Mr. Narendra Modi in his first speech after getting elected as the Prime Minister of India reiterated about the Demographic Dividend. India being a rich country with regards to its young population but a different perspective ; a different Demographic Transition needs a due diligence with regards to Population Pyramid of Jammu Region; heading slowly towards a delicate and sensitive zone with each passing day.
Big announcements by the Govt. in the Centre which in turn being applauded by their State counterparts regarding the start of IIT;IIM and many other Institutions but bothering least about the employment scenario is a matter of great concern. Limited openings in Govt. sector and negligible presence of Private sector is compelling the youth to leave Jammu for greener pastures. This ‘Soft Migration’ is pushing Jammu region towards ‘Reverse Demographic Pyramid’ where in the Young Blood is leaving thereby turning Jammu from ‘City of Temples’ to City of Old Age Homes’. Old age homes I mean to be homes without the kids whose escape to the outer world in search of Career Progression leaving the parents at the Mercy of God is alarming. The basic concept of family is getting distorted where in the kids take care of their parents as they were taken care of by the parents when they were young.
As such in Indian system no security is being offered at the old Age leaving with no alternative for the parents to be taken care of by their kids but the kids leaving their native places which is devoid of job opportunities to satisfy the hunger for growth and aspirations for a reasonably good life. Now, the concept of ‘Make In India’ to generate employment along with to stop the migration from rural to urban areas resulting in failure of Town Planning at the Urban Level and rural areas getting deserted seems inapplicable with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir . Jammu and Kashmir being at one corner of India is not being favored as a conducive destination for Industrialization. But a different aspect needs to be given perception and conception thereof with regards to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu can be another Information Technology hub on the lines as Bangalore and Pune are. Information Technology being a Service Driven Industry not involving manufacturing, distribution and transportation. Distance from any part of India and World too does not pose any threat to its viability and hindrance in Policy formulation for its inception. Click of a button is what is needed for Information Technology Industry to flourish.
The only initiative required from the Govt. is the allocation of land along with conducive Industrial Policy. Political will is needed to think on the right lines which will best exploit the talent of educated young blood of Jammu and Kashmir. Firstly not to run away in terms of greener pastures and secondly leaving the native state and settling in other parts of India causing Brain Drain at a smaller level in comparison to Brain Drain to other parts of the World at the national level which is an economic loss too. A person after getting educated at India’s expense is finally landing in the Western World; reaping the benefit of rich and fertile brains working for their betterment. NASA; Medical World; Engineering World is full of Indians settled abroad contributing to their economic progress putting India to a loss at multi levels. Brain Drain from the State; best example of which is’ The Super Specialty Hospital’ at Jammu being so ill utilized; too is disturbing the Town Planning policies being framed which can in turn distort the National Level Planning for Smart Cities too.
It being totally unpredictable for department to come to a conclusive policy for its effective implementation .Few areas are getting flooded and others getting deserted causing chaos at both the levels. Planning for ‘Smart Cities’ can only be well conceptualized once the feeding areas in terms of ‘Demographic Dividend’ are taken care of. A tree cannot hold strength without its roots. Similarly roots to the concept of ‘Smart Cities’ are to be well grounded first to have a firm footing for this project to be fruitful .Last but not the least; the most serious part of this change is tilting of socio-religious patterns in pretext of Jammu region; Kashmir predominantly is now a single religion inhabitation, after the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. Migration from adjoining areas to Jammu being the best destination for all is changing the Jammu’s population structure very fast. Migration not in proportion to the development of infrastructure; social amenities is pushing Jammu towards chaos.
Movement of Secretariat in winter too adds to the population temporarily. Roads not expanding the way they should in accordance with the expanding fringes of Jammu region. Lack of civil amenities too is a matter of great concern. A due diligence is needed with regards to the Town Planning scenario. A serious deliverance is sought off to make Jammu a better place in the years to come. Concept of ‘Smart Cities’ seems to be a distant dream for the State of Jammu and Kashmir as yet.