Thu. May 23rd, 2019

A Youth Disillusioned

Dr BILAL A DAR

Uneducated manpower has become one of the most topical and thorny issues in contemporary. Kashmir the unemployment situation has changed from previous position marked by prolonged period of unemployment and misemployment, to one in which graduates of tertiary institutions have to normally wait for a long time before getting a first job Jammu and Kashmir has 6 lakh youth unemployment. These are mostly young adults that have graduated from universities and polytechnics or institutions of higher learning. In addition to this number, about 3 lakh others are certificate carrying youths that have no formal education, or have completed primary or secondary school, or dropped out from tertiary institutions all of which are annually poured into an already saturated labour. Many of those youths are not productive not because they lack the qualification but because the system has not been able to impact in such individuals technical knowledge and know-how skills required to carry out entrepreneurial activities especially technologically oriented. In recent times, the concept of entrepreneurship has been made prominent by various discussions relating to industrial development. However, it has been observed that while entrepreneurship which is the exploitation of business opportunity would bring about job creation and wealth generation, it has limitation in bringing about accelerated industrial development that will not only expand the job creation and wealth generation phenomena, but also would enable a state to compete in the frontiers of global rapid technological developments. Entrepreneurial ventures are considered as the engines for the development of economy and nation. They are the transformation agents and knowledge resource of the nation upon who the responsibility of structured development and radical changes is there.
Many policies covering different sectors of the Jammu and Kashmiri economy have been put in place to guide the development of entrepreneurship but without a concise and effective Science and Technology (S & T) policy, the industrial and other related policies will only promote commerce. It is important to note also, that entrepreneurial interest among J&K students is quite high but the expression of this interest in practice is rather low. The main factors found to be responsible for this are poor funding and inadequate preparation through training. A particularly key institutional weaknesses identified be expressed in the inadequacy of government support to young and aspiring entrepreneurs. In fact, until government directed all universities in the J&K to establish entrepreneurship centers, youth entrepreneurship has been left in the domain of agencies and non-governmental organizations. Much has been said about entrepreneurial education and its importance in stimulating and sustaining entrepreneurship, especially among students. In implementing this, however, it is important to note that a uniform curriculum might not yield optimal results across different disciplines or levels. The design of these curricula should, therefore, consider the peculiarities of each discipline when issues and resource persons are being selected. As a necessity, entrepreneurial training initiatives should include a standardized monitoring and evaluation structure which ensures strict conformance with quality. Besides the strictly formal training, entrepreneurial advocacy is also very beneficial. Institutions, of their own conscious will should seek to organize seminars, workshops, symposia and other similar forums where students could be brought in contact with state-of-the-art knowledge in the practice of entrepreneurship. These forums also hold the benefit of encouraging the students by bringing them in contact with excelling nascent entrepreneurs. In implementing all of the foregoing recommendations, the place of a stable political atmosphere, strong institutions and sustainable funding cannot be overemphasized. Few, if any, policies and programmes would ever work in situations of chaos and scarcity of resources. It then rests on the government of the day to work sedulously at creating a crime-free and peaceful environment without which entrepreneurship, which is the vehicle of innovation, cannot succeed.
From all indications, youth unemployment is a menace in Kashmir and constitutes a real danger and a threat to social, economic, political and industrial development.. However, career guidance can only be a panacea for reducing the rate of youth unemployment in conjunction with technical and vocational education (TVE) and entrepreneurship. Moreover, the energy, skills and aspirations of young people are invaluable assets that no country can afford to waste and holding them to realize their full potential by gaining access to employment is a precondition for poverty eradication, sustainable development and lasting peace. No amount of career guidance will help if there are no employment opportunities, no entrepreneurial skills to facilitate self-employment, and no technical and vocational skills needed for gainful employment.

(The author is a post doctor researcher of the School of Business and Management of Jaipur National University Jaipur. Views are his own darbilalsultan@gmail.com)

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