Views from Srinagar Kash­mir: The fu­ture in your hands

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR - [The writer is a PhD scholar at the School of Busi­ness and Man­age­ment, Na­tional Univer­sity, Jaipur]

thus em­pow­er­ing and pre­par­ing them to thrive in the some­what un­struc­tured and un­cer­tain na­ture of to­day’s con­di­tions.

It should be avail­able to all col­lege stu­dents re­gard­less of what their ma­jor cour­ses and choice of stud­ies are to en­hance their re­spec­tive com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages.

The econ­omy of Jammu and Kash­mir has suf­fered from dis­turbed con­di­tions pre­vail­ing in the state since past 26 years.

Both the cen­tre and state gov­ern­ments are try­ing to put the econ­omy back on the rails by en­abling the av­er­age per­son to get em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in a state rid­den with vi­o­lence and hav­ing a pop­u­la­tion 600,000 un­em­ployed youths.

The chal­lenges be­fore the state are im­mense. In this sce­nario, the thrust should be on em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion for the youth in state.

En­trepreneur­ship is the process of cre­at­ing some­thing new with value by de­vot­ing the nec­es­sary time and ef­fort, with the ac­com­pa­ny­ing fi­nan­cial and so­cial risks, and re­ceiv­ing in re­turn mon­e­tary re­wards, per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion and in­de­pen­dence. In this era of shrink­ing eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties, gov­ern­ment should en­deavor to pro­vide the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture re­quired for skills ac­qui­si­tion among its cit­i­zenry.

This is be­cause with­out tech­no­log­i­cal skills, en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit which drives eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment through job cre­ation will be lack­ing.

En­trepreneur­ship is es­sen­tial for rapid and sus­tained eco­nomic growth, but there is an ur­gent need to change the mind­set of the youths to­wards em­brac­ing self-em­ploy­ment and de-em­pha­size the search for white col­lar jobs that are non-ex­is­tent.

Kash­mir in many re­spects also faces prob­lems of iso­la­tion, and lack of an in­dus­trial base and thus very few em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

How­ever, the state is vested with a sub­stan­tial wa­ter re­source, min­eral base, and is fa­mous the world over for its ex­quis­ite hand­i­crafts, hand­loom prod­ucts, tourism, hor­ti­cul­ture pro­duce and cot­tage in­dus­try.

While the state has enor­mous po­ten­tial for the flour­ish­ing of var­i­ous in­dus­tries, it has lagged be­hind in the field of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion.

Pub­lic sec­tor units have gen­er­ally failed to per­form and the pri­vate sec­tor has not flour­ished in the state.

Al­though the state has made sus­tained ef­forts, based on its in­dus­trial po­ten­tial, to de­velop in­dus­try and el­e­vate its eco­nomic stan­dard, it has still to go a long way to find a place on the in­dus­trial map.

There­fore, it is im­per­a­tive to iden­tify and ex­ploit the pro­duc­tive ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the dif­fer­ent re­gions of the state to trig­ger growth im­pulses, thereby fa­cil­i­tat­ing the process of eco­nomic take-off.

For pro­mot­ing pros­per­ity and en­sur­ing eq­ui­table eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment through­out the state, the state gov­ern­ment should en­cour­age the flow of in­vest­ments in ar­eas with high em­ploy­ment po­ten­tial.

At en­abling en­ter­prise, I be­lieve en­trepreneur­ship can pro­vide a space for young peo­ple to stand up and take own­er­ship of their ideas, tal­ent and skills, which will guide them in their next steps by set­ting up and run­ning their own projects.

With the po­ten­tial for real and mean­ing­ful im­pact, young peo­ple should cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties to take the lead and come up with cre­ative so­lu­tions to the prob­lems which mat­ter to them.

All we do is set the chal­lenge and pro­vide a struc­ture to help guide them cre­ate the op­por­tu­ni­ties.

En­trepreneur­ship is more than an ac­tiv­ity, it is also an ap­proach by em­pow­er­ing young peo­ple to har­ness to their own re­sources.

En­trepreneur­ship can pro­vide a fruit­ful model for prac­ti­tion­ers seek­ing to sup­port young peo­ple in their tran­si­tions to em­ploy­ment through gain­ing di­rect own­er­ship over their achieve­ments, as well as the chal­lenges they over­come.

In a cli­mate like Kash­mir where many young peo­ple feel af­fected by cir­cum­stances be­yond their con­trol, by en­cour­ag­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion, skills de­vel­op­ment and youth lead­er­ship we can be con­fi­dent that youth will take the fu­ture back into their own hands. —Courtesy: Kash­mir Reader

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