Efforts needed to counter developmental crisis!

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There is great demand for urgent development initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir.  The administration of the UT must make earnest attempts to assist students in all areas of their development.

Dr. Firdous Ahmad Malik / Dr. Shahid Amin Trali

The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir currently has 13.62 million people living there, and the poverty rate is around 12 percent (NITI Aayog, 2021).  According to a report by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), 21.3 percent of unemployed people were in January 2023. Of the seven union territories, Jammu & Kashmir ranked sixth with a health index score of 47 points.  In 2021, Jammu & Kashmir received a 41.6 on the NITI Aayog education index.  According to the statistics, Jammu and Kashmir performed poorly in several vital sectors.

Throughout its history, Jammu & Kashmir’s economy has seen several shocks.  The main reason for the crisis in Jammu & Kashmir has been the last three detrimental shocks. First, there has been significant harm caused by the strikes in valley.  The number of fatalities was huge in number, which had a detrimental effect on Jammu and Kashmir’s education sector.  Every six months from 2008 to 2017, curfews, hartals, and protest-related school closings caused an average loss of 32 working days.  You may now easily visualize the losses to the State’s business, health, and educational sectors.  The flood of 2014 worsened the situation in Jammu & Kashmir and all but eliminated its informal economic sectors.

The second shock for the economy in Jammu & Kashmir was in 2019 due to the abrogation of Article 370, the state’s closure, the suspension of significant economic activity, the internet shutdown, and the loss of students’ qualitative learning etc. The people in the UT were highly dealing with anxiety related to stress, sadness, and emotional breakdown.

When the COVID-19 outbreak in China spread to almost every country worldwide, it caused a shock to the entire world and a third shock to the economy in Jammu & Kashmir.   There was an enormous loss of precious lives worldwide and Jammu & Kashmir is not an exception. Suddenly, state authorities were forced to increase investment in health services and other support and relief packages.

Understanding the effects of the shocks that have caused significant destruction in Jammu and Kashmir in their wake is urgently required.  There is great demand for urgent development initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir.  The administration of the UT must make earnest attempts to assist students in all areas of their development.  The UT should have effective planning and procedures to foster job growth and advancement opportunities.  The political parties seeking office should publish a manifesto emphasizing infrastructure development, job creation, advancement and development, and peace.  They also need to put in more effort to make proposals a reality.

All of these shocks need to be addressed immediately; otherwise, they could have a disastrous effect on the generation currently enrolled in schools, colleges, and universities, leading to low productivity, increased inequality, and social unrest. There are possibilities that conflicts, political instability, and financial instability could result from this, among other disturbances, creating a condition resembling a poverty tarp with frequent oscillations. Thus, it is imperative for the UT of J & K to move quickly to invest in infrastructure, health sector education, and job development to compensate for these shock-related losses. The government should establish new institutes/Universities of repute in Jammu & Kashmir.  The existing Universities and institutions should roll out new initiatives to support research and development. The most promising bank in Jammu & Kashmir namely Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd. should create at least two research institutes in Jammu and in Kashmir.  Besides the government should allow taxi aggregators from outside to expand the transportation industry.  These initiatives can prove a game changer and will lead to inclusive growth and reduce poverty and inequality immediately.

-Dr. Firdous Ahmad Malik is Research Fellow, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) and can be reached [email protected]

-Dr. Shahid Amin Trali is an Associate Professor in the School of Management, ITM University Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh and can be reached at [email protected]


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