints of exploitation from job-seekers.
Sources in the Labour Ministry said that it intends to establish a network with the 780-odd placement agencies in 18 States, two-thirds of which are functioning in Maharashtra. The decision was taken after a working group on National Employment Service examined the position and it was felt that the number of such agencies was substantially large and there were complaints of exploitation from the job-seekers, particularly the migrant labourers.
Andhra Pradesh has 48 agencies, Karnataka 41, Punjab 30, Assam 6, West Bengal 32, Madhya Pradesh 15, Haryana 25, Jammu and Kashmir 11, Gujarat 30, Kerala 48, Tamil Nadu 8, Maharashtra 254, Rajasthan 83 and Uttar Pradesh 18. These agencies charge for providing services and at time cause harassment to the job-seekers, which is against the ILO convention. The 10th Plan envisages creation of 10 million jobs each year, 90 per cent of which would be in the private and semi-Government sector. The Centre now wants to get access to the data of the private sector available with the private placement agencies to identify the nature of jobs and the kind of talent available in the country by linking the private placement agencies with the National Employment Service. There are about 416 lakh unemployed persons registered with the National Employment Exchange across the country in 2002 with only 90,000 employments given that year. The number of new registries made every year is about 35 lakhs.
The Vacancies Act, 1974, makes it mandatory for the private, public and the Government sectors to advertise all vacancies. The ground reality, however, is different, with only Government agencies advertising the posts. The private sector advertises only 25 per cent of the vacancies, that too, of the lower ranks.
Recognising the changing scenario where the Government jobs are fewer to come by and the private sector virtually refusing to advertising the posts, the Labour Ministry will now seek help from the private placement agencies to collect data from the lowest and remotest level to assess the future requirements and check exploitation.
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