Stopping Dangerous Recruitment: Protecting Indians and Fixing Job Issues

Debra Martinez / 10:37 am / March 6, 2024

The news of the Russian army misleading Indians into combat roles in Ukraine is alarming and requires immediate action from the Indian government. While securing the safe return of the approximately 20 Indians who contacted the embassy in Moscow is crucial, preventing further recruitment is essential.

Making desperate decisions due to the worsening unemployment crisis

However, this incident exposes a deeper problem – a lack of well-paying jobs. Individuals like farmers, graduates, and even former airline workers are lured by promises of work in a war zone, highlighting the desperation caused by unemployment.

India’s high unemployment rate (8% in February according to CMIE) paired with impressive GDP growth paints a concerning picture of “jobless growth.” Stagnant rural wages due to slow agricultural growth further exacerbate the issue. These factors push people towards desperate measures like joining a war, even if under false pretenses of non-combat roles.

Enforcement of Emigration Act

Boosting job creation requires a multi-pronged approach, including the implementation of the reformed labor codes. But for immediate action on preventing such recruitment, stricter enforcement of the Emigration Act is essential. This act mandates that agencies recruiting Indians for overseas jobs must be registered with the Protector General of Emigrants.

Furthermore, reviewing the criteria for ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required) status is necessary. Currently, anyone who has passed matriculation is exempt from ECNR checks. This exemption seems insufficient considering even jobless graduates were lured by the Russian military offer. A more thorough vetting process is needed to prevent such misleading recruitment and protect Indian citizens.

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