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Historical background;National Employment service(NES) came into the existence in July 1945 for the purpose of resettling demobilized Defence service personnel and discharged War Workers in civil life through the network of employment exchanges controlled by the then Directorate General of Resettlement and Employment (DGR&E) now known as Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGE&T). After Independence, the Directorate was also called upon to handle work relating to displaced persons from Pakistan. Subsequently, the scope of the Directorate was extended to cover, employment service to all categories of job-seekers in early 1948. In pursuance of the recommendations of the Training and Employment Service Committee ( Shiv Rao Committee set up in 1952) the day-to-day administrative control of the Employment Exchanges was transferred to the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations with effect from 1.11.1956.

Present National Employment Service functions within the conceptual framework of the ILO Convention No.88 on Organisation of Employment Service. Employment Services are provided free of cost. The primary objective is settlement of job-seekers either through regular jobs or through self-employment. For furtherance of the employability of the job-seekers, collection of employment market information, career counselling and vocational guidance are inbuilt in the system. The network of the Employment Service consists of about 966(excluding rural and similar)  Employment Exchanges run by the State Governments. Private placement agencies are also operating on a limited scale primarily in the urban area to cater to the requirement of the specialised fields in the organised sector. Such agencies which help in achieving the above objective charge fees of varying amount both from the jobseekers and the employers.

Functions of the National Employment Service(NES); The National Employment Service and for that matter Employment Exchanges functions within the ambit of Employment Exchanges ( Compulsory Notification of Vacancies ) Act 1959 enacted within the framework of ILO convention no 88.. According to the act Notification of vacancies arising in all the public sector establishments and non-agricultural establishments in the private sector employing 25 or more workers is compulsory. The act also makes it obligatory on the part of such employers to furnish employment returns (called ER-I and ER-II) which give information on employment, vacancies occurred, mode of recruitment of persons in the vacancies occurred, ccupational distribution of employees and educational requirements for those occupations etc. Therefore the objectives of the National Employment Service in brief are as follows.

  1. Collect, compile and disseminate information on vacancies notified, employment in various industries, types of occupations in existence, qualifications required for various occupations, emerging trend of employment in various industries etc.
  2. To have an assessment of demand (from notification of vacancies) and supply of labour (from registration of Jobseekers) in the Labour Market and adjust them.
  3. Create requisite data base for manpower planning and management, career counselling and vocational guidance with a view to effectively guiding the job-seekers.

In order to achieve the above objectives, the National Employment Service which operates through the network of Employment Exchanges, carries out the following functions:

  1. Registration and placement of job-seekers so as to ensure a proper balance between demand and supply.
  2. Collect comprehensive Employment Market Information on a quarterly basis for creation of data base for use in effective management of the demand and supply of labour, preparing career literature for counselling and vocational guidance.
  3. Career Counselling and Vocational Guidance.
  4. Conduct area specific specialised study/surveys to have an assessment of skills available and the marketable skills required for encouraging the job-seekers for self-employment particularly in rural informal sector.
  5. Some of the State Governments arrange disbursement of unemployment allowance to certain specific categories of jobseekers out of their own resources through the employment exchanges as registered with them.

Private Placement agencies;Private placement agencies normally consider placement in relatively large industrial establishments, utilize the data collected through the National Employment Service, data collected by their personal contact, public notifications in the News Paper and periodicals, internet etc. They generally charge fees from the job-seekers as well as from the employers for their services. These agencies function primarily in the Metropolitan cities. These agencies again are very small and concentrate on placement only. Fake placement agencies also exist. These fake agencies collect money from the jobseekers and arrange fake interview in connivance with some of the industries or agents. Jobseekers, therefore may be careful in utilizing their services. Government of India, Ministry of Labour & Employment issued guidelines  in the year 2003 to State Governments/UT administrations regarding  regulation of functioning of private placement agencies. Some State governments are registering them under Shops & Establishment Act.

The responsibilities of the State Government are to:- The responsibilities of the State Govts are as under;


  • exercise full control over the Exchange in the States, including the power of appointment, control, promotion and punishment of all their staff as well as the staff of State Directorates;
  • carry out inspection of Employment Exchanges to assess the effectiveness of their work and take appropriate action to bring about necessary improvements;
  • organise and carry out training programmes for non-gazetted staff in accordance with

national policies;

  • organise vacancy and labour clearing in Employment Exchanges at the State level and

co-ordinate with the central machinery;

  • collect, compile, analyse and interpret statistical and employment market data in the

prescribed manner and furnish such data and information to the Government of India as may be required;

  • provide and disseminate information to public and private bodies in the State interested in such information;
  •  plan, develop and carry out at State and local levels a programme of employer and worker relations in accordance with national policies;
  •  arrange for co-ordination and consultation with departments of the State Government  whose activities effect the employment situation in the State;
  • set up, in accordance with national policies, Committees on Employment at State and

local levels;                   

  • refer to the Government of India for consideration recommendations of Committees on Employment involving major changes in policy or procedure;'
  • carry out at State and local levels, a public relations and information programme in accordance with national policies; and
  • provide full facilities to the authorised officers of the Government of India to evaluate

the work of Employment Exchanges.


Central Employment Exchange; The Central Employment Exchange, Delhi is responsible for the advertisement of vacancies of scientific and technical nature occurring in the Central Government Establishments with the basic pay of Rs. 1400/- p.m. (Pre-revised) or above. As per revised procedure laid down by DOPT all the vacancies notified to CEE as per EE (CNV) Act, 1959 are to be advertised in Employment News by Central Employment Exchange. 


