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Did the jobs promised to Jammu and Kashmir go invisible?

Last Updated on October 2, 2020 at 5:16 pm

Last year when the Union Government of India abolished Article 370 that preserved special status for Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two Territories, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the people of India especially the people of J&K.

In his speech he said that the days of suffering for the people of J&K had come to an end. He said that this historic decision to bring J&K under the Centre’s rule as a UT would attract the private investors to invest in the region which will increase the employment opportunities in the Union Territory.

As soon as the former Governor Satya Pal Malik came into power, he announced that 50,000 government posts would be filled within the next few months and appealed to the unemployed youth of J&K to actively take part in the recruitment drives. His claims gained weight when union minister Dr. Jitendra Singh while addressing the problems of locals assured jobs to the youth of J&K.  Despite all the assurance and promises the youth of J&K is struggling hard to get employment. The government has failed to fill up thousands of vacancies which have increased in different departments over the years.  

Currently, the unemployment rate of J&K is around 6.1% which is the highest in 45 years. In 2019, the unemployment rate of the erstwhile state was 15.89%. The Governor administration in 2019 carried out a recruitment drive for unemployed youth with basic PG degrees, M.Phill, or Ph.D. and asked the youth to register themselves with the district employment exchanges in their respective districts.

According to the survey the unemployed PG philosophers were around 3 lakhs which was a shocking figure for J&K. The unemployment rate among graduates, technical degree holders, and postgraduates was even higher. 

On 31 October 2019, when G.C. Murmu took charge as the first LG of J&K he also gave the same assurance as the former Governor. Murmu said that the government of J&K is working to accelerate the process of recruitment for youths. He said the administration is working to accelerate the process by giving jobs to 30,000-40,000 youths of J&K.

But the promise was never fulfilled. According to a senior officer of the General Administration Department of J&K, detailed exercise had been undertaken to identify the available vacancies in different departments but there was no further discussion about the promise to provide jobs to the unemployed youth. 

More than year long internet shutdown has also contributed to the unemployment rate in the Union Territory. Majority of students claimed that they have missed the exams because of the internet ban and blames the lack of information outreach that the government could have provided as an alternative after the internet ban.

The internet ban has been lifted in Udhampur and Ganderbal district of J&K recently after it was restored to 2G network in February this year. Mohammad Imtiyaz, a candidate from North Kashmir said that he had applied for various posts that were advertised by the SSB but have missed his exam due to the internet shutdown.

He said that when the internet shutdown was partially removed he logged onto the website only to find that he had missed his exam. Another candidate Amjad Ahmed who started a shop after he came to know that he has missed his exam said that he had already cleared the preliminary test which was conducted in April 2019 but after that, there was no information about the mains exam because of the internet shut down. 

The Central Government on the other hand said that the employment rate is increasing in J&K. According to a senior officer of J&K administration said that out of 10,000 jobs that were announced as a part of the recruitment drive 4,300 vacancies in different departments have been filled in the last one year.

He said that 25,000 more vacancies will be added to this drive. He further said that it will be wrong to say that enough recruitment has not happened. “It is an ongoing process and it will take some time. The recruitments are being done under several components” said the official. 

Hundreds of students get graduated every year in J&K. The private sector has not done well in providing employment in the UT thus maximum students get dependent on the public sector for their employment.

The government should update the policies of recruitment. The government should also place members of the highest level of honesty and professionalism in JKPSC. The central government has lost the trust of the unemployed youth in J&K. To regain trust back the center should immediately look into the matter concerning the educated unemployed youth of J&K. Addressing this issue might bring a sense of oneness.