Kashmir

Another Ploy to Alienate Kashmir’s Educated Youth

TV cameras follow students to their homes in Kashmir when they top Indian civil service examinations, but deep down these celebrity performances there is a massive rot, which no one wants to talk about.

Only last month, we read in newspapers about hundreds of thousands of students writing a test for a paltry Rs 3000 job. The cruel irony is that a student holding a doctorate and a 10th class student were competing for the same job.

It seems our ‘great’ minds in the administration have made it a point to damage the state’s education system irreparably. Otherwise, how can one explain this war declared against our younger generation?

In this war against the intelligence and talent, the Services Selection and Recruitment Board or the SSRB has been made a battleground.

In a state where employment in the government sector constitutes the main source of livelihood for educated youth, every advertisement for a meager job receives hundreds of thousands of applications from students – from a middle pass to a youth holding a doctorate.

On September 21, about one-lakh students wrote a test held for filling up posts of teachers, forest guards, laboratory and accounts assistants. Such a huge number of candidates appearing for the test can be attributed to the burgeoning unemployment in the financially overburdened state.

According to a National Service Scheme (NSS) survey, the number of registered job seekers in the state has increased from 1.11 lakh in 2007 to 6.01 lakh in 2011 (November end) – registering an increase of 439 per cent.

However, under a new and controversial recruitment policy, the selected candidates wouldn’t get pension benefits. They would only get a meager amount of few thousand rupees for first five years – violating the established Constitutional principle of ‘equal wages for equal work’ under article (14) and (15) (1) of the Constitution.

Ironically, students holding Ph.D., M.Phil. and Masters degrees will be at par with middle pass candidates drawing a monthly salary of Rs 3500.

A student who has worked hard throughout his life, right from his school days through college to the university, is forced to face this moral disgrace. This ultimately leads to the mutilation of our talented youth. Once alienated and demotivated, they will never be able to do justice with their jobs.

I don’t see how a student, who is supposed to sustain on a meager sum of money that may not even meet his travel expenses, can perform better.

What can be expected from these candidates? In the name of job opportunities, we are simply caging them and making sure that their talent remains untapped.

One of the candidates with an M. Phil degree told me that he wanted the job “at any cost” even though it “won’t make me self-sufficient”.

“But when I calculate salary for first five years of the service, it wouldn’t be more than 2.45 lakh rupees, and most of it will be spent on shuttling between home and office,” he said.

A talented and an intelligent person wouldn’t be able to enrich students with his knowledge and experience because of the moral degradation he has to face courtesy our corrupt education system and ill recruitment policies.

I heard someone saying, “Naukri agar lage, aes walo zad nakhe. 3000 paeth kus tuerae karo.” This is due to happen when we frame such inimical, anti-youth policies.

Economical losses aside, another serious issue these candidates face is the psychological trauma. Take the case of our teachers appointed through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme. Though qualified, they are taunted in many institutions with students and other teachers calling them “pandah shatin teacher”. All these heart-pinching words affect these youth psychologically and consequently they fail to deliver. The quality of teaching in already discredited government institutions is bound to worsen because of these policies.

People at the helm need to realize that this job policy may bring hopes to some families but it can’t be a source of sustenance. In fact, it only kills the talent.

Had the stipend been competitive, the candidates would have worked harder, and as a result passed on their skills to our younger generation. Alas! That is not on the minds of our policymakers.

It seems the government has a hidden agenda of forcing the youth from the government sector to profit-hungry corporate sector – which is again available to them only if they leave their homes for Indian plains.

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