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Unemployment rate crosses 14% in J&K: Highly-skilled youth sent packing as companies refuse to reinstate jobs

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Srinagar: It has been four months since 33- year-old Shabir Ahmad’s office in New Delhi has resumed offline operations.  One of the finest techies who headed 14 member-team at internet solution company before lockdown, he has not been called to join the office.

Having been jobless for almost a year, Ahmad is mentally stressed out since his attempts to find a suitable job have failed. “I have sent my CV to almost every company in New Delhi, but the response is very poor,” he said.

 

Ahmad is not an isolated case. Scores of youth, who were laid off during the lockdown, are struggling to find jobs. “Hundreds of youth were working in different companies across the country before lockdown. But they have not been called back to duties even after companies resumed operations,” he said.

Bilal Ahmad, who worked at a prominent five-star hotel in Bangalore, too has a similar story to share. Being asked to return home in June last year in view of Covid-19, he too has been laid -off after waiting for a year.

“Many trained chefs and bellboys, who were last year asked to return home due to lockdown, have not been recalled. The hotel has resumed operations, but we have not been reinstated,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir is facing a major unemployment crisis despite government’s tall claims of helping youth.

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. “ Even some are scholars who have completed M.Phil or Ph.D. in various disciplines,” they said.

An official said the Jammu and Kashmir administration has decided to set up multiple district youth centers (DYCs) to help unemployed people.

He said 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.