Centre Readies 15,000 Jobs For Kashmiri Youth In Armed Forces

13 June 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Amit Khajuria

Jammu: The Centre has, under a mega recruitment plan, sanctioned 15,000 jobs for the youth in the strife-torn Kashmir belt of J&K. The move is being seen as an attempt by Delhi to connect to the unemployed youngsters in the Valley. The jobs will be provided in 15 new battalions of the Army, paramilitary and India Reserve Battalions - five each - over the next few weeks, said sources. 'The Union Cabinet has approved the scheme. More than 15,000 youth will get jobs in one go, thus making it the biggest recruitment drive in the state in recent years,' said an official. J&K has around 2.2 lakh jobless youth who are registered with the government's employment wing. The number, however, could be more than 6.5 lakh if those not registered with the employment department too were included, said sources. Such is the enormity of the problem in the Valley that 20,000 youths had turned up at a job rally for a few vacancies in the Army recently. He said the state youth was at the forefront of the successful Assembly elections in November-December last year. 'They had become part of the social engineering because of their dream to get jobs,' he said. A string of letters to the Centre explaining the situation and the need for greater thrust on employment was written in January-February this year when the state was under the Governor's rule, sources said. The job plan could be seen as an outcome of that, they said. Sources said 'files have been moving in the corridors of power in Delhi after the Union Cabinet accorded its approval'. 'The jobless youth have more been known for their association with anti-establishment protests. The Centre was, on several occasions, apprised of their anger, mainly due to unemployment. The special job drive is sure to provide some relief,' an official said.