GUWAHATI, Aug 5 - �Assam has more than 15 lakh educated youths who are unemployed and according to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India (2016), Assam produces approximately 2.1 lakh graduates each year. These are the demographic dividends and assets of Assam.�
This was an observation made by the panelists at a roundtable discussion on the topic �Youth of Assam and Civil Services: A Vision�, organised by civil services training institute North-East Institute of Advanced Studies (Northeast-IAS) here today.
Speaking in the roundtable discussion, Dr Rohini Kumar Baruah, former bureaucrat and Dr Abu Naser Saied Ahmed, founder director of the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development (OKDISCD) said that Assam and the Assamese people have been struggling with numerous socio-political and economic issues, ranging from demographic transitions to lack of industrial growth; politics of identity crisis to poor agriculture productions; and weak infrastructure development to distortion in the higher education system.
�To tackle and mitigate these age-old problems of Assam, we need strong and able leadership at all levels from (bottom to top) and particularly, we need a breed of Assamese bureaucrats and leaders who could emphatically understand the problems and find solutions,� Dr Baruah added.
Ranjit Sehkar Mooshahary, former Governor of Meghalaya and Dr AC Bhagawati, former VC of Arunachal University, termed unemployment, particularly educated unemployment, as a persisting problem that need to be addressed pragmatically.
Government data show an acceleration in the number of job applicants in the employment exchanges in Assam. The number was below one lakh ( 98,951 to be precise) in 1972, but shot up to 20,79,558 in 2009 and stood at 19,11,431 in 2013-14. During the 40 years (1972- 2013), unemployment rose by 19.32 times. On the other hand, during the census period (1971- 2011), the population rose by 2.13 times. The rise in unemployment, therefore, is far more explosive than the increase in population.
Moderating the discussion, Dr Dharanidhar Mali, founder director of the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship proposed to establish an economic development centre for advanced research and advocacy.
Against the backdrop of the burgeoning unemployment problem, Northeast-IAS is currently taking up professional training and mentoring programmes in Guwahati. The institute is now providing free ten-month civil service coaching to nearly 200 brilliant youths of the North East and aims to produce 100 civil servants from Assam in five years.
During the interactive session of the roundtable discussion, senior journalist Indrani Rai Medhi, Brig (retd) Ranjit Borthakur and Biswajit Bhuyan, member of All India Federation of Universities and College Teachers Association, highlighted the importance of skill development and civil services in Assam.