With over 7 lakh unemployed educated youth, the gigantic problem of unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir is growing out of bounds. With the state already battling with the unemployment bug, state government’s indifference to introduce science, commerce and other job oriented courses in 39 of the 95 government colleges is soon going to become the reason behind another huge gradual addition in the swelling number of unemployed youth of the state.
Over 4.66 lakh educated unemployed youth had registered with the state Employment Department in the last two years. Ironically, despite the number rising with each passing day, nearly 41 per cent government degree colleges have been offering only arts education, piling up the state with a hefty number of graduates, who have neither any respectable place in the job market mot any job in the government and private sectors across the state.
Former Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, Amitabh Mattoo said that the matter needs a holistic view so as diversity can be brought in the system while offering courses. Art courses also have a lot of scope and there is no harm in offering those as subjects but the government needs to gradually expand the number of courses in colleges to put in place the necessary infrastructure to ensure quality education.
At least 45 degree colleges that were established in the last 10 years do not have basic infrastructure, not even a permanent land and building. The colleges are so neglected that they barely offer any regular teaching faculty and non gazette staff. The government has failed to introduce science and commerce subjects in such institutions and most of the colleges are functioning from makeshift accommodation, rented buildings or government higher secondary schools. Former Education Minister Harsh Dev Singh said that degree colleges should not be like factory churning out graduates and post graduates with no respectable place in the job market. The youth are deprived of science courses and also the subjects that have relevance in the contemporary world. He added that it is cheating and mockery with the youth that they are being denied education of their choice.
Denying them science and commerce courses, the government has just virtually closed the channel of imparting scientific and other job oriented knowledge among the students. The situation of unemployment and flawed education is quite alarming as the state lacks the basic facilities to teach science and other subjects even at school level.
Minister of Education Naeem Akhtar said that that the issue is a major concern for the government and the government is committed to bring about an overhaul of the system and measures have already been initiated to revamp it. He added that over 1700 posts of college teachers had been referred to the Public Service Commission and the issue is being pursued vigorously to make the colleges fully functional by providing staff and quality infrastructure in the coming years.