EMPLOYMENT AVENUES FOR KASHMIRI YOUTH

There is a vast range of different occupational fields in Jammu and Kashmir for the native people. The whole economy of people is mainly dependent on Tourism, Horticulture, Govt Jobs and  Agriculture. The other areas of business ranging from Hotels, Shopkeeper, Stores etc are directly or indirectly dependent on the above three main sectors. However, the Kashmir youth has now started finding means and ways to diversify employment generation in other realms. At 16.2% Jammu and Kashmir has the second-worst unemployment rate among states/union territories in the country as educated youth struggle with neglect and lack of job-creation policy. According to the Centre of Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)          figures, India’s unemployment rate is 6.7% which means J&K has a much higher unemployment rate than the national average. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) figures, J&K has a 22.2 percent unemployment rate, which is highest among all union territories of the country and even higher than the national level unemployment rate of 7.1 percent recorded across India. The higher unemployment rate in J&K is a cause of concern as there seems to be no improvement in the job scenario in the Union Territory. In comparison to previous years, the unemployment rate has further increased.

The state of J&K has certain inherent strengths that can be utilized to improve the income of its people and to provide gainful employment opportunities on sustainable basis as mentioned below: Strong base of traditional skills not found elsewhere, untapped natural resources, natural environment which has been profitably utilized by other countries for high income environment friendly tourism industry.

There is an urgent need to take measures for Kashmir to improve the employment status and uplift the household income. In order to tackle the situation the youth need not only be aware about the government policies that enables them to get the job but also to develop the mindset of exploring other areas which are neglected due to lack of knowledge or experience. Under this, the govt is providing financial assistance in terms of loan, credit money etc. for the entrepreneurs to start a new business. Investment proposals worth Rs 20,000 cr have been received from over 40 companies in J&K for  information technology sector that will boost the employment status in J&K. Free vocational training is being given to the youth in J&K under The Himayat  Free Placement-Linked Skill Training Programme. It mainly focus on the students who had to leave their studies midway. A target to turn 50,000 youngsters in the union territory onto entrepreneurs by providing loan  and turn them to job providers instead of job seekers. This scheme provides employment oriented training to the youth from the state over five years covering various sectors like Business Management, software, BPO etc. 

Exploiting the Agriculture sector can further improve employment. Organizing this sector with more interest and cultivating such fruits and vegetables which are largely imported from other states. Kashmiri entrepreneurs can grow such items locally and stop the huge outflow of money. Kashmir even imports huge quantities of milk from outside. Other local brands have already taken measures but not enough to fulfill large gaps in quality milk supply in most urban areas of Kashmir, hence inviting the serious entrepreneurial attention. Beyond milk, there is also a huge local market for constituting households, restaurants, hotels etc for butter and curd products in Kashmir. The local consumption of poultry is high but production is very weak in Kashmir, hence local entrepreneurs can stop that to happen while opening more poultry farming units in Kashmir. Recycling sector is yet to receive full entrepreneurship focus in valley. Despite presence of many local recycling collection centres, there are large quantities of discarded papers, aluminum, scrap metal etc. Money can be made by selling recyclable item to recycling plants. A dearth of e-commerce exists in large number of retailers, hotels, restaurants and enterprises. Business can be generated by providing solutions such as online portals, virtual shopping carts etc as required to expand their business. Computer supports service holds a good potential in the valley, with skilled manpower the business can uphold well. Sheep farming business can gain major attention because around 51,000 tonnes of mutton is consumed annually in Kashmir. Nearly 21,000 tonnes is imported from outside the state. Local entrepreneurs can replace imported mutton quantity with locally produced mutton through sheep farming.

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