Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday announced the setting up of a high-level expert group led by former Reserve Bank of India governor C Rangarajan to formulate a jobs plan for Jammu and Kashmir to improve the 'employability' of youths in the state.
The prime minister, who met an all-party delegation from the state to discuss the current situation in violence-hit Kashmir Valley, said that the group will explore employment opportunities in private as well as public sectors.
The group, which will also have Infosys founding Chairman N R Narayana Murthy, President of Aspen Institute and former Chief Mentor of CII Tarun Das, President of the Federation of Chamber of Industries (Kashmir) Shaqueel Qalander P Nanda Kumar and a representative of the Jammu and Kashmir government, will submit its report in three months.
"Based on the experience gained, I am proposing to set up an expert group headed by Dr C Rangarajan with N R Narayana Murthy, Tarun Das, P Nanda Kumar, Shaqueel Qalander and an official representative of the J and K government as members to formulate a jobs plan for the state, involving both the public and the private sectors," the prime minister said. Dr Singh said the group will also interact with the National Skill Development Mission.
"But to show results of such efforts on the ground, you will have to engage actively with the youth and give them the sense of purpose, hope and direction they need to make use of the many opportunities that our economy provides," he said.
Dr Singh said he is 'optimistic' about the future of Jammu and Kashmir. "India's democracy has shown that it has the resilience to accommodate a diversity of aspirations and unique circumstances and the capacity to solve complex problems. If all sides show wisdom and restraint, I believe that we can put the bitterness and pain of the recent past behind us and breathe new life in to the peace process," he said.
The prime minister urged the political parties to carry back with them a message of peace and reconciliation.