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.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

J&K Has Over a Million Unemployed

Government estimates are traditionally 50% of the actual figures since those who are long-term unemployed and not registered are not counted in official figures

JK has 6 Lakh Jobless Youth

Sumit Hakhoo (Greater Kashmir)

Jammu: With the number of registered unemployed youth crossing 6 lakh mark, Jammu and Kashmir has the highest unemployment rate of 5.3 per cent in comparison to its four neighboring states.

The number of unemployed youth registered in various District Employment and Counseling Centers is 6.01 lakhs ending September 2011, Economic Survey for the financial year 2011-12 has revealed.

As per the figures, 3,21,562 youth have registered themselves in Kashmir region while the number is 2,80,285 in Jammu province. Out of the registered unemployed youth only 3203 are illiterate, while 77,087 are middle pass and 1,65,208 are matriculate. More than 85,000 graduate and more than 20,000 post graduates have also registered themselves with the employment cells to seek jobs.

As per the Economic Survey, when it comes to overall unemployment, Punjab (4.5 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (2.8 per cent), Delhi (2.7 per cent) and Haryana (2.6 per cent) are much better placed than Jammu and Kashmir. All-India figures for unemployment rate stand at only 2.6 per cent only.

Official figures have further revealed that unemployment rate for males in J&K was 3.6 per cent whereas that of females was 17.1 per cent which is far too high when compared to the neighboring states Punjab 11.7 per cent, Haryana 2.8 per cent, Delhi 2.8 per cent and Himachal Pradesh 2.5 per cent.

“The problem of unemployment amongst females is predominant in Jammu and Kashmir based on Usual Principal Status (UPS) as the gap between unemployment rate of females in J&K (17.1 per cent) and that of all India level (3.6 per cent) is huge”, says the report.

It is pertinent to mention here that there are two main sources of unemployment data, NSS Surveys on Employment-Unemployment and District Employment and Counseling Centers (DECC).

Further the report says that unemployment is more prevalent in urban centres of the state than in rural areas. “Unemployment rate in urban areas based on 66th Round of NSS stood at 6.5 per cent as against 4.9 in rural areas, which is matter of concern”, says the report.

The Survey says that while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has shown increasing trend both at the national and state level but growth is not inclusive and benefits of development initiatives programmers do not percolate to all the sections of the society especially poor at the grass root level. This leads to various problems like regional disparities, poverty and unemployment.

Further the Survey says that work opportunities have not kept pace with the increasing population. The problem is more acute as the incidence of unemployment is more among the educated sections of youths and nearly 70 per cent of the marginal workers are associated with agriculture and allied activities.

Report says that number of registered job seekers have increased form 1.11 lakh in 2007 to 6.01 lakh in 2011 (ending September) thereby registering an increase of 439 percent.

As per the census 2001, the literacy rate of state stood at 55.5 per cent which has increased further to 68.74 percent as per the census 2011. The provisional population (7 years and above) of state as per census 2011 is 125.48 lakh persons out of which 72.450 lakh persons are literate.

The report pointed out that the ground situation with regard to unemployment may be altogether different as the statistics of employment exchanges does not provide accurate picture of unemployment in the state.

The Fifth Economic Census, conducted in 2005, indicates that there are 3.24 lakh establishments in the state which are engaged in different economic activities. “The total number of persons working in these establishments was recorded to be 7.52 lakh, more or less equally distributed in rural and urban areas”, the report points out.


* Number of registered job seekers has increased from 1.11 lakh in 2007 to 6.01 lakh in 2011 registering an increase of 439%

* 3,21,562 unemployed youth have registered themselves in Kashmir region, while the number is 2,80,285 in Jammu province

* Unemployment rate for males is 3.6% whereas that of females is 17.1%

* Unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 6.5% as against 4.9% in rural areas

No comments: