Embrace enterprise

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Embrace enterprise

Mir Tanveer

 

THE problem of rising unemployment in the Jammu & Kashmir Valley is raring its head dangerously and ominously. The number of Indian youth who want to work but find no jobs is the highest in J&K, as per a recent study. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s (CMIE) recently released figures, J&K has a 21.6 percent unemployment rate, which is the worst among states/union territories in India.

Well, tackling the high unemployment rate calls for a holistic response and policy execution from the government where it should be drawing policies to find long-term solutions. Otherwise, it is going to turn into a catastrophe in the future.

Though it is not possible for the government to provide jobs to everyone, it is certainly its responsibility to bring about policies that will create more jobs, provide professional skills, the right kind of education, and boost industrial and entrepreneurial activities, which will help the youth find jobs. It is after all the government’s job to do all the macro-level planning and decide policies, including job policies.

In J&K, the government would do well to act strictly when it comes to placement of different jobs in the UT administration, as in the recent years, the JKSSB has failed in conducting the exams for various posts advertised. All these advertised vacancies could have provided jobs to hundreds of educated youth in the Kashmir Valley in different sectors, benefitting their families and ushering economic independence in the long run. In all these years, the JKSSB has only been mired in controversies – from scams to corruption in the conduct of exams. The administration would do well to deal with all this without further delay.

Many initiatives by institutes like the Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI), J&K Khadi & Village Industries Board

(KVIB) and other institutions responsible for handholding of start-ups and new enterprises are a great enterprise in the Valley. All these initiatives by the government are providing a platform to the youth of the Kashmir Valley in setting up their own enterprises which, in the long run, will provide jobs to other members of the society too. All these initiatives need a wider circulation at different levels so as to pull the unemployed youth towards the private sector in Kashmir Valley.

Besides this, the administrative machinery’s initiative of conducting job fairs and festivals across Kashmir could provide a chance to the educated youth to get connected with national companies in different sectors. These fairs need a strong support of national corporate sector investors. This will help the youth of Kashmir to come out of the web of unemployment since the Valley has had a limited private sector development over the last few years.

A Business Studies expert shares with KC: “In the current scenario, when unemployment is turning out to be such a serious issue in the Kashmir Valley, the administration needs to develop Kashmir’s private sector capabilities with respect to its potential in different sectors like horticulture, dairy production, sheep farming, and other allied sectors beyond tourism, which, in the long run, can provide employment to thousands of youth in the Kashmir Valley. If all these sectors were developed along a scientific approach with a proper working system in place, it could help minimise the rising levels of unemployment rate in the Kashmir Valley. Also, our youth need to understand that there is a career beyond government jobs. They can perform well in different sectors by investing their capital and qualifications in start-ups and turn out to be job providers as well”.

There has been a programme called The Himayat programme, wherein the ‘not so educated’ youth are provided with some communication skills and basic computer knowledge so that they can work in the unskilled market in different industries and corporates. However, the programme has not shown as many good results as were expected by the planners. The retention rate of these trainees in different cities of the country is very less so far. Besides, creating a migrant labour force is not a panacea for unemployment. To tackle the issue, the government needs to look towards creating employment avenues within J&K by attracting investment.

As is obvious and known, the rising unemployment rate in the Kashmir Valley has been pushing the youth towards drugs and other crimes in the society. In these circumstances, the younger generation is reeling under high levels of depression and stressful conditions. The administration would do well to develop a sense of concern in dealing with the issues at hand on a priority basis, so that the educated youth is not lost to despair and hopelessness. The government’s approach towards creating employment opportunities can critically turn the tables on this crisis and help save the youth from traps of despair.

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