Focus on youth
While addressing the special convocation of University of Kashmir the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has pointed out that the responsibility of building a great nation and a prosperous Jammu & Kashmir rests on the shoulders of our youth adding that bright young minds are the only force capable of building a peaceful, progressive and prosperous community. It goes without saying that youth are the strength of any nation and it is only the youth who can help in making their nation great. In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, unfortunately, youth has remained neglected and the governments, that be, have never thought about any youth centric policies. Given the volatility of the political situation here, particularly during past three decades, youth have been on the receiving end. They have all along been exploited by vested interests for furthering their own political agendas. The unfortunate introduction of violence into the Kashmir polity too played havoc with the youth and then state of Jammu and Kashmir lost thousands of young people to the violence. Kashmir Valley, known as paradise on earth, was turned into a massive graveyard and those young people who would have taken this place to massive progress and development both intellectually and economically were made to fill this graveyard.
It is heartening to note that the majority of the youth have understood the futility of violence and are thus concentrating on pursuing education and are making a mark in every field. The National Education Policy is also helping the youth to learn things that matter and are relevant to an ever-changing world. With the thrust of skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship, the students have ample avenues to work for the betterment of their society as well as for their own brighter future. The policy makers have to understand the competitive challenges that the present young generation is face to face with and therefore should make the educational institutions to maintain a balance between the teaching and learning aspects to produce global talent to meet the demand of changing market dynamics. As rightly put forth by the LG, the educational institutions need to focus on re-skilling, up-skilling, and new-skilling to make the young generation future-ready. Though the UT administration has taken several steps like institution of Centres for Invention, Innovation, Incubation and Training and youth clubs, it should remain focused on the issues of youth and be ever ready for their hand holding. Youth are to be given a sense of belonging and their energies are to be utilized for productive and positive works. Sports is one sector that helps young boys and girls to use their surplus energy and the government should ensure that there are playing fields available in all areas of the Union Territory. Besides, on employment front, the government needs to open up avenues for the youth and encourage them to look for jobs beyond government sectors. In this regard, the government needs to pull up the concerned government agencies to adopt youth friendly attitude and ensure that the youth are in a position to avail all the youth-friendly schemes. The administration also needs to took the banks on board so that the youth are in a position to try their luck in entrepreneurship.