The current session has ended in universities across the Valley but the students, despite holding their professional degrees in hand, have nowhere to go. Thousands of students pass out from the three major varsities in Kashmir- Kashmir University, Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) and Central University of Kashmir (CUK)- every year with professional degrees.
But despite their three to four years of investment, they are uncertain about what their future holds for them. The private sector is yet to develop in Kashmir and the public has no room for new enrollments. The students feel bashed, seeing no concrete opportunity for them ahead.
Some of the students, who passed from one of these universities last year, are yet to get a job. The government says that everybody can be included in the public sector as there is massive lack of resources but then the government has also failed to develop the private sector in the valley. Their pol campaigns assured youth oriented job and student policies but so far nothing like they promised has surfaced. The recent job policy too is nothing more than a disappointment, despite numerous alterations and recommendations made by the Panel. A 25 year old Kashmir University graduate said that the campaigns had promised a lot for the youth but we are struggling for even basic survival opportunities.
Successive regimes have failed to cater to the youth issues, unemployment being the biggest. No concrete step has been taken to develop either the private sector or to accommodate the fresh graduates in the public sector.
It is to be noted that Jammu and Kashmir has the highest unemployment rate in Northern India and eighth highest in India according to a survey released by the labor bureau under the Union Ministry of Labor and Employment. According to the Fourth Annual Employment- Unemployment Survey 2014, J&K has an overall unemployment rate of 105 and at all India level, the unemployment rate of the state os 49. As per the J&K Economic survey report (2013-14), the number of unemployed youth registered in various District Employment and Counseling centres is 2.5 lakh. The alarming figures have not moved the successive government a bit to persuade the industrial houses to invest in the state.
The current number of educated unemployed youth in the state is over 5 lakh and the number is on constant rise every year. Former Chief Ministers from Sheikh Abdullah to Ghulam Nabi Azad have trie to bring in industrialization but have failed. Omar Abdullah’s promises during his tenure too, failed to yield any result. Now, the PDP BJP coalition has made similar promises but has once again put the youth in dilemma. Unemployment leads to further other problems, said another post graduate student of Kashmir University. “Multiple problems are associate with unemployment, be it the visible increase in suicide rates or youth getting involved in drugs. We hear about these cases every other day, the official records give alarming numbers but when it comes to do something, every government has failed. The current government seems no different,” he added.
Valley based economists too have raised the alarm that it is high time for the government to uproot unemployment, otherwise it will take a toll on the development of the state. The existing private sector is equal to nothing and without any investment of national and multinational companies in the region, the problem cannot be solved.