J&K: Unemployed youth protest ‘draconian’ new job policy
Under PDP-BJP govt’s SRO-202 policy, a candidate is appointed as probationer for five years at a monthly salary between ₹7,000-9,000 before the employee is regularised and entitled to full salary
After students in different parts of the country sold pakodas in convocation robes to protest PM Modi’s comments on employment, educated unemployed youths in Jammu and Kashmir are upset with the PDP-BJP government over its new employment policy.
At a time when prices of all essentials are skyrocketing, the protesting youths and Sadr-e-Riyasat Ordinance (SRO)-202 appointees say that they can’t survive on a monthly salary of ₹7,000.
Even though Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently assured that her government was reviewing the SRO-202—which mandates the appointment of a government employee on probation for five years after which his or her services will be declared permanent and will be entitled to full salary—resentment is growing among youth in Jammu and Kashmir.
The agitated youths have been holding sporadic protests in Jammu and Srinagar against state government’s “draconian” policy, which violates the common minimum wage rules. According to them the new policy hurts “dignity” of the educated youth.
National Students Union of India has been holding a series of demonstrations in the state. It’s state president Raqeeq Khan describes the policy as “highly exploitative and discriminatory”. Listing drawbacks of the policy, which says that salary of non-gazetted employee will not be more than ₹9,000 per month, he said: “No allowance as well as time bound service benefits are being given to the employee for first five years of their service under the policy.”
The policy, according to him, is deincentivising the youth of Jammu and Kashmir and not letting them lead a dignified life even after putting in all the hard work. He alleged that it was because of government policies like SRO 202 which were pushing youth to join militancy. “Otherwise, educated youth have no other option except begging,” he said.
Amjad Bhat NSUI state vice president said that educated youth from all three regions of the state, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, were united against SRO 202.
To register their protest against controversial job policy, NSUI activists today played roadside vendors and put vegetable stalls in front of Jammu University main gate.
The winter capital city in the state has recently seen university students, carrying tags with their academic degrees, selling vegetables and holding begging bowls as a mark of protest against the new employment policy.