Under ‘Udaan’ scheme, leading companies are offering them training and employment; no jobs for all in the State, they have to come out, say firms

Low salary packages and poor placement offers by the companies are plaguing a novel government initiative to generate employment for the youth in Jammu and Kashmir.

Though some of the leading companies have joined hands with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to implement the Union Home Ministry-sponsored scheme, ‘Udaan’, only a few have either given jobs after training the youths or opened offices in the State.

The salary offers ranging from Rs.6,000 to Rs.15,000 per month have not left the candidates impressed, while leading luminaries of the State like Kashmir University Vice-Chancellor Talat Ahmad are now questioning the intent of these firms. Significantly, even Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami, who belongs to the J&K cadre, is unconvinced about the approach of these companies.

“Though some of the leading companies are giving youths [of the State, particularly those belonging to the Valley,] training and helping them to find jobs, they were not forthcoming when it came to opening their offices in the Valley. As a result, many students who do not want to leave the State do not get a chance to get good jobs due to lack of opportunities [in the State],” Mr. Goswami said at a review meeting of the ‘Udaan’ project.

“The problem is the country is not embracing us,” Mr. Goswami said. “We have come forward [to be part of the scheme] ... The nation needs to make us feel confident and then see us deliver.”

“Not a poor State”

Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir was not a “poor” State, Mr. Goswami said: “A package between Rs. 6,000 and Rs.15,000 is no salary. Kashmiris are not looking for jobs at lowest rank, they want better deals. They see no incentive in joining a low package job ... Offer them good jobs and better packages and then see them perform.”

Prof. Ahmad felt that youths who were being selected for training were not getting the “right kind of openings in jobs that match their qualifications.”

The Vice-Chancellor said, “Youths from the Valley were not looking for call centre jobs. Companies which were offering them training are not forthcoming in giving jobs to them ... When these people do not get jobs after training, it is very traumatic for them.”

547 completed training

The Rs.1,000-crore Udaan project — launched earlier this year following the recommendations of the Prime Minister-appointed expert group — aims at providing skills and enhancing the employability of unemployed youths. So far, 547 candidates have completed their training, of whom 221 have been offered jobs.

The aim is to train over 57,000 youths from 22 districts over the next five years, covering the organised retail, financial services, information technology and telecom, infrastructure, oil and gas, hospitality, manufacturing, paramedics and life sciences sectors. So far, 37 leading corporate and public sector undertakings have partnered with the NSDC for the Udaan project. They include the NTPC, BHEL, ONGC, HAL, Canara Bank, Wipro, TCS, HCL Technologies, Infosys, Bajaj Allianz, Yes Bank, Religare, Accenture and Tata Motors.

Though over 24,000 youths have so far registered themselves at the NSDC-hosted ‘Udaan’ website, the major worry for the government and the corporates is the massive dropout rate, which is as high as 50 per cent in some cases.

“We cannot offer jobs to all candidates in Jammu and Kashmir as there are not enough vacancies. We offer them placement at other locations which most of them refuse ... It is waste of our efforts. The government needs to convince these students and their parents to accept job offers outside Jammu and Kashmir. This will bring these youths into the national mainstream, which is one of the main goals of the project,” a senior human resource manager of a leading private bank said.