Unemployment and Employment (Programmes and Schemes)

  • In common parlance anybody who is not gainfully employed in any productive activity is called unemployed. However, it can be of two kinds- 1. voluntary unemployed and 2. involuntary unemployed. Here we are concerned with the second category of unemployed persons.Hence,unemployment can be defined as a situation when persons able and willing to work are seeking jobs at the prevailing wage level but they are unable to get the same. Unemployment in developing economies like India is not the result of deficiency of effective demand in the Keynesian sense, but a consequence of shortage of capital equipment or other complementary resources.
  • In India unemployment is structural in nature due to lack of productive capacity and resources.

Types of Unemployment

1. Cyclical unemployment:

It is the result of depression in an economy

2. Frictional unemployment:

This kind of unemployment is temporary. It is the result of a situation when new industries drive out old ones and workers change over to better jobs.

3. Open unemployment:

It refers to those who have no work to do even though they are able and willing to do work.

4. Seasonal unemployment:

It means the unemployment of the farmers and farm labourers during non-crop seasons. For example, in the period between past harvest and next sowing, agricultural labourers are unemployed.

5. Educated unemployed:

This is mainly found in urban areas. Those educated persons who are unable to get work come under this category.

6. Under-employment (Disguised unemployment):

It results when a person contributes to production less than what he or she is capable of, for example, an engineer working as a clerk is underemployed.

7. Compulsory unemployment:

It means the labour power which is ready to work on the current rate but does not get the work.

Development and Employment Programmes: At a glance


Programme / Plan / Institution

Year of Beginning

Objective / Description


Mahila Samridhi Yojana


To encourage the rural women to deposit in Post Office Savings Account.


Group Life Insurance Scheme in Rural Areas


 To provide insurance facilities to rural people on low premium.


National Social Assistance Programme


To assist people living below the poverty line.


Kasturba Gandhi Education Scheme

August 15, 1997

To establish girls schools in districts having low female literacy rate.


Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)

December, 1997

To provide gainful employment to urban unemployed and under-employed poor through self-employment or wage employment.


Annapurna Yojana

March, 1999

To provide 10 kg foodgrains to senior citizens (who do not get pension).


Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SJGSY)

April, 1999

For eliminating rural poverty and unemployment and promoting self-employment.


Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY)


Creation of demand driven community village infrastructure.


Jan Shree Bima Yojana

Aug. 10, 2000

Providing Insurance Security to people living below the poverty line.


Antyodaya Anna Yojana

Dec. 25, 2000

To provide food security to the poor.


Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

Dec. 25,2000

To line all villages with Pucca Road.


Sampuma Gramin Rozgar Yojana

Sept. 25, 2001

Providing employment and food security to rural people.


Swajaldhara Yojana


Started in Dec. 2002, for ensuring drinking water supply to all villages by 2004


Vande Matram Scheme

Feb. 9, 2004

Major initiative in Public-Private Partnership during pregnancy check-up


National Food for Work Programme


Inaugurated by the Prime Minister on November 14, 2004. This programme is to be implemented initially in 150 districts of the country. It aims a: to provide TOO days' employment in a year to all able-bodied unemployed rural folk.


Janani Suraksha Yojana

April 12,2005

Takes the place of the National Maternity Benefit Scheme. It will be a part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).


Bharat Nirman Yojana

Dec. 16, 2005

Development of Rural infrastructure including six components: Irrigation Water supply, Housing, Road, Telephone and Electricity.


National Rural Employment Programme (NREGP)

Feb. 2, 2006

The provisions are the same as for the food for Work programme. The Scherr -was enforced in 200 districts of the country to begin with. To provide at least 100 days wages employment in rural areas in a year. The scheme is 100S centrally sponsored.

  • During Ninth Plan, total 3.6 crore fresh unemploys began to look for employment.
  • Before its replacement by the 'NITI Aayog' the Planning Commission had to collect data of unemployment on the basis of 'Lakadawala Formula' effective from 11th March, 1997 and prior to this the process to collect data was on the basis of surveys of National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).
  • In India, the data relating to unemployment: are collected by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). This Organisation has the following concepts with regard to unemployment:

1.  General status of unemployment: In this category, generally, those unemployed for more than one year are included. As such it is a long-term unemployment.

