Unemployment of educated youth is one of the main concerns in J&K, like in many other UTs of the country. Our J&K UT, is geographically and economically disadvantaged due to its remote location, inhospitable hilly terrain and poor connectivity to many of its parts. The problem of unemployment has aggravated over the years owing to a number of reasons as the pace of work opportunity could not cope up with the growth of population and because of surging unemployment amongst the educated youth both in urban and rural areas. The growth of job opportunities have been inadequate and do not keep pace with the growth in the work force. Primarily, because of it disadvantaged geographical location, our J&K has not been able to keep pace in industrial development with other UTs in the country. Because of obvious reasons, the corporate sector has not been showing interest to establish, heavy and big industries in the UT. The UT’s limited resources do not allow large scale job opportunities in the public sector. Thus with the ever increasing unemployment year after year, the situation is taking a grim position. In such scenario, the role of Employment Department becomes all the more important.
The Government is making all possible efforts in providing gainful employment to the unemployed youth of the J&K, but it may not be possible for the Government to provide government jobs to all the educated unemployed. Under these circumstances, possibilities have to be explored for absorbing the youth by way of creating job opportunities in other areas also.
The Employment Department, J&K has been making efforts to create opportunities of Employment for the unemployed youth through various schemes, besides, creating awareness among the youth through Career Counselling and holding of job awareness programmes. The major functions assigned to the Department at present are as under:-
1. Implementation of Self Help Group of Engineers Scheme.
2. Registration of unemployed youth.
3. Career Counseling & Guidance.
4. Job awareness programmes.
5. Funding for various schemes implemented by J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute and J&K Women’s Development Corporation.
1. SELF HELP GROUP (SHG) of Engineers Scheme:
To overcome the problem of large scale unemployment, which is increasing with every passing day, Self Employment is the best way of reducing unemployment. Initiative taken by the government of J&K in the shape of launching of Self Help Group of Engineers Scheme for addressing unemployment among engineers has been yielding good results. This scheme was launched in the year 2003, with an objective to organize unemployed engineers of the state into groups to self-employ them by providing them gainful sources of livelihood in the shape of work contracts in the Works/Development Departments as an alternative to Government jobs, as also to create/ promote group culture among them for their socio-economic empowerment to generate employment opportunities for others as well. The spirit behind the scheme is to create an atmosphere of handholding, accommodation and encouragement. The scheme is applicable to unemployed engineers of the state in the age group of 21 to 45 years. Both degree and diploma holder engineers are eligible to form groups under the scheme. The number of members in a group can be from 4 to 10. The groups are required to register themselves with the concerned District Employment & Counselling Centres and thereafter need to revalidate their registration as per the procedure prescribed in the guidelines governing the scheme. The detailed guidelines of the scheme have been notified vide Government Order No. 14-L&E of 2017 dated 20.02.2017, which has been issued in pursuance of Cabinet Decision No. 26/02/2017 dated 13.02.2017. These guidelines have been amended from time to time as per the relevant requirements. The updated guidelines with all the amendments are available on the website of the Employment Department viz www.jakemp.nic.in . These guidelines, inter-alia, provide that every Works /Development Department shall earmark a quota of 30% of its funds in the works plan for Self Help Groups. The guidelines also provide that 30% of the total works in the Government Departments / Corporations and Autonomous Bodies shall be earmarked for the Self Help Groups. The list of the line departments where the Self Help Groups shall be provided works has also been indicated in the guidelines. Once registered, a Self Help Group shall be entitled to work contracts upto the limit of Rs.50.00 lacs for two years from the date of its registration and thereafter contracts worth Rs. 75.00 lacs for the next two years. After four years of registration, the SHGs are entitled to execute works upto the of limit of Rs. 1.25 Crore, subject to the condition that the SHG has a total annual turnover of above rupees two Crore. A monitoring mechanism at District level, Divisional level and State level is provided in these guidelines.
Due to concerted efforts of the department, the number of Self Help Groups is increasing day by day. The number of groups now registered with the department ending September,2020 is 1137, involving 4840 engineers (3024 degree holders and 1816 diploma holders). 256 works have so far been allotted to these groups, involving an amount of Rs. 1907.09 lacs.
