Unemployed Horticulture Graduates protest at SKUAST-K

Horticulture Graduates protesting in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Horticulture Graduates protesting in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Feb 15: The Horticulture Graduates today held a protest demonstration at SKUAST-K and closed the Faculty of Horticulture at the University to press for their demands.
Scores of such graduates assembled in the University and shouted slogans against the administration for its failure in addressing their genuine issues.
They said that J&K, being admittedly the pioneer UT of Horticulture in the whole of the country, hence the same is expected to make the Horticulture Department highly technical.
“As the present age is the era of specialization, hence the technically sound and specialized degree holders have to be accepted for different technical and extension posts in the said department,” said Owais Ahmad, one of the protestor
He said that that revising eligibility is an immediate need and thus making Bsc Horticulture as sole eligibility for directly recruited posts.
The protesting graduates said that recently advertised posts of canning instructor by JKSSB (Advertisement No. 01 of 2021, Dated: 03-02-2021), degree/diploma in food processing or fruit preservation is eligibility criteria for the said post but in case of horticulture Technician-IV only diploma has been shown as eligibility in the same advertisement.
They also said that the one-year diploma holders (BHT) have been kept as eligible for horticulture Technician-IV posts whereas professional degree holders (B. Sc. Horticulture Graduates) are treated incompetent/ineligible for the same.
They said that the pathetic state of the horticulture sector can be gauged from the fact that since its inception, not a single recruitment has taken place since 2007.
“The number of Horticulture Graduates has been piling up since then and has reached a greater than 1000 but they have been left dismayed and disappointed as even in the fields that require their education and services, their degrees hold no value,” said Mir Wasim another protestor.
Notably, as per the protesting graduates, the Department of Horticulture proposed Rehbar-e-Baghbani Scheme for engagement of Horticulture Professionals to meet the paucity of degree holders in Department under the notification DHK/ ADM/ NG/596/ 5703-22; Dated: 31-07-2018.
And in compliance degree holders registered enthusiastically and served a ray of hope for the unemployed professionals but due to unknown reasons the policy/scheme has not been implemented till now and resulted in the addition of miseries to the unemployed Horticulture Professional youth of this UT.
The protesting graduates demanded that their issues must be resolved without any further delay.