Skill development in Jammu Kashmir


December 11, 2017

Altaf Hussain Haji

Skill and entrepreneurship development have been highly fragmented efforts across the country. Among different age groups, the young population of India keeps alive the hope of boosting growth and development.

Though India enjoys the demographic advantage of having the youngest workforce with an average age of 29 years in comparison with the advanced economies as opposed to the developed countries where the percentage of skilled workforce is between 60 percent and 90percent of the total workforce. India records a low workforce with formal employability skills.

What do the youngest population do in India? Some of the population are engaged in one or another work and while others do not. Those who do not work are children, students, home-makers and retired or aged population. Those who work including are big and small farmers, agriculture labours, white collar workers, industrial labours, support staff, wage labours and small trades.

There are highest number of small traders in Jammu Kashmir as per 6th economic census conduct by government of India under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation through state government human resources.

The provisional results of 6th economic census all India report, 2014 states that only 0.85 percent share of total number of persons employed in India are from Jammu Kashmir

With the present education and skill levels of those already in the labour force being very low, it would be a major challenge for India  including Jammu Kashmir  to reap its demographic advantage.

Skill development initiatives will help actualize the inert potential, for which development and articulation of a national policy on skill development is already in progress.

Skill development education generally refers to developing knowledge, skill or character of individuals through a process of learning such as self-study, attendance in formal or informal educational institutes etc.

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) under the union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation government of India had conducted an all-India household survey on education during the period January – June, 2014.

The purpose of the survey was to collect information on participation of persons aged 5-29 years in pursuit of education in the country including information on general education, technical / professional (except vocational) and vocational education of each state/UT.

Moreover, some other specific and important indicators to judge from a household survey by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). As we know that National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) plays an important role for developing various indicators on different subjects including skill development situation in the country. These indicators are used for planning and policy formulation at Centre and State level.

Literacy has been growing in India including in the state in Jammu Kashmir. The literacy by National Sample Survey definition means a person if he /she can read and write a sample message in at least one language with understandings.

The NSSO published  report on  Education in India  based on the results of 71st round survey  which was conducted  during the  period January, 2014 to  June, 2014.

The results of the NSSO survey on education reveal that literacy rate in Jammu Kashmir among persons (aged 15 and above) is 69 percent in which 67 percent rate literacy in rural areas and 75 percent in urban areas.

Out of 69 percent literacy in Jammu Kashmir, the literacy rate among males and females (aged 15 and above) was observed as 80 percent and 57 percent respectively. This shows that there is very big gap between male literacy and female literacy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Another report published by National Family Health Survey (NFHS-IV) the indicators of Jammu and Kashmir on literacy rate  of age group 15 to 49 states that  that literacy rate among persons (aged 15 and above) is 73 percent  in which 67 percent rate literacy in rural areas and 75.9 percent in urban areas.

Out of 73 percent literacy rate in Jammu Kashmir, the literacy rate among males and females (aged 15 and above) was observed as 87 percent and 69 percent respectively. This also shows that there is also very big gap between male literacy and female literacy.

The literacy rate is further distributed into general education, technical/ professional (except vocational) education and vocational education. The results of the report on education in India states that the distribution of education as 90.3 percent for general, 8.4 percent for technical/professional education (except vocational) and only 1.3 percent for vocational education in rural areas of Jammu Kashmir while it is 96.4 percent for general, 3.1 percent for technical/professional except vocational percent and only 0.5 percent for vocational education in urban areas of Jammu Kashmir.

The results show that the vocational education in Jammu Kashmir is less than one percent which is very low as compared to the all India Level. The low rate of vocational education in Jammu Kashmir is one the big factor in which educated youths are not getting necessary skill in the specific vocation or trade.

The unemployment among the educated youth particularly unemployment technically qualified persons; there is shortage of persons possessing critical skill essential for economic growth in Jammu Kashmir.

For example experienced electrician, fitters, moulders, turners, physicians, surgeons, etc. have been seen a short supply in Jammu Kashmir. This unemployment can be reduced if vocational training / education can be improved. The Lack of skill development training programme to the educated youths in Jammu Kashmir for many needful jobs may be lost and result least development in the state.

The vocational education and training is to prepare persons, especially the youth, for the world of work and make them employable for a broad range of occupations in various industries and other economic sectors.

It aims at imparting training to [persons in very specific fields through providing significant hands on experience in acquiring necessary skill in the specific vocation or trade, which make them employable or create for them opportunity of self-employment. A vocational training was broadly defined as a training, which prepared an individual for a specific vocation or occupation.

There is a need for quick reorganization of the skill development ecosystem and the promotion of which is necessary to suit to the needs of the industry to ensure enhancement of life of the population.

India would surely rise to be the human resource capital of the world by appropriately skilling its youth bulge and convert its advantage into a dividend and Jammu Kashmir have important role for skill development.

It is to suggest here that government has to create opportunities, space and scope for the development of the talents of the Jammu Kashmir youth and to develop more of those sectors which have already been put under skill development for the last so many years and also to identify new sectors for skill development.