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Educated but unemployed
By Mool Raj
Unemployment has always proved to be a major source of frustration to the youth and a possible cause of depression for them. Every year the number of unemployed youth increase by several thousands. According to economic survey there are over 6.01 lakh unemployed youth who are registered in various district employment exchanges. There are 3,21,562 unemployed youth in Kashmir Valley while in Jammu province is 2,80,285. The neighbouring state like Punjab, Himachal Pardesh, Delhi and Haryana are well off in term of unemployment with the ratio of 4.8%, 2.7%, 2.6% and 2.5% respectively than J&K. J&K has highest unemployment of 5.3% among Northern states. Unemployment in rural areas start at 4.9% and 6.5% in urban areas. The literacy rate in J&K state is 68.74% according to Census 2011. Ranking of literacy improved which was 32nd position in 2001 and it is now 30th position, but rate of unemployment has shown reverse trend and now questions are being raised against the policies of the government. Irrespective of having a huge number of vacancies in different departments, it has not been able to create and tap employment opportunities and rise up to the expectation of the people.

Catering to the soaring unemployment in Kashmir, the state government announced Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY). But this scheme has proved to be less effective.

The new recruitment policy is also not providing healing touch. According to this policy the non gazetted recruitment shall be paid monthly salary equivalent to 50% of the basic pay for the first two years at the minimum of the pay band which would raised to 75% of the period of probation is extended for the last three year. After completion of 5 years in stipendiary mode, the holder shall be entitled to a prescribed pay band as that of a government employee subjected to qualifying certain perimeter. Rising unemployment needs just rhetoric but action to resolve the mess. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is right in maintaining that government employment cannot end the increasing unemployment in J&K state. But as Chief Minister, mere statements are not enough. What is required is action. Before he came to power, his promise of providing employment within 6 years is what raised the expectations of the youth.

Rationalise government employment policy to ensure that vacancies are filled up within time in a transparent and time bound manner. While the government sector can easily absorb some of the unemployed youth, other avenues have to found. Omar Abdullah government should have begun the exercise of atleast assessing the magnitude of the problem and sketching roadmap with greater focus on rural employment and develop eco-friendly industrial unit in urban areas.

The vast chunk of unemployed youth cannot be expected to think of innovative ways to earn money. The government has to step in and show the way, and aid the process with some monetary supports and effective policies that encourage both economic growth and address the issue of unemployment.

News Updated at : Monday, July 22, 2013
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