Joblessness is the challenge
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said his focus is on providing job opportunities to 80 percent of the young population within the next five years. He made this assertion while delivering a keynote address at the Harvard US-India Initiative (HUII) annual conference virtually. He said that he would like to see each child of J&K prosper into a mature, successful and good human being. These assertions are what give the youth of Jammu and Kashmir a hope of better future. However, given the past experience, the youth always remain bit sceptical. In past, promises, as tall as Himalayas were made, but there was no change on the ground. So the scepticism of youth should not be seen as some negative trait but something that has emerged out of past experience.
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 youth working in private sector have lost their jobs thus giving a flip to rate of unemployment. As the tourism sector continues to remain paralysed, with some improvement seen this winter, 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.
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.