Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said merit not political influences should be criterion for selection for Union ministry rural development programme ‘Himayat’.
“Merit should be the only criterion to select youth for training under 'Himayat' keeping political and other influences strictly away from this programme to ensure its success and retain faith of young boys and girls in this initiative,” said Omar while addressing a training-cum-placement letters presenting programme under ‘Himayat’ at J-KEDI complex in Pampore in south Kashmir.
Stating that youth of Jammu and Kashmir are talented enough to prove their mettle and ability on all fronts, Omar said, “They only need opportunity and exposure to prove their capacity and capability... Himayat is right initiative in this direction.”
While stressing that government jobs were not answer to the huge unemployment problem, Omar said. “We have to create new avenues for youth and enhance their employability to get easily jobs in private sector.”
The ‘Himayat’ scheme, launched in 2010, aims to target 1,00,000 youth in five years in J-K. Under the scheme, youth will be provided short-term training for at least three months, in a range of skills. At the end of the training, the youth are assured of a job and there is one year post-placement tracking to see how they are faring. Almost 6 lakh people are unemployed in the state.
Omar recently visited Kolkata to interact with the first batch of trainees selected under Udaan for skill upgradation trainings in various trades. “I was pleased to learn that 96% trainees have been short listed for permanent jobs in private companies on their outstanding merit,” said Omar.
The chief minister expressed gratitude to Union minister for rural development for extending support to Jammu and Kashmir all along.
Speaking on the occasion, union minister for rural development, Jairam Ramesh announced enhancement of post placement support for the young boys and girls who have been provided jobs in various companies within and outside the State after receiving training under Himayat programme.
The union minister raised the per month financial support from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000 per person as also increasing the stipend period from present 2 months to 6 months. “Now, each beneficiary will get financial support of Rs. 12000 instead of Rs. 2000 he or she gets at present,” said a government spokesman.
The Union minister said his ministry will facilitate accommodation facilities for youth of Jammu and Kashmir outside the State and involve more and more private companies in the Himayat programme.
“As many as 600 young boys and girls are being handed over job letters today,” said the Union minister. Around 2,431 youth have been trained in the first two batches.