P Chidambaram Meets PSU Chiefs For Jammu And Kashmir Youth Employment2 December 2011
Times of India
New Delhi: Union home minister P Chidambaram exhorted chiefs of public sector units (PSUs) on Friday to train and hire youth from Jammu & Kashmir. A senior home ministry official said the meeting was held to sensitize top PSU officials about Udaan, a special industry initiative to develop skill and employment for 40,000 J&K youth in five years. The meeting was attended by chiefs and senior officials of about 28 PSUs, including Indian Oil, Power Finance Corporation, BHEL, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, State Bank of India, Steel Authority of India ( SAIL) and NTPC. The companies must ensure 100% placement for the youth once they undergo training. The home ministry and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) are spearheading the initiative following recommendations by the expert group headed by C Rangarajan. The response from the private sector to Udaan has been lukewarm. Chidambaram's meeting is being perceived as an attempt to set an example with PSUs to evince interest of corporate houses as well. In its report submitted in February 2011, the expert group had also noted a lack of private sector initiative in the state. So far, the Future Group has a project for training 1,200 J&K youth in retail and CII will train another 1,000. Project proposals of Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are pending approval. TCS vice-chairman S Ramadorai is skill adviser to the prime minister and Infosys chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy is a member of the expert group, headed by C Rangarajan, that was set up to 'formulate a jobs plan' for J&K. The expert group was constituted by the PM last August after a summer of unrest and violence in the Valley in which 112 people, including teenagers were killed. The group submitted its report in February, 2011. Quoting Census figures, the report said the 15-29 age group is 28.66% of the nation's population. In J&K, 30.58% were in the 15-29 age group, comprising 35.83 lakh youth. Long-drawn militancy and disturbed political environment have eroded the skill base of the youth in J&K. The group had recommended a placement-linked skill development scheme, and a special industry initiative for the youth along with adequate women's representation.