BLENDING DEGREES AND SKILLS

The government of Jammu and Kashmir deserves full appreciation for having taken serious initiatives in improving the skills of the youth of this state. In this regard it is worth mentioning that even the Governor N.N. Vohra has been showing keen interest in developing the skills of youth which is evident from the fact that a programme in this regard was recently organized in the Raj Bhawan itself. What is further encouraging is the performance of J&K youth participating in India Skills Regional Competition at Lucknow last week. As stated by the concerned minister Ansari the government is mulling to strengthen ITIs and other skill initiatives, which offer skills at a lower level. While higher education has been a challenge, the government is rightly mulling that degrees being offered at graduation, post graduation and doctorate level be given some vocational orientation. It is a fact that while labeling unemployment as one of the largest challenges in Jammu and Kashmir, the government needs to formulate a comprehensive employment policy besides completely overhauling the Employment Department. Like other parts of the country, the youth from J&K can also make a mark by taking up challenging positions in the most competitive and lucrative sectors but where are the job avenues or jobs in this state? In fact there is a need for a policy to create job avenues in the state rather than coming up with the absurd and exploitative job policies. There should be a new employment policy vis-à-vis current scenario and not the one formulated decades ago. It needs to be realized that there is dire need to bridge the gap of skill deficit given the fact that there are some sectors with huge demand while there are others sans even meager demand. The policy needs to be tailored to accommodate all categories of unemployed youth whether unskilled, less educated or uneducated to make the youth workable. Now that the government seems to have intensified its focus on skill development and the youth too displaying their excellent potential in their respective fields, it is hoped that the government also focuses on creating more job avenues in the state itself besides leveraging the existing infrastructure in the districts and roping in private players for providing infrastructure and market assistance, training, counselling and preparing the youth for skilled jobs thus ensuring that every youth of the state is skilled at least in one trade in the state which is the root cause of unemployment. There is a dire need to create more and better paying jobs ensuring a decent future to youth failing which the youth of this state will curse themselves for having been born in this state as a result of which there would be drastic brain drain from this state. It is high time that government relentlessly continues to focus on identifying the skilled youth and taming their energies to develop various sectors of the State by organizing events that would make skill development aspirational and would motivate the youth to consider vocational education as a mainstream career option in this highly unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir.