In Jobs drive, 50K to take skill test in Jammu and Kashmir

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Source: Economic Times


By Anubhuti Vishnoi, ET bureau

NEW DELHI: The Centre will undertake large-scale skill mapping in Jammu and Kashmir and launch employment-linked courses in partnership with the industry to tackle the unemployment rate in the state estimated at over 16%.

The Tata group is the first industry partner for the plan being driven by the J&K government and the Union Human Resource Development ministry’s Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan, ET has learnt.

On July 15, some 50,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students from five state universities will take a skill mapping test. The larger aim is to cover all 4.72 lakh university students by mid August and offer them employment choices that can effectively wean them off radicalisation.

The state is currently under President’s rule.

The test, a pilot project, will be held across five universities — University of Jammu, State University of Kashmir, Islamic University of Science and Technology in Avantipura and the Cluster Universities of Jammu and Kashmir.

The skills of the students will be tested in 25 fields that include music, sports, artificial intelligence, food technology, horticulture, and saffron cultivation.

The 15-minute-long test, designed and developed with Tata Consultancy Services, will be computerbased as well as mobile app-based. It will assess the skills and help in creation of a dashboard on the J&K youth mapping preferences that can be aligned on the basis of gender, institution and region.

The state universities will then choose relevant courses in tune with students' interest areas and launch them as certificate courses to diploma and undergraduate students. The course will have a close linkage with industry partners to ensure that the employability factor is addressed.

The idea is to go beyond traditional programmes to look at innovative courses. The project will also involve tracking of the students for three-four years after the test is taken, to assess the effectiveness of the test and whether the student pursues his skill choices.

Education and entrepreneurship were focus areas of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last visit to J&K on the eve of Lok Sabha elections. In his February visit, the PM laid the foundation stone of three Model Degree Colleges in J&K’s militancy hit areas- at Kishtwar, Kupwara and Baramulla. He also laid foundation stone of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Career Hub in University of Jammu.