Tasneem Kabir Trapped
Packaged as something of a shrieking wake-up alarm, the data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy in collaboration with Bombay Stock Exchange uncovered that, at 12.13%, J&K had the highest unemployment rate in India in 2017.
There are huge numbers of youngsters in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, who, despite having a string of degrees, are idling away their lives with no job.
The number of the unemployed youth registered with various District Employment and Counselling Centres of the J&K state is 85,944 (around 42,219 youths from Kashmir and 45,821 youths from Jammu) as of March 2018.
And these are just the statistics!
Yet, the authorities of J&K are not willing to put this theory that has stood the test of time, to practice. This is because first, the state politicians fear that establishment of industries will reduce the widespread, state-wide craze for government jobs which in turn will reduce the clout and corrupt influence of these politicians and their fiefdom.
Secondly, it has been found that even the State Government, for fears best known to them, is not too keen on ushering in industries as the only incentives for such programmes come from the Central Government.
In this vicious web of deceit, lies and vile promises, we find our youth trapped like moths struggling to break free. While a significant section of the youth in the Valley maintains that the condition of unresolved conflict is the reason behind this spree of unemployment, many of the educated youths are not sitting by, waiting futilely for the government to come to their rescue but are creating different sources of employment themselves.
Many start-ups and entrepreneurial projects have emerged in Kashmir, deftly drilling holes that let in light into this dark-room of a state we have come to inhabit.
Unavoidable in this discussion is the factor of education and the status quo. While the State Government claims to be providing ample schemes for encouraging technical education, we are haunted by the grave reality of the sub-standard conditions of engineering colleges in the state, for countless students graduating there have been declared as unemployable by many companies nationwide.
This has led the central government to sponsor the students, under the “Udaan” scheme, to study in other colleges of India. But the results may take quite some time to show.
Moreover, despite various Juvenile Laws in place in the state, many school and college going students at an impressionable and fertile age are being imprisoned and/or detained for voicing their dissatisfaction.
All this is occurring in the backdrop of the Centre planning to inculcate exchange programmes, education tours for students of J&K and whatnot. Who is it that they are planning to assist via these programmes? The few students who choose not to leave the comfort of their homes, not even to attend schools, for fear of injury or detainment?
Finally we come face to face with the oft-heard notion of “Wealth begets wealth,” which has unfortunately, become a reality in our state that we are looking at eye-to-eye.
The unemployed, highly educated youth complains that jobs are mostly given away to people with a strong economic or political backing, leaving no room for those of humble rooting.
Not just that, authorities have somehow managed to convert even job applications into a business that brings sizeable profits. As per the figures revealed in the year 2014, the recruitment board had made a huge earning of Rs. 20 crore from job aspirants as applicants are required to pay Rs. 300-500 merely to sit for an interview.
Those who can shell it out stand a chance while those who can’t will only sink deeper into the abyss of desolation. Recently, though, the Srinagar district president of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Upper House member, Mohammad Khurshid Alam, had appealed to the State Government to waive the form fee taken from job aspirants. Steps such as this one are sure to form the footing of a state on an unstoppable journey to prosperity..Trapped Trapped Trapped