Unemployment – A  Grave Concern


Unemployment is currently a global issue. Almost every country is facing this challenge and India is no exception. In the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the graph of unemployment is showing exponential growth. According to recent studies published by few reliable portals, above 1.5 lakh educated youths in Jammu and Kashmir are hankering for Jobs.

It is undeniable fact that at present education is acquired only to have a lucrative job. And every year the huge number of students complete their education, thus look for employment. To their dismay, they even do not get a place in the private sector, let alone government job. They fail to find a slot to be adjusted easily.

The reason for unemployment in the state is somehow different from other parts of India, which in itself is a concern. Conflict persisting in the valley has highly contributed to unemployment and the political machinery has only fed it. Due to protracted instability, educated youth lose most of their precious time to disturbances, as there is no fair recruitment process during that period. Time and again, political powers have utilized this situation as an opportunity to appoint their relatives, acquaintances, minions, and workers, in various sectors without advertising posts thus filling the vacancies left – already few. What adds salt to wounds of meritorious aspirants is the fact that incompetent, ineligible, inadequately qualified people occupy the space. Nepotism has been bred by every political party of Kashmir and during the reign of each of these parties, scores of people were illegitimately recruited. However, the worst example of nepotism was witnessed during the 2016 turmoil. During this period, hundreds of undeserving youngsters were inducted into public offices that poured cold waters on the plans of hardworking job aspirants who are now in the slough of despondency. Report prepared by the US-based non-governmental organization –Mercy Corps lends credence to the aforementioned view. Their report reads, unemployment in Kashmir has long been exacerbated by complex conflict and prolonged disturbances. It further says, Jobs are less in number and those available are filled through nepotism.

Another reason is corruption. In corruption, Jammu Kashmir dominates many states, thanks to its politics and bureaucracy. It has ruined the career of many aspirants. Many youngsters crossed the age bar only because they could not withstand the corrupt system even though they were capable enough to compete.

One may question, hundreds of other departments are operational in Kashmir, but education and bank (which also is infamous for backdoors entries) are only generating employment. Is not it astonishing? Why there is least or almost no recruitment in other departments. The reason is very clear. In fact, in the rest of the areas, people are chosen through favoritism and corrupt measures.

Additionally, thus far job policy has not been so effective that it could cope with the demands of youth. Posts are not advertised on time, even if posts are advertised there are very few of them. There is a complete mismatch between the number of college and university pass outs and the number of vacancies where those educated youth could be absorbed, the reason being the lack of proper strategy to tackle the issue.

Weak industrial and private sector is no doubt another major cause of unemployment in the valley. Nevertheless, private educational institutions show rapid growth and could engage good number of youth, but in most of them, educated youngsters feel discriminated. These institutions generate huge revenue but the teacher, who constitutes the spine of the school is paid paltry sum. Resultantly, most of the youngsters do not consider working in these schools.

Many a time, we are told about entrepreneurship, but a pitiful state of many Kashmiri entrepreneurs has put a question mark on its credibility. Frequent lockdowns, especially situation post 5 august 2019 has demolished the hopes of many businesspersons. People who had put their sweat and blood to establish a business venture have suffered heavy losses due to clampdown and internet blockade. Due to vulnerability to failure, youth no longer long for startups, because anytime there business would have to face demise that is difficult for everyone to manage.

However, as claimed, the Union government aimed at solving the problems of Kashmir once for all by revoking special status J&K. PM Modi once in a TV interview said that, ‘there must be investment and job opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. Articles 35A and 370 have been standing in the way of development’. Now as articles have gone, the time is ideal to prove this point. But it is surprising that eighth month is in progression since revocation of article 370 but officials seem to be unconcerned, and up to now, no step has been taken regarding this sensitive and rising issue of unemployment that has jeopardized the future of lacks.

Zeeshan Rasool Khan writes on diverse issues and can be mailed at [email protected]




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