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Rahul in J&K: Youth pins hope


BACHAN THAKUR | New Delhi, October 4, 2012 19:02
Tags : Rahul Gandhi | J&K | panchayat | business |

Rahul GandhiRahul Gandhi seems to be keeping the promises he made to the Valley. Thanks mainly to his efforts, several of the biggest business honchos of the country, including Ratan Tata and Kumar Mangalam Birla, will be interacting with students of Kashmir University on Friday.

The youth in the Valley has for years been dogged by the lack of employment opportunities and absence of big business houses in the region. Kashmir University will be hosting the business moguls along with Rahul Gandhi on October 5, 2012 for an interaction with over 2000 students of the varsity. Apart from Tata and Birla, Wipro Chiarman Azim Premji, Bajaj Auto scion Rajiv Bajaj and HDFC's Deepak Parekh will be meeting the students. The highlight of the interaction is likely to be employment opportunities for youth in the Valley.

In September last year, the Congress general secretary had promised students of the University of Kashmir that he would bring a business delegation for a discussion with them after they complained about the lack of opportunities in the region. Notably, this is the largest business delegation ever in the Valley since India's independence in 1947.

Decades of insurgency have ensured that Jammu and Kashmir does not enjoy modern job opportunities as the other states of India. Instead, the state's economy is mostly dependent on indigenous traditional occupations such as farming, animal husbandry and horticulture.

Lack of adequate infrastructure like roads, power, health, primary education and water supply have dissuaded large scale investment by the private sector in the state so far. Most of the districts of the state remain unaffected by the industrial revolution of the modern era.

The predominance of the agricultural sector, low degree of urbanization, inadequate infrastructure and widespread illiteracy are further fueling low levels of investment in the region. Per capita income of Jammu and Kashmir in fact is just Rs 24,214, much lower than the national average of Rs 33,283.

However, there is still a wide scope for development in the state. Investments and focused attention towards some hitherto unexplored segments could help the state break free from its current economic stagnation. Gandhi's visit to Jammu and Kashmir along with India Inc's biggies assumes significance in this scenario.

During his two-day visit , Gandhi is also scheduled to address the issue of security for panchayat members. The killing of three panchayat members in the state recently triggered a wave of resignations threatening the very fabric of grassroots democracy in the state. Gandhi is scheduled to interact with a ten-member delegation of sarpanches from Jammu and Kashmir on the issue of panchayat empowerment.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017