Prepare for meritocracy: CM tells youth
DANISH NABI / SAMAAN LATEEF
Srinagar, Dec 22: Stating that Kashmiri youth have not been able to get their share in competitive services at all-India level, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said nothing would change unless the youth prepare themselves for meritocracy.
“We have not achieved our bit in different fields including competitive examinations at all-India level including IAS, IFS, IIMs and IITs. We will not get anything as a favour to us,” Omar said addressing a seminar ‘Catch them Young for Excellence’ at SK International Convention Centre here. The event was organized by Ascent Group in collaboration with JK Bank, with Greater Kashmir as its media partner.
The Chief Minister said lot of hue and cry was raised when proposal for setting up an Indian Institute of Management in Kashmir was dropped in lieu of second Central University.
“Setting up of IIM here would have not given any preferential treatment to our youth in admissions there. They would have to compete to get through. We will not get admission in IIMs, IITs and other such institutions on the plea that we have gone through two decades of sufferings or ours is a Muslim majority state,” he said and added that the state’s youth shall have to compete with their counterparts from other regions to get their due.
The CM said youth of the state are not lacking in intellect but in exposure, opportunity, and preparedness. He said only five persons from the state have been able to crack the civil service examination at the national level. “The reason is that we don’t prepare in right direction and lack decision-making at the right stage.”
“Government would launch massive coaching cum awareness programmes to help youth explore new spheres of IIT, IIM, civil services,” Chief Minister said.
On the prevailing education system in the state, Omar said it was highly imbalanced and stressed for dedication in any job. Citing an example, he said Rehbar-i-Taleem teachers put in their best efforts for five years till they get regularized. “Once they become permanent, they lose interest, start coming late to schools and leave early for tuitions as they know that being government employees nobody will fire them. It is not applicable for all but is more prevalent than we will like to believe. It is an indication of our mindset for government jobs,” he said.
Omar had a suggestion for young students. “Don’t let your parents force the career options on you because they want to live their life through you. Rather choose your career by your own,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, former High Court Judge, Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani said the short-cut method adopted by the people for success was mother of all troubles in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Instead of choosing the right career options and putting in hard work to achieve success, our young generations are looking for short-cuts and the trend is picking pace in the society. It ultimately lures youth into corruption.”
He said the youth needed to be encouraged to give up short cuts and choose proper career options. “It is important for their development and the development of the society as well. And it is our collective responsibility to encourage them.”
Kirmani said waywardness of youth was resulting in their involvement in drug addiction, which would crumple the society in near future. He urged the government to check the waywardness among the youth.
“It will be a calamity in near future and it is government’s responsibility to check it,” he said.
He questioned the education system in the state, saying 60 per cent of college teachers are working on contractual basis and ‘naturally their teaching methodology is also contractual.’ “We can’t expect much from them when their careers are unsettled themselves.”
He said the education system in the state needed to be reviewed and re-evolved for an overall development. “The corrections need to be made at the primary level. The government needs to think about it.”
He said most government officials were at the ranks “by chance” as they lacked career counselling. He, however, blamed it on changing standard of living.
“The joint family system which existed in our society has collapsed and nuclear family system has replaced it. The result is that the young don’t get the guidance of their experienced elders.”
He said the “collective thinking” was losing its place in Kashmir due to prevailing unrest which has distressed the society.
“We all think at the individual lines which is affecting our society but we need to come out of this individualism.”
He impressed upon the retired officials to play a role towards betterment of the society. He said most officials after attaining superannuation from government services live a docile life.
“With retirement from government services they also retire from life. But they have a role to play and they shall continue serving the society even after retirement,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor University of Kashmir, Prof Riyaz Punjabi said maintaining status-quo in the education system would result in creation of “unemployable youth.”
“There is not a single department in our state which could work for the betterment of the education system. We need to do something to improve the education system. We can’t afford to maintain the status-quo,” he said. He expressed concern over the deteriorating performance of students in mathematics and sciences at matriculation and 10+2 levels.
He said students should not concentrate on civil services alone as there are diverse opportunities which could be explored. “We need to avail those opportunities. There is good market abroad for professionals from Kashmir but we need motivation and persuasion to explore the opportunities.”
Former Chairman of State Public Service Commission, Muhammad Shafi Pandit, said selection of Kashmiris in civil services was not done in proportion to population of the state and it needed introspection. He said minimal number of Kashmiris have made it to Indian Administrative Services and even fewer have been able to qualify for IIMs.
“The number would not be in double figures in-fact. After I made it to IAS in 1968, the next person qualified after nine long years,” he said.
He said the declining number of Kashmiris in judicial and combined services was alarming for the state, blaming youth for showing less interest in the central services. He, however, urged for the creation of faculty locally for central and state civil service exams.
GK columnist, Ajaz-ul-Haq, said discrimination against Kashmiris in government services was an open question. “We need to introspect and also find a way forward.”
He said Kashmir has the potential, “And we need to harness it irrespective of gender. Whenever we have opportunities we need to cash in.”
Director Human Capital Manford, David Anand, said the youth need to have eye in future, realize the movement of truth, never give up and find actual partners.
“We shall continue striving for better future with a goal in kind,” he said.
Western Financial Head of Steel Authority of India Limited, Bashir Ahmad Masoodi, presented the vote of thanks.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Dec 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Dec 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Dec 2009 00:00:00 IST
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