Shimla: Din of an early election has set up spin doctors of political parties dolling out the carrot of employment before the growing numbers of unemployed youth in the state even as successive governments have failed to address the problem.
Neither BJP nor the Congress party is serious about solving the problems being faced by the youth, says Naresh, president HPU Student’s central association (SCA). Citing and example he said, “Only recently about 7500 admissions to B Ed courses were made for this year’s batch, but there is no assurance from any quarter that when they pass out that they will be employed.
The congress manifesto of the 2003 election promised high priority for job creation in labour intensive industries based on tourism, horticulture, agriculture and information technology.
On the verge of completion of its term, the Virbhadra Singh government has ended up attracting investments in sectors other than what it had promised to create jobs in. Though the government howled hoarse about having created immense job potential in the industry sector, real jobs that have percolated down is very low.
The much touted live labour and employment portal has not been updated since March 2005 and records 8.80 lakh unemployed people in the state. On the other hand government employment has reached a saturation point as Himachal already has the highest percentage of government employees in the country.
A recent World Bank study on Himachal Pradesh categorically stated that “‘difficult choices in public policies will be needed that mark some break from past development strategies. The role of the state, in particular, must change increasingly from a direct provider of services and jobs to being an enabler of human and natural resource development potential.”
With government jobs still catching the fancy of the youth not many prefer to take to opportunities being created in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial belt. Some among the about 70,000 persons who applied of 447 jobs of government forest guards were highly qualified individuals holding doctorate degrees.
Naresh, president of Himachal University laments that the government is not filling vacancies and only offering contractual and temporary jobs. “It has failed to cash on the information technology boom that would have created some high value jobs for the youth” he said.