Umar Hayat Hussain
With almost 80,000 vacant posts in different government departments, Jammu and Kashmir has earned a distinction to have the highest number of unemployment rate in entire Northern India.
As per the “Annual Employment and Unemployment Survey Report for 2012-13” released by Labour Bureau under Union Ministry of Labor and Employment, J&K has the highest unemployment rate in North India with 10% unemployment rate.
Omar Abdullah revealed during the winter session of Legislature Assembly that state has 77970 posts vacant in different departments with 5778 Gazetted, 37169 non-Gazetted and 12876 class-IV categories. Similarly for promotional quota, there are 22147 vacancies with 4638 Gazetted, 16130 non-Gazetted and 1379 class-IV categories.
With 22894 posts, the School Education Department has the highest number vacancies in rest of the state departments. It includes 3375 Gazetted, 17138 non-Gazetted and 2381 class-IV posts.
School Education is followed by Home Department with 9067 vacancies in which 164 Gazetted, 8759 non-Gazetted and 144 Class-IV vacancies have been recorded.
Health and Medical Education Department is lagging behind. Some 7019 vacancies have been recorded in the department, which include 1222 Gazetted vacancies, 4762 non-gazetted and 1035 class-IV posts.
Moreover, in Agriculture Department, 4143 vacancies have been recorded. Out of which, 616 Gazetted, 2311 non-Gazetted and 1216 class-IV posts vacancies. Similarly, in Higher Education Department, 3282 vacancies are awaiting to be filled. This includes 2218 Gazetted, 588 non-Gazetted and 476 in Class-IV posts.
Much to the surprise to many, these vacancies have surfaced at the time when already above 6 lakh unemployed youth have been registered by Government. Besides, the incumbent chief minister’s vow to fill the kitty of 80,000 jobs before incoming Assembly elections in the state has been apparently taunted by these figures.
The unemployment scenario is reality in other departments as well. Above 1000 posts have been recorded vacant in departments like Agriculture Production, Animal/Sheep Husbandry, Finance, Industries &Commerce, Ladakh Affairs, Public Works (R&B), Rural Development and Revenue Technical Education Youth Service Sports (YSS).
Amid the startling numbers, the District Recruitment Board (DRBs) from the year 2010 -2011 has made 1342 appointments. In next year in 2011-12, 1294 appointments were made. Subsequently, 1778 appointments were made in 2012-2013. And in current fiscal year (2013-14), only 1771 appointments were made.
Government allotted Class-IV posts of various Departments to the Deputy Commissioners for the appointment of candidates through open competition which was about 1423posts, with Jammu district getting maximum of about 322 posts. Baramulla 207; Kathua 186; Udampur 165; Srinagar 133; and rest of the districts including Doda, Budgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Poonch, Rajouri and Islamabad getting less than the hundred posts each.
While speaking about the figures, Omar Abdullah informed the recently concluded Assembly that it has already started recruitment drive and has conducted examinations through the Service Selection Board (SSB) recently, in which nearly 11000 posts were advertised for which 3 lakh candidates participated.
“The vacancies is a time consuming process,” spoke up Omar Abdullah in Assembly recently, “because it involves many steps like referral of vacancies, advertisements, screening of applications, conduct of examination, short listing of candidate, interviews this is what the reply was from the State Chief Minister.”
In his written reply, Omar said that SSB is also in the process of conducting type test for more than 2000 posts of junior assistants/junior stenographers through NIELIT at Srinagar and Jammu centers. The same Board, he said, is also going to conduct written test for about 3000 technical posts namely junior engineer, physiotherapist, multipurpose health worker, draftsman civil, etc, in coming years ahead.
“The recruitment process is in full swing and the Government has also strengthen the Service Selection Board by posting more members in the Board,” he said.
Omar informed the House that for filling up the Class-IV vacancies, various departmental selection committees have been geared up and presently the process of filling Class-IV vacancies is under way at different stages in various departments and the same is also likely to be completed soon.
“Beside, all the administrative departments have been asked to activate the departmental promotions committees and hold their meetings, for filling up of the promotional quota vacancies at the earliest,” he said.
Between the assurances given by present government and the ever surging rate of unemployment in the state, it seems that all these vacancies will consume some more precious years of youth before state fill them up.