By Fida Hussain
A degree in Mass communication and Journalism is becoming a hot favorite among the students of Jammu and Kashmir. This degree, which was alien to J & K , especially the Kashmir Valley is becoming one of the choicest career streams here. With the flourishing of higher Education in the with the establishment of Universities like Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) and Central University of Kashmir which started imparting Degrees in Mass Communication and Journalism, the