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.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Employment Opportunities

Shakeel-ur-Rehman provides a timely primer on standing up on one's own two feet

(Syed Shakeel-ul-Rehman, 32, was born in Qazipora, Tangmarg. He did his schooling at the Government Middle School in Katipora and at the Government Higher Secondary School in Chandilora, both in the Tangmarg Tehsil. He graduated in Social Work from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), being the first Kashmiri student to graduate with that major. He subsequently did his post graduate diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from the same University. He has taken specialized courses in computer hardware and software technology. He worked as a columnist and correspondent for the Greater Kashmir daily newspaper until 2005 and is currently the Opinion Editor of the Kashmir Images daily newspaper. He also anchors Doordharshan Kendra Srinagar's live phone-in show called, "Hello DD" since April 2005. Mr. Shakeel-ur-Rehman holds the distinction of having interviewed prominent personalities in all major fields and walks of life, probably more than any other Kashmiri journalist.)

Job Hunting

The state government is planning to revive the idea of starting an Overseas Employment Corporation. This will be welcomed by all.

As a matter of fact the problem of unemployment has aggravated over the years. A Planning Commission analysis says that by the end of 2010 nearly 60 per cent of the jobless will come from the educated class. This is a telling comment on our educational system which still follows Lord Macaulay’s pattern intended to produce clerks.

So far the majority of the idle workforce has been uneducated or semi literate that is mainly absorbed in agriculture. But this is going to change as more and more educated people are joining the ranks of the jobless. And unless the government changes its employment strategy, the educated jobless would be the single largest casually of the new millennium.

Along with myriad other factors, the chief reason why we have plenty of jobless roaming across the state is the obsoleteness of our educational system. Today’s educational system has lost its relevance because it fails to conform to the requirements in the present scenario. In order to make our youth really employable we should impart them practical and job market relevant skills. Through practical training, the youth would gain an in depth knowledge which would give them confidence they need in the job market.

The youth today is a class of its own. They wish to acquire name, fame and affluence without putting in the required efforts. When they find it difficult to secure a job of the desired level they take up any job that is offered. Nepotism and bribery favour the less competent and undeserving job seekers, overclouding the talent completely. Another tragedy is that the youth today feel hesitant to start small businesses of their own. There may be monetary constraints but banks come to the rescue of such people. Training is also provided to the budding entrepreneurs to help them successfully start their own business.

One’s own business could range from a grocery shop to a gift shop, a coaching class, a computer institute or a PCO booth. Success in the venture depends upon the capability of the candidate and his determination and grit. By self employment we can reduce unemployment that is prevailing in the state to a considerable extent. On their part schools should set up counseling centres and guide the students. Professional knowledge could be imparted in schools by calling some well known experts to demonstrate their expertise.

Job creating strategies for the educated jobless should focus on offering employment opportunities in the service sector. Tourism, media and telecom are the areas that should be targeted. FM radio stations and regional television centres would absorb many educated jobless youth. The government should concentrate on developing these sectors. Those in power should realize that the future of the state lies in the hands of the youth. Their betterment will be tantamount to the betterment of the state. By helping youth we will let the state into a prosperous era.

1 comment:

Padmanaban said...

There are lots of job openings, but companies can be selective, and depending on the need, one can take their time in finding the right candidate.