Unemployment is one of the most daunting challenges being faced by the people of Sindh, the second largest and the most urbanized and industrialized province of Pakistan. The estimated current population of Sindh is nearly 47 million and a large portion of the population consists of youth. Sindh has a huge army of unemployed youth, which has been assembled because of the prevalence of nepotism, favouritism, bribery and the assassination of merit in the recruitment process in government departments, educational institutions and universities in the province.

In April, 2015 applications were invited by Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur (SALU) for the recruitment against the vacant posts of Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors in various science and arts faculties. On 18th September, 2015, all the candidates were called for interviews. Only the candidates having degrees and experience from SALU were interviewed and the candidates from universities other than SALU, who even possessed the required academic qualifications and experiences, were not interviewed for unknown reasons.

Among the affected candidates was my friend, who has done his PhD from National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and has done PhD research from University of Toronto, Canada. He has 10 years teaching experience and 11 publications published in international journals with total impact factor of 41. Finally, 11 candidates were selected who possessed degrees and experiences from SALU. But it had been pointed out that 7 out of 11 selected candidates have neither the required experience nor research papers to their names. They have produced plagiarized research papers.

In Sindh, it is observed commonly that not only SALU but all universities practice the policy of recruiting teaching staff members on the basis of favouritism and nepotism. The universities prefer to recruit their own students, relatives and friends as Lecturers, Assistant Professors and Associate Professors and Professors. This illogical, unfair and unjust recruitment policy is the sheer violation of the general recruitment policy.

The undue interference of state politics, nepotism, favourtism and bribery in transfers, postings and recruitments in the education department, institutions and universities, which are rampant in Sindh, are the main factors responsible for the high rate of illiteracy, sky-touching poverty and ever-increasing unemployment and decay of the education system as a whole. Owing to the existence of these factors, a majority of parents, who think that the purpose of seeking education is to get government jobs, are reluctant to send their children to schools, colleges and universities because they believe that if even after getting an education of any level, their children will remain unemployed and financially dependent upon them, then why should they send their children to participate in a disadvantageous activity?  

The existence of these factors has increased the amount of depression and frustration in the youth of the province. They believe that it is not only very difficult but also impossible to get government jobs for those unemployed youth having no political backing and money to present as bribes. Almost 60 percent of youth population of Sindh is unemployed, of which 27 percent are educated, graduate, post graduate, engineers, doctors, accounting and management professionals.

The Sindh government has to take responsibility of devising a comprehensive strategy to tackle the challenge of unemployment. First of all, to solve the problems of unemployment, poverty and illiteracy, there is an utmost need of bringing an end to nepotism, favouritism and bribery in the recruitment process for government jobs. All departments, education institutions and universities should be made liable to give jobs on purely the basis of merit. Later on, it would be advisable for the government to execute long-term strategies for creating job opportunities for rural and urban youth to reach out to national and international job markets. It is the collective responsibility of civil society organizations, the media and the government to play their vital roles in making our youth an asset of the nation rather than a dead weight, by providing them opportunities to make themselves productive.