ISLE Conference: Edu Min calls for Greater Dignity, Empowerment of Labourers

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

ISLE

Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar Sunday emphasized the need to fully empower the labour and other working class in Jammu and Kashmir who were making world class products. He also pointed out that there was a need to make education more relevant so that educated youth could find the right jobs and contribute to the state’s economy.

“Predominantly, the Jammu and Kashmir has a labour economy and the handicraft items including intricately woven shawls, carpets, papier machie and other merchandise made by skilled artisans have beautified the shelves of high end stores and wardrobes, across the world, thereby creating a brand image for Kashmir. However, these artisans and other labour class haven’t had a dignified life and their families have confronted several problems on economic and social fronts,” Naeem Akhtar said while inaugurating the three-day 57th Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE) organized by the Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir (CUK), in association with Division of Agricultural Economics and Marketing, SK University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) and Jammu and Kashmir Bank at Agriculture University auditorium.

Akhtar underscored the need to immediately mitigate the problems and sufferings of the labour class of the State, work for their welfare and help their children live a better life, a CUK statement said this evening. “Strenuous efforts should also be made to diversify the craftsmanship of these artisans in order to confront the growing challenge of unemployment in the State,” Akhtar added.

He said the government has also introduced several vocational courses in many colleges across the Jammu and Kashmir to impart skills in different crafts to the students so that they could start their own commercial venture. “By starting these courses, the students have been given an opportunity to express their artistic instincts,” he said adding that courses in creative writing and translation have also been started in many higher educational institutions.

The Minister also underscored the need of grooming the Human Resource in the State. “There is no dearth of Human Resource, but they have to be groomed in order to achieve the required growth and development of the State.”

Akhtar also enumerated several steps taken by the Government for providing quality education to the students. “As many as 17 lakh children are receiving education through Government run schools and concrete steps are being taken to improve the standard of education, particularly in the primary, middle and high schools,” he further said. “Akhtar, on behalf of Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad, who couldn’t attend the conference, wished the participants best of luck,” the statement said.

CUK Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mehraj ud Din, Director, Institute of Human Development, New Delhi and Editor, Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Prof Alakh N Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST (K), Dr Tej Pratap, Professor, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, Prof Ravi Srivastava, Professor Emiretus, Jawahar Lal Nehru University New Delhi and former Vice-Chancellor, Delhi University, Prof Deepak Nayyar, Head Department of Economics and Dean School of Social Sciences, CUK, Prof G M Bhat, Registrar CUK, Prof M Afzal Zargar, Controller of Examinations, Dr Nazir Ahmad Gilkar, Deans of Various Schools of the varsity, delegates from other countries and several states of the country were among other present on the occasion.

CUK Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mehraj ud Din while addressing the gathering, said that despite functioning from rented buildings, CUK was holding National and International seminars/workshops and other activities, in which academicians, faculty members and experts from other parts of the country were participating with enthusiasm.

Deliberating on the labour issues, the CUK statement quoted Prof Mehraj ud Din as having said, “the labour laws framed by the Government should be implemented in letter and spirit.”

“The University was trying to shift the academic activities to its own campus at Ganderbal and the work on the Pre-fabricated Buildings was in progress,” the statement further said.

Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST (K), Dr Tej Pratap while speaking on the occasion said, “the conference will provide a platform to the teachers, students and other people to learn about the labour economics.” He extended full logistic support to the delegates and wished them success in their endeavours.

Professor, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, Prof Ravi Srivastava, hailed the proactive participants of the students of the Central University of Kashmir in the conference. He said the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of Kashmiri girls in higher education was good. He said different panels have been set up in the conference to deliberate different issues and one of the panels has been made to discuss J&K Economy, which would be chaired by the Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu.

Professor Emiretus, Jawahar Lal Nehru University New Delhi and former Vice-Chancellor, Delhi University, Prof Deepak Nayyar, said, “the Government has to focus on employment generation, which would subsequently result in the growth of the nation. There was abundant human resource available which needs to be tapped.”

Director, Institute of Human Development, New Delhi and Editor, Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Prof Alakh N Sharma, in his address said that ISLE has been continuously holding conferences on labour economics and this is for the first time such a conference was held in Kashmir. “During these conferences, problems and issues confronted by the workforces across the country had been discussed threadbare,” he said adding that study of labour economics was more important for both the developed and underdeveloped nations.

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