Addressing Unemployment

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Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s assertion that his administration is committed to eradicate unemployment in the union territory in the next five years has come as a great news for the unemployed here. Lt Governor made these remarks after inaugurating a day-long workshop on youth engagement and outreach here. The workshop was attended by top Industry heads from Ashok Leyland, ICICI foundation, Bombay Stock Exchange, various universities, IIMs/IITs and policy analysts from across the country. Sinha revealed that the big business houses are fully supporting the UT administration and will frame a policy document with an aim to eradicate unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir in five years. The workshop was first of its kind aimed at creating opportunities and infrastructure for engaging youth, addressing their issues and concerns and empower them in entrepreneurship, self-employability and create a livelihood in a well-curated and holistic manner, an official spokesman said.

As admitted by the Lt Governor himself, in the past many initiatives were taken to engage the youth in Jammu and Kashmir but all of them somehow fell short of meeting the desired requirements. It is because of these failures that in comparison to the national average unemployment rate of 13.8 percent, J&K has a 25 percent rate. Unemployment is the biggest challenge facing the UT. Post August 05, 2019 and after the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, lots of working in private sector have lost their jobs thus giving a flip to rate on unemployment. As the tourism sector continues to remain paralysed, those affiliated with sector too have lost their jobs. In this backdrop, the Lt Governor administration has to take the issue very seriously and work towards realizing its ‘Mission 2025’ under which the administration intends to bring the opportunities to 80 percent of the youth of J&K.

It is a positive development that the UT administration is trying to involve big business houses of the nation to ensure job opportunities for the youth. Though some people are still skeptical about the whole exercise, as they have seen such promises being made by earlier governments too, Lt Governor’s assertion that he believes in concrete plans and immediate execution and is intending to have an institutional mechanism under Mission Youth to ensure a concrete framework and a definite time-line to execute it on the fertile ground that we have prepared sounds assuring.

Jammu and Kashmir, particularly Kashmir Valley, has very little employment avenues available for the youth as, in fact, the government is the main source of employment. No government, anywhere in the country can provide jobs that could address the needs of all the unemployed and therefore involvement of big business houses is a must. These houses should be convinced and encouraged to work in fields of skill development, proper training, honing of talent and also absorbing the youth in their respective organizations. It may be recalled here that youth of J&K are second to none subject they are provided an opportunity to prove themselves. One would expect the Lt. Governor administration to help creating that opportunity.

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