Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This is Crazy: But the Economic Census Released by the CSO Says J&K Produced Most Job Growth in 1998-2005

The good news is that many jobs were created. The bad news is that most jobs are patronage jobs that create no development and only fatten the state bureaucracy further

J&K produced most jobs in '98-'05

New Delhi: Employment generation in the country has increased considerably in the eight-year period ending 2005 as compared to 1990-98, says Economic Census released by the government on Thursday.

The employment grew at the rate of 2.78 per cent in 1998-2005, which is much higher than the 1.75 per cent recorded during 1990-98, the fifth Economic Census report said.

The report, compiled by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), said that Jammu and Kashmir emerged as the state with maximum employment growth of 6.82 per cent followed by Andhra Pradesh (5.87 per cent), Kerala (5.86 per cent) and Haryana (5.35 per cent).

The report further said, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh were the two main employment-providing states followed by Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh provided maximum employment in the rural areas (13.14 per cent of the total rural employment), followed by West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, UP, Kerala and Maharashtra. Among the urban-employment providers, Maharashtra topped the list providing the maximum employment at 14.10 per cent of total urban employment.

Referring to the non-agricultural activities, the report observed that such activities in the rural areas were more compared to urban areas, evident by the fact that number of non-agricultural establishments in rural areas was 19.83 million as against 15.92 million in the urban areas. In non-agricultural activities, the manufacturing sector scored the maximum with 25.48 million workers engaged in it. This was followed by retail trade (25.14 million workers) and education (7.49 million workers). Other major area of employment was farming of animals, which employed 9.2 million workers. Also, the report observed, number of establishments grew significantly during the period. Rural areas showed a higher growth rate (5.37 per cent) compared to urban areas (3.69 per cent).

Pointing out that there was positive growth in all the states except Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands, the report said highest growth rate in establishments was marked in Mizoram, Tripura, Kerala and Tamil Nadu which grew above 8 per cent. Interestingly, Delhi and Goa registered a negative growth rate in rural areas, while Bihar, Nagaland, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands saw a negative growth in urban areas, the report said.

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