2. REGISTRATION OF UNEMPLOYED YOUTH:
The registration of unemployed educated/un-educated youth for seeking employment assistance under various Self Employment Schemes of the Government is one of the major jobs assigned to the Department of Employment. The unemployed youth register themselves online with the concerned District Employment & Counselling Centres on the state portal viz www.jakemp.nic.in.
As on ending September, 2020, the number of youth registered with the Employment Department is 87683 . However, this number could be much higher, as the process of registration with the Employment Department is voluntary and not mandatory.
3. CAREER COUNSELING:
The positions of Career Counseling Officers have been created in every District Employment & Counseling Center for providing counseling/guidance to the educated unemployed youth who visit these centres for seeking employment assistance and guidance for various competitive examinations being held by the State and Central Governments, as also about the Self Employment Schemes of the Government. These Career Counselling Officers regularly visit various educational institutions, ITIs, Polytechnics etc. in their respective districts for providing career counseling / guidance to the students and help them to choose a meaningful career in absence of knowledge about available career options in the state/country.
The Department has also been providing reading room facility along-with study material for the competitive examinations being held within and outside the State in some District Employment & Counselling Centres of the State to facilitate the aspiring students/ youth.
Counselling Sessions organised by the Employment Department
4. JOB AWARENESS PROGRAMMES:
The Employment Department also conducts Job Awareness Fairs under National
Career Service (Interlinking of Employment Exchanges). During the financial
job fairs were conducted in various districts, in which
general awareness regarding various job avenues and Self Employment Schemes
was provided to the participants. Awareness and Counselling has been the
important factor in persuading the educated youth to take up Self Employment
5. SCHEMES BEING IMPLEMENTED THROUGH J&K ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE AND J&K WOMEN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION:
The schemes being implemented by the J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), for which funds are being provided by the Employment Department, give coverage to the educated unemployed youth desirous of establishing business ventures, to address their unemployment.
Funds in respect of the following three schemes, being implemented by the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute, are provided by the Employment Department:-
i) Seed Capital Fund Scheme
ii) Youth Start up of Loan Scheme
iii) Scheme of National Minority Development & Financial Corporation
Besides, funds in respect of one scheme called the J&K Women Entrepreneurship Programme, implemented by the Women’s Development Corporation, are being provided by the Employment Department.
i. SEED CAPITAL FUND SCHEME:
Under this scheme, Entrepreneurship Development Programme is offered as a
package which apart from consultation, training, sensitization and
ii. YOUTH START UP OF LOAN SCHEME:
Under this scheme, soft loan @ 6% interest (simple) is being made available to the prospective entrepreneurs in an off-bank mode, for the projects upto Rs. 12.00 lacs for 10+2, Rs 15.00 lacs for graduates, Rs 18.00 lacs for Post-Graduates and Rs 20.00 lacs for professional/technical graduates. The pattern of funding is 90% as loan component and 10%as beneficiary contribution. A state subject within the age group of 18-40 years with a minimum qualification of 10+2 is eligible (42years in case of differently/specially abled persons).
iii. SCHEME OF NATIONAL MINORITY DEVELOPMENT & FINANCIAL CORPORATION:
Under this scheme, credit facility is being provided to the targeted beneficiaries of the state belonging to the minority communities with minimum qualification of 8th or above. Under the scheme, term loans at 6% simple rate of interest are being provided for setting up of micro and small enterprises. The quantum of finance under the scheme is 90% as National Minority Development & Financial Corporation share, 5% as state share and 5% as beneficiary contribution.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME (WEP) BEING IMPLEMENTED
THROUGH WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT
The scheme aims at initiating various welfare measures for the socio- economic up-liftment of women. It envisages direct loan facilities @ 6% simple interest to the women entrepreneurs of the state through the Women Development Corporation. The pattern of funding is in the ratio of 90 % as state share and 10% as beneficiary contribution. Women’s Development Corporation provides direct loan facility upto Rs. 3.00 lac. The target group is women within the age group of 18-45 year with minimum qualification of matric or above.