Educated but unemployed

Where shall the jobless go?

CONCERN

SYED MAAJID RASHID ANDRABI

Unemployment has always proved a major source of frustration to the youth and a possible cause of depression for them. Every year the number of unemployed youth increases by several thousands. Rising unemployment causes serious obstacles in the path of development of the nation and hinders its progress in raising the living standards of the people. Inflation has made this problem even more serious with the people finding difficult to earn their livelihood and struggling hard to meet their daily expenses. Unemployment is a serious threat which cannot be overlooked. Irrespective of holding many honourable degrees, students are facing a lot of problems in getting jobs. This threat significantly reduces their productivity and they end up feeling de-motivated and betrayed by the system. People experiencing unemployment may feel anxious and have trouble sleeping. It also effects person’s self esteem as he continuously keeps on losing it. The lack of efficient policies has made this problem even more miserable.
The economic survey for the financial year 2011-12 reveals that there are over 6.01 lakh unemployed youth who are registered in various district employment and counseling centres which as of now have increased to 6.02 lakh as per the figures revealed in the Assembly. The statistics further reveal that there are 3, 21,562 unemployed youth in Kashmir while the same in Jammu province is 2, 80,285.  As per the economic survey, the neighbouring states of J&K such as Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, and Haryana are well off in terms of unemployment with the ratios of 4.8%, 2.7%, 2.6%, and 2.5% respectively than J&K. Jammu and Kashmir has the highest unemployment rate of 5.3% among other northern states. The report further clears that the number of job seekers have increased by a mammoth amount with the number being 1.11 lakh in 2007 while that in 2011 (ending September) stands at 6.01 lakh thereby registering an increase of 439%. Unemployment rate in rural areas stood at 4.9% as against 6.5% in urban areas. The literacy rate in Jammu and Kashmir stands at 68.74%. Although the ranking of J&K has improved significantly in terms of literacy which once used to be at 32nd position in 2001 as compared to 30th position in 2011, but the rate of unemployment has shown reverse trend and is increasing with the passing time. The rising unemployment has become a threat for our sustained development and now questions are being raised against the systematic policies that are being adopted by the govt. 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 expectations of the people. Although the number of vacancies have increased to nearly one lakh for in both gazetted and non gazetted sectors, but still the posts are yet to be filled. At least 73000 posts- 11292 posts in gazetted cadre, 45588 posts in non-gazetted cadre and 16009 posts of class-IV category - are lying vacant in different departments.
Catering to the soaring unemployment in Kashmir, the state govt announced SKEWPY (Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Program for Youth) to benefit the youth.  SKEWPY provides relief in the form of Voluntary Service Allowance (VSA) to the unemployed youth till they get employment. Under the scheme, after fulfilling certain criteria an unemployed educated youth below 37 years of age can receive VSA up to a period of three years. But this scheme has proved to be less effective as the allowances are seldom disbursed on time due to the unavailability of funds.  The new job policy is still on the cards and the exact date from which it will be implemented still remains unanswered. As per the new job policy, the non-gazetted recruits shall be paid fixed monthly salary equivalent to 50% of the basic pay for the first two years at the minimum of the pay band which would be raised to 75% if the period of probation is extended for the later three years. After completion of 5 years in stipendiary mode, the holder shall be entitled to a prescribed pay band as that of a govt employee subjected to qualifying certain parameters. 
Employing human resources effectively could have definitely improved the situation but the irony is that the government hasn’t been able to understand the root cause of the problem and runs late in reshaping the policies for the betterment. The state government with its age old policies has failed miserably to create and exploit employment opportunities. Finally with the intent to bring a change, the new job might be a welcome step in mitigating this grave problem. It might prove to be a blessing in disguise. Further the efficient allocation of funds for SKEWPY can also solve problems to a great extent. On one side giving an opportunity to private sector companies to establish their business in the state and on the other side providing training to the youth so that they could learn how to adopt themselves in the private sector will surely boost employment and can also be a good step in this cause. Encouraging entrepreneurship could also open the doors of employment for the youth as they won’t need to be dependent on others. Proper implementation of the policies is must if we aspire for a better future.     

(Feedback at syedmajidr59@gmail.com)

Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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