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Employable education

Jammu and Kashmir is facing a major unemployment crisis which has been aggravated due to the pandemic in the last one year. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Jammu and Kashmir ranks at fourth place in the highest unemployment rate in India. At 14.2 percent unemployment rate in February 2021, Jammu and Kashmir’s unemployment rate is worse than the national average of 6.9 percent. The unemployment rate is calculated by CMIE using Consumer Pyramids Household Survey machinery. Haryana has the highest unemployment rate of 26.4 percent followed by Rajasthan at 25.6 percent and Goa at 21.1 percent. Assam has the lowest unemployment rate of 1.6 percent, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 2.1. Officials  said more than 95,000 youth  in Jammu and Kashmir are registered with the government’s employment exchange. The figure includes a huge chunk of qualified youth who have passed their post-graduation. There are even those who have completed their doctorates as well. According to officials, Jammu and Kashmir administration has decided to set up multiple district youth centers (DYCs) to help these unemployed people. These DYCs are being set up as part of “interventions” in six key areas under the Mission Youth initiative. The areas include livelihood generation, education/skill development, counseling (psycho-social and career), systematic financial assistance, sports, and recreation. The government is also working with reputed corporate houses of India to help youth to find jobs. While these initiatives are helpful, the core issue of unemployment needs to be dealt with more long-lasting and major initiatives which should inculcate both the academic and the professional circles. The crisis cannot be mitigated well unless our youth are educated in a way that the chances of their employment and them creating their own livelihood increase substantially. In no way should our educational institutes provide degrees that have little to zero value in practical life. A 2019 study found that 45% of recruiters and hiring managers say that a candidate’s potential is the most important aspect of their application. But potential isn’t just the likelihood that a candidate will perform their job duties adequately (or even go above and beyond). Employers define potential as someone’s ability to grow into and beyond the job. They want people who will solve problems for the company and will, in the long run, bring value to their role. That is what our universities should aim for. Preparing youth to become problem solvers when they finish their degrees and leave the campus. As much focus the government should lay on creating jobs, they should also ensure that the educational institutes too employ changes that will impact the overall scenario of joblessness and unemployment.