2.  Weekly-unemployment: The persons who have not got work for even one hour in a week are included in this category.

3.  Daily unemployment: It is considered the best concept of unemployment.

  • The main reasons for unemployment in India are slow economic development, population explosion, outdated technique, improper education system and limited effect of government planning.
  • India's unemployment rate surged to a one-year high of 8.3 % in August, 2022 as employment sequentially fell by 2 million to 394.6 million, according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). [Source: BS, 1 Sept. 2011

Central Government's Schemes



Date of Announcement


Digital India Programme

21 August, 201-4


Deendayal Upadhyay Antyodaya Yojana

25 August, 2014


Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana

28 August, 2014


Swachha Bharat Mission

2 October, 2014


Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana

11 October, 2014


Shramev Jayate

16 October, 2014


Jeevan Praman (For Pension holders)

10 November, 2014


Mission Indradhanush (Vaccination)

25 December, 2014


NITI Aayog

1st January, 2015



21 January, 2015


Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

22 January, 2015


Suknya Samridhi Yojana

22 January, 2015


Mrida Swastha Card (Soil Health Card)

19 February, 2015


Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana Karyakram (PM Skill Development Scheme/Programme)

20 February, 2015


Janani Suraksha Yojana

12 April, 2015


Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana

9 May, 2015


Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana

9 May, 2015


Atal Pension Yojana

9 May, 2015


Ustad (Minority Artisans)

14 May, 2015


Kayakalp (Public Health)

15 May, 2015


D.D. Kisan Channel

26 May, 2015


Housing for All Scheme

25 June, 2015


Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

25 June, 2015


Smart City Project

25 June, 2015


Digital India

1 July, 2015


Indradhanush (Seven Point mission for strengthening of public sector Banks)

August, 2015


Swarn Maudrikaran Yojana

5 November, 2015


Swarn Bond Yojana

5 November, 2015


Swarn Bullion Yojana

5 November, 2015


UDAY (Ujwal Discom Yojana)



Start up India

16 January, 2016


Shyama Prasad Mukherji National Rurban Mission

21 February, 2016


Setu Bharatam Yojana

4 March, 2016


Stand up India

5 April, 2016


Gramoday Se Bharat Uday

14-24 April, 2016


Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

1 May, 2016



7 July, 2016

Sukanya Samriddhi Account is a part of 'Beti Bachao Beti Pad-hao' Programme. Girls of less than 10 years may be named for opening this account. Minimum Rs. 1,000 and maximum Rs. 1.5 Lakh can be deposited in this account.

Bharat Nirman Yojana

  • The Union Government launched a new comprehensive scheme, named 'Bharat Nirman Yojana' on December 16, 2005.
  • This scheme aims at developing rural infrastructure.
  • The major six sectors of Bharat Nirman Yojana are Irrigation, Roads, Housing, Water supply, Electrification and Rural Communication.
  • Bharat Nirman Yojana, the flagship rural infrastructure development programme of the UPA government still remains work in progress (in 2014-15).

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS)

  • The National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill was passed by Parliament on September 7, 2005. It secured Presidential assent later in 2005 itself and became an Act (MNREGA).
  • The Act provides for at least 100 days of employment to one able bodied person in every rural household every year.
  • The Act (NREGA) came into force from Feb. 2, 2006. Initially 200 districts have been selected for the enforcement of the scheme.
  • The Govt, of India, on October 2, 2009, renamed the NREGA as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
  • The Central government and the State governments bear 75% and 25% of the cost of material, wages of skilled and semi-skilled workers.
  • Daily wage increased from Rs. 182 to Rs. 202 to benefit 136.2 million households.
  • In response to increasing work demand under MGNREG A since April 2020, more than 105 crore person days of work have been created in FY 2020-21 so far.
  • Ministry of Railways has identified numbers of railway works to be executed through MGNREGS.

Employment Guarantee Act, 2005

The Government, on the advice of the National Advisory

Council has passed the National Rural Employment GuaranteeAct. The main features of the Act are :

  1. Every household in rural India will have a right to at least 100 days of guaranteed employment every year for at least one adult member. The employment will be in the form of casual manual labour at the statutory minimum wage, and the wages shall be paid within 7 days of the week during which work was done.
  2. Work should be provided within 15 days of demanding it, and the work should be located within 5 kilometer distance.
  3. If work is not provided to anybody within the given time, he/ she will be paid a daily unemployment allowance, which will be at least one-third of the minimum wages.
  4. Workers employed on public works will be entitled to medical treatment and hospitalization in case of injury at work, along with a daily allowance of not less than half of the statutory minimum wage. In case of death or disability of a worker, an ex-gratia payment shall be made to his legal heirs as per provisions of the Workmen Compensation Act.
  5. 5% of wages may be deducted as contribution to welfare schemes like health insurance, accident insurance, survivor benefits, maternity benefits and social security schemes.
  6. For non-compliance with rules, strict penalties have been laid down.
  7. For transparency and accountability, all accounts and records of the programme will be made available for public scrutiny. The District Collector/Chief Executive Officer will be responsible for the programme at the district level.
  8. The Gram Sabha will monitor the work of the Gram Panchayat by way of social audit.


