The prime minister, Narendra Modi, had made a commitment to create 10 lakh new government jobs in October 2022. Rozgar Melas were meant to monitor the progress on this front. There has been much fanfare around these Rozgar Melas announced by the Centre. Their goal is to maximise publicity for the creation of fresh jobs. Meticulous care is taken to plan such events as they are meant to be a spectacle of governmental benevolence. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this exercise of garnering publicity on the part of politicians. But it would be worrying if deceit lies at the heart of such ceremony. Newspaper reports have pointed to evidence that suggests many of the appointments issued in these Rozgar Melas do not concern fresh jobs. In many cases, they pertain to promotions of existing employees in the government and the public sector. Consequently, no new position is filled; an employee’s designation is merely altered. The Rozgar Mela also records instances of a new employee being appointed to a position; but even here, the employee is merely filling up an existing vacancy brought about by superannuation or resignation. Strictly speaking, this is not an instance of a new job created by which the net employment in the economy increases. This is unwarranted in the context of the promises made by the Centre about new jobs which usually imply newly-created opportunities.
This elaborate ritual — the last edition took place in 45 cities across the nation — is evidently a political exercise. People are made to think that it is the prime minister himself who is providing the employment. But in reality, there is a smokescreen on the data about employment created in the economy. If the Centre is courageous enough, then the doubts pertaining to employment generation should be cleared immediately. Inaccuracies in, or the absence of, official data are becoming an identifying feature of the Narendra Modi government. Does that have to do something with Mr Modi’s failure to create an adequate number of jobs during his stints in power? The credibility of government announcements takes a beating when it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between truth and deception. Mr Modi must clear the fog.