Shrinking Employment Avenues In JK

Azad Hussain

Azad Hussain
Although, for earning a livelihood at low scale there is a vast range of different occupational fields in Jammu and Kashmir which the native people belong to, but the whole economy of people is primarily dependent on tourism, horticulture and government employment. The other areas of businesses ranging from shop keeping to hotel industry are all dependent on the mentioned main three sectors directly or indirectly. However while turning over another aspect, excluding the three main sectors, Kashmir is lacking the space for creation of new jab avenues in private sector. At the same time, though I can’t figure out the exactly, but approximately, the educated unemployed youth are lakhs in number and the number is increasing by every passing day in Jammu and Kashmir. Talking about the main two income generating business sectors of Kashmir which are horticulture sector and tourism, which would produce livelihood for most of the people in Jammu and Kashmir, either directly or indirectly, both have been affected severely over past many years. Kashmir a disturbed region has witnessed it’s tourism remaining most affected due to frequent uncertain circumstances. Moreover the fruit industry has also suffered a huge loss over a couple of years due to worst weather calamities. As a result of which more unemployment has been created in the valley. With least possibility of private sector employment avenues, the job aspirants are mainly looking for job advertisements from the public sector. However from past several years the two main recruitment doors viz JKSSB and JKPSC have just come up with a handful of job advertisements, which is almost equal to nothing as compared to the number of educated unemployed youth, which has made them to gain more stress. Though there was an availability of some thousands of vacancies in various government departments, filling of them could have proven a sigh of relief to some extent for job aspirants but one fails to understand why government has always chosen to delay the fast track recruitment process. If the government in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state would have saved the state exchequer by not hiring more employees pre-abrogation of article 370 but after the conversion of Jammu and Kashmir state into Union Territory the things, which should have changed as per the assurances of the authorities, have still remained unchanged, so far as ground reality is concerned. Due to this delaying tactics, on the part of administration, most of the youth are crossing the line of their age criteria being proscribed for any recruitment which adds to their miseries. Aspirants are being motivated by assurances and promises every now and then by various shades of politicians and their allies that government would soon come up with big recruitment policies in the Jammu and Kashmir, both in public as well as in private sectors. But no concrete steps in this regard are apparent on ground, hence all those assurances and promises later turn out be hollow.
As of now there would be sizeable number of people from Kashmir like from other parts of the country who are working in overseas. However due to pandemic Covid-19 the big economies in the world suffered a huge loss. There is an apprehension that many people working abroad would return back, and it would also disappoint the new aspirants who were planning to work outside the country. The concerned authorities have to keep this all under consideration and prepare a way out to manage a space for uprising number of uneducated youth in Jammu and Kashmir.
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Moreover, the valley Kashmir with it’s distinct topography seems less feasible for generating private sector employment. No doubt, a little percentage of unemployed youth can get jobs in Information Technology or marketing. But establishment of big manufacturing industries by local as well as by outsider investors would not fetch enough in a long run. Because on one hand the only all weather road linking the valley with rest of the country, which could help in to and fro transportation of raw material or goods between Jammu and Srinagar, remains frequently closed. Now government has been planning for establishment of private sector industries and companies which would create more jab avenues and is therefore looking for outsider investors. However, on the other hand the huge freight for transportation of raw material would overburden the investment and would there by lesser the profit for industries. Moreover almost every business remains off here during at least three months in winter which would create more difficulties for outsider investors too. The domicile law which was introduced in Jammu and Kashmir recently would also leave a bad impact on unemployment, the new entrants who would achieve domicile right, despite having already a domicile right in their respective states and UTs, would add up the unemployment. If the government has extended the offer of eligibility to more new entrants, then government at the same time should come up with those workable employment policies which would satisfy the unemployed youth. Being economically not too sound like other oil producing countries and other developed countries that it could generate employment for challenging population of unemployed youth, India is among those countries, from which every year thousands of youth for their employment leave for abroad to earn their livelihood in other developed countries. Like other parts of India the people from Jammu and Kashmir too follow a trend that many skilled youth use to leave for abroad in search of jobs. As of now there would be sizeable number of people from Kashmir like from other parts of the country who are working in overseas. However due to pandemic Covid-19 the big economies in the world suffered a huge loss. There is an apprehension that many people working abroad would return back, and it would also disappoint the new aspirants who were planning to work outside the country. The concerned authorities have to keep this all under consideration and prepare a way out to manage a space for uprising number of uneducated youth in Jammu and Kashmir.
(The author a teacher by profession writes on socio-economic issues. Views are his own, Azadhussainganie9@gmail.com)

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