Important Development and Employment Programmes

AIM (Atal Innovation Mission)

  • AIM is a flagship initiative of the Central Government, set up by NITI Aayog to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the country.
  • AIM is also envisaged as an umbrella innovation organisation that would play an instrumental role in alignment of innovation policies between Central, state and sectoral innovation schemes at various levels to establish an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • The Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) was started for October 2,1993 for the educated unemployed youth and initially was in operation in urban areas. From April 1, 1994 onwards the scheme is being implemented throughout the country. Its objective was to give employment to 10 lakh educated unemployed urban youths by establishing 7 lakh micro enterprises during the Eighth Five Year Plan. During 1993-94, this yojana was implemented in urban areas only, but, since April 1, 1994 it was extended to the whole country.

Note: SHGs (Self-Help Groups) are considered eligible for financing under the PMRY, effective from December 8,2003 (terms modified on July 30,2004) provided all members individually satisfy the eligibility criteria laid down and total membership does not exceed twenty (20). There is also a ceiling on the loan amount.

Schemes and Plans of Union and State Government PAHAL Scheme

  • The PAHAL (DBTL) scheme was launched on 1st June 2013 and covered 291 districts.
  • More than 60% of LPG customers in the country have joined the ambitious PAHAL scheme for receiving cash subsidy so that they can buy cooking gas (LPG) at market price.
  • The DBTL modified Scheme for LPG consumers (PAHAL) was relaunched on November 15, 2014 in 54 districts and in the rest of the country on January 1,2015. The Scheme aims to transfer the subsidy on LPG directly into the bank accounts of over 15 crore LPG consumers.

Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao

  • The 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' scheme, which seeks to address gender imbalance and discrimination against the girl child was launched by the Prime Minister on 22 Jan, 2015 at Panipat in Haryana.
  • Mahendergarh and Jhajjar districts of Haryana are badly effected with imbalanced Sex ratios where there are just about 775 girls for 1,000 boys, the lowest in India.
  • Haryana Chief Minister launched a scheme for girl child- 'Aapki Beti Humari Beti'-with an aim to combat the problem of declining child sex ratio in the state.

Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts

  • Rate of interest 9.1% Per Annum (2014-15), calculated on yearly basis, yearly compounded.
  • Minimum INR. 1000 and Maximum INR. 1,50,000 in a financial year. Subsequent deposit in multiple of INR 100. Deposits can be made in lump-sum. No limit on number of deposits either in a month or in a financial year.
  • Account can be opened up to age of 10 years only from the date of birth.
  • If minimum Rs. 1,000 is not deposited in a financial year, account will become discontinued and can be revived with a penalty of Rs. 50 per year with minimum amount required for deposit for that year.
  • Partial withdrawal, maximum up to 50% of balance standing at the end of the preceding financial year can be taken after Account holder's attaining age of 18 years.
  • Account can be closed after completion of 21 years.

Jan Dhan Yojana

  • Aim-scheme to promote financial inclusion: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana' to help the poor open bank accounts. The slogan for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan mission is "Mera Khata - Bhagya Vidhaata".
  • Every individual who opens a bank account will become eligible to receive an accident insurance cover of up-to Rs. 1 Lakh. HDFC Ergo General Insurance will provide the accident cover under the scheme.
  • LIC (Life Insurance Corporation) will provide the life insurance cover of Rs. 30,000 under the scheme.
  • Rs. 5,000 overdraft facility for Aadhar-linked accounts Ru Pay Debit Card with and minimum monthly remuneration of Rs. 5,000 to business correspondents who will provide the last link between the account holders and the bank. Capital Infusion in Banks.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

  • The Union Cabinet on March 21,2015 cleared a scheme to provide skill training to 1.4 million youth, with aa overall outlay of Rs. 1,120 crore.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, to be implemented by the new Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship through the National Skill Development Corporation, will focus on fresh entrants to the labour market especially Class-X and Class-XII dropouts.

Salient features of the scheme

  • The target for skilling would be aligned to demands from other flagship programmes launched in recent times such as Make in India, Digital India, National Solar Mission and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • Training under this scheme will include soft skills, personal grooming, behavioural change for cleanliness, good work ethics, etc. Sector Skill Councils and the State Governments would closely monitor skill training that will happen under PMKVY.

Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

  • Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), a new initiative in rural development, was launched by the Government of India on October 11, 2014 with the objective that these Adarsh Grams (Model Villages) serve as the "nucleus of health' cleanliness, greenery and cordiality" within the village community. The scheme's Guidelines call upon Members of Parliament (MPs) to make one village of their choice in their constituency a Model Village by 2016, and another two villages by 2019. The Adarsh Gram will have a population of 3,000 to 5,000 in plain areas and 1000 to 3000 in hilly, tribal and difficult areas.


  • The Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy (IS M & H) was established in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in 1995.
  • It was rechristened as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy with acronym AYUSH in 2003.

