Even as all the successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir have been claiming to deal with the issue of unemployment as the top priority but the fact remains that not much was done by any of the regimes during their tenure with the result that today the problem of unemployment has reached to an alarming situation and if speedy measures are not taken to tackle it we may as a society have to pay a heavy price for the same. With not enough job avenues available many of those who find no means of a respectable income are led astray and adopt a wrong path that not only endangers their own
Ground realities and surveys suggest that the menace of unemployment among the educated youth in Jammu and Kashmir has touched new heights with lakhs of candidates applying for a few thousand posts advertised by recruitment agencies. A recent survey disclosed that 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. Official figures reveal 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 neighbouring 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, the survey said. The suicide rate in Jammu and Kashmir especially the valley has increased alarmingly over the past few years in the Kashmir Valley and many see growing unemployment behind it . Just a few decades back, Kashmir was among few places across the globe with very low suicide rates. Ironically, over the past two decades the graph of suicides has run north.
Critics maintain that successive governments have failed to tackle the alarming problem of unemployment while youth continues to be dilemma. This sorry state of the affairs is the main cause of drug abuse, which drug-traffickers cash. Despite high qualification unemployment has become fortune of majority as Government after Government has failed to create ample number of jobs to suffice the aspirations of job seekers. Kashmir for many reasons has a weak private and industrial scenario that makes getting job a hectic task and this adds to frustration and agony of unemployed youth like me. The administration has been making tall promises of creating new job avenues but on the ground little has been offered .
One of the leading reasons behind soaring unemployment rate in the Jammu& Kashmir is the dismal performance of public sector. Currently, the public sector of the state is in quiet unhealthy shape. Sometime back , out of the leading seventeen state corporations in Jammu and Kashmir, ten were running on total losses of Rs 1,876.72 crore, while seven were showing profit, according to the latest official figures. Ironically the PSUs of the Jammu & Kashmir state have properties worth billions of rupees at prime locations but still they are penniless and are not able to harness their rich potential so as to provide employment opportunities to youth.
The lack of quality vocational courses in the premier educational institutions of the Kashmir Valley is also adding to the unemployment problem of Kashmir. Even the top level universities of Kashmir lack proper vocational courses. The infrastructure related to vocational courses in the educational institutes of valley is also unimpressive.