Ex-Servicemen Cell;In order to provide placement service to the disabled Ex-Servicemen/Border Security Force personnel and the dependents of Defence Service personnel/Border Security Force personnel killed or severely disabled in action, against the vacancies reserved for Ex-Servicemen and earmarked for priority categories, and Ex-Servicemen Cell was set up in the Directorate General of Employment & Training in July, 1972. Subsequently, the scope of the special services was also extended for the benefit of Ex-Servicemen disabled during peace time as well as dependents of the Defence Service personnel killed or severely disabled in peace time provided that the death or disability attributable or military service w.e.f. February, 1981.


Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Amendment Bill, 2013;Forty-second Report of the Standing Committee on ‘The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Amendment Bill, 2013 was  presented to Lok Sabha/laid in Rajya Sabha on 7th February, 2014. It has recommended to the Government to withdraw the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Amendment Bill, 2013 and to bring a comprehensive Amendment Bill so that the Employment Exchanges are able to fulfill their role in the present times.


Some of the issues highlighted by the Standing Committee are given below:


1.      The definition of ‘employee’ needs to be inclusive to cover all such scenarios where employers look for new ways to solicit employees.


2.      Amendment regarding substituting the nomenclature of Employment Exchanges with Employment Guidance and Promotion Centres for improving the services and widening the coverage of the Act   in the interest of the large employment seeking population of the country. The Committee has suggested that the Act may be called as ‘National career Service Act’.


3.      Census/surveys of the Establishments can be better carried out by dedicated organizations and the employment exchanges should concentrate on providing information about employment opportunities to the largest number of people and information about unemployed youth to the prospective employers.


4.      To curb the exploitation of the poor workers, the revamped Employment Exchanges, may involve themselves in this field.


5.      Provision for regulating the private placement agencies may also be made in the amended Act.


6.      Bill needs to provide an inclusive definition to cover future developments.


7.      The Act has left ‘contract farming’ out of purview where companies enter into agreement with the cultivators for production and supply of agricultural products.


8.      No provision has been made in the Act for intimation of a vacancy as it is advertised in other media to give equal opportunity to those registered with the employment exchanges.


9.      The Committee are of the view that the Bill seeks to cover establishments employing 10-24 workers only to enhance database thereby losing its focus i.e. providing information about job opportunities to the unemployed youth.


10.    The Committee observe that the Employment Exchanges have lost their significance due to changing trends for e.g. rise in number of contract workers, use of capital intensive techniques, technological developments, outsourcing and emergence of recruitment boards have led to reduced coverage under the Act.


11.    Employment Exchanges should aim to match the requirements of the employers with the skill sets of the employees and for matching them, they should strive to provide short term courses, vocational guidance, training and career counseling by qualified career counselors to the registered candidates.

12. The Act should aim at making the establishments in both private and public sector transparent in their recruitment policies by displaying the status of vacant posts as and when they arise and those opened for filing on the web portal. But, the present Amendment Bill fails to offer anything in this direction.




Employment Market Information Programme



The main objectives of the Employment Market Information (EMI) Programme are: -


        to provide information at  short intervals about the structure of employment in the public and private sectors at the area, state and national levels and also to monitor the changes in the level of employment


        to present occupational composition and educational profile of employees in the public and private sector establishments.


        to identify the occupations which are characteristic to a given industry.


        to assess the manpower shortages in various industries and in various occupations in the organised sector.


        to make available information required for career counseling and vocational guidance through the National Employment Service.


        to monitor the progress in generating employment in organized sector during the five year Plans.


Coverage;The data collected under the EMI programme covers only the Organised Sector of the economy which inter-alia covers all establishments in the Public Sector irrespective of their size and non-agricultural establishments in the Private Sector employing 10 or more persons.   While the information from non-agricultural establishments in the Private Sector employing 25 or more persons is collected under the provisions of of the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act 1959, data from the establishments employing 10-24 persons is collected on a voluntary basis. 


Under the EMI programme collection of data is done following the “establishment reporting system”.  The establishments are required to furnish at regular intervals details about the number of persons they employ by sex, vacancies that have occurred and the type of persons, which are in short supply.  This information relates only to ’Employers’ and ‘Employees’.  Employers include Owners, Proprietors, Managers, Working Partners, or Directors of Firms/Companies who work full time for the firms/companies.


Geographical Coverage;The EMI programme was initiated in the year 1955 as a Pilot Project in Delhi, which was subsequently extended to selected areas (Districts) in various States during the Second Five-Year Plan period. At present the EMI Programme is being implemented in all the States and Union Territories of the country except Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep.  The programme could not be extended to these States/UTs so far due to administrative reasons. The smaller establishments employing 10-24 persons in the Private Sector in metropolitan areas of greater Mumbai and Kolkata are also not being covered owing to administrative reasons.


Reference Period  ;The EMI data are furnished by the establishments through ER-I and ER-II returns.  The return ER-I is used for the collection of information from the establishments at quarterly intervals (i.e. as on 31st March, 30th June, 30 September and 31st December of each year) relating to Employment, Vacancies, Manpower shortages, The return ER-II is used for collection of information relating to Occupational and Educational  details of the employees. This is collected once in two years and as on 30th September.  


Organisation of the Programme  ;The information collected through ER-I is scrutinised, tabulated and disseminated at the area, state and national level.  The employment exchanges prepare Area Employment Market Reviews to indicate employment situation in the organised sector within the district.  The State Directors of Employment also prepare state level Employment Reviews showing employment situation prevailing at the State level. At the National level, on the basis of information supplied by the State/UT Governments, Quick Estimate of Employment, Quarterly and Annual Employment Reviews are prepared and published by the Directorate General of Employment and Training projecting the overall picture of Employment in the organised sector in different States/UTs.

The information collected through ER-II are processed  at national level (DGE&T) and industry wise occupational and educational profile of the employment in organized sector generated and published.