Ayushman Bharat

  • To provide health cover of Rs. 5 Lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to poor and vulnerable sections of the population, Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (ABPMJAY) was launched in 2018 subsuming the erstwhile Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).

RURBAN Mission

  • The Government launched the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji RURBAN Mission on August 8, 2014 to deliver integrated project based infrastructure in the rural areas. The RURBAN Mission aims at providing basic amenities in rural areas and check migration from there to cities.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)

  • The Government of India administers Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) [(SBM (G)] a comprehensive programme to ensure sanitation facilities in rural areas with the main goal of eradicating the practice of open defecation and ensuring clean environment. The rural sanitation programme was renamed as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) with effect from April 1, 2012. NBA has now been restructured into Swach Bharat Mission (Gramin) [SBM (G)] with effect from October 2, 2014. A Plan Outlay of Rs. 4,260 crore was made for NBA in the budget of the MDWS for the year 2014-15.

Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Yojana

Government of India introduced a pension scheme for unorganised workers under Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) to ensure old age protection for unorganised workers. Enrollment under the scheme has started since February 2019. PM-SYM is a valuntary and jontributory pension secheme on a 50 : 50 basis [Source: INDIA 2022]

Tourist Visa on Arrival

  • The Government has launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) on November 27, 2014 for 43 countries at nine airports.


  • Aadhaar is the first on-scale Digital ID service of the world, which is formless and paperless. With more than 80 crore Aadhaar Cards issued, Aadhaar is the largest biometric programme in the world making India a global leader in biometric technology. A key objective of Aadhaar programme is to provide an identity infrastructure for delivery of various social welfare programmes and for effective targeting of welfare services.

Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT)

  • To achieve targeted delivery of welfare services in a transparent and efficient manner, the Government launched Direct Benefits Transfer through Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB) and other channels in 2013. As per the directions of Government of India, 35 centrally sponsored schemes come under the purview of DBT which is to be implemented across India. This Scheme is linked with DBT for LPG, PDS, MGNREGA etc.


  • To streamline the fund flow mechanism and bring down delay in payment of wages, the Ministry of Rural Development has implemented National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS) in 21 states and 1 UT.
  • This process reduces the delay in allocation of funds for payment of wages to the states and removes parking of funds at various level.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana—National RuralLivelihood Mission

  • Ajeevika-NRLM is a flagship programme of the Ministry. It seeks to reach out to all rural poor households in the country estimated at 8-10 crore and organize them into Self Help Groups (SHGs) and federations at village and higher levels by 2021-22. 28 states (except Goa) and the Union Territory of Puducherry have transited to NRLM and set up SRLMs. As of January 2015, 20.95 lakh SHGs in 2125 intensive blocks of 316 districts have been promoted.
  • National Rural Livelihood Mission renamed as Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) was launched in 2011.
  • Ajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY) has been introduced by the Govt, of India as a new sub-scheme under DAY-NRLM from the FY 2017-18.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)

  • PMUY (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana) is an ambitious social welfare scheme of Central Government launched on 1st May, 2016 from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. Under the PM Ujjwala Yojana, the government aims to provide LPG connections to BPL households in the country. The scheme is aimed at replacing the unclean cooking fuels mostly used in the rural India with the clean and more efficient LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas).
  • Ujjwala Yojana is aimed at providing 5 Crore LPG connections in the name of women in BPL (Below Poverty Line) households across the country. Some of the objectives of the scheme are empowering women and protecting their health, reducing the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel, reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel etc.

Social Sector Programmes

  • The seven flagship programmes continue to receive high priority, viz. Sarva Siksha Abhiyan; Mid-Day Meal Scheme; National Health Mission; Integrated Child Development Services; Swachh Bharat Abhiyan; Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and 100 Smart Cities.
  • After providing bank accounts to crores of unbanked people under Jan Dhan Yojana the Prime Minister has launched three social security schemes, including at Rs.1 per day insurance cover. The schemes :

1.  Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY)

2.  Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and

3.  Atal Pension Yojana (APY) were simultaneously launched at 115 locations throughout the country.

1. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY)

It will offer a renewable one year life cover of Rs. 2 lakh to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-50 years (life cover up to 55 years of age), covering death due to any reason, for a premium of Rs. 330 per annum per subscriber.

2. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)

PMSBY will offer a renewable one year accidental death-cum-disability cover of Rs 2 lakh and 1 Rs lakh for partial/ permanent disability to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-70 years for a premium of Rs. 12 per annum per subscriber.

3. Atal Pension Yojana (APS)

Atal Pension Yojana launched in May, 2015 is a scheme focussed on the workers of unorganised sector and provide subscribers a fixed minimum pension of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 2,000, Rs. 3,000, Rs. 4,000 or Rs. 5,000 per month, starting at the age of 60 years, depending on the contribution option exercised on entering at an age between 18 and 40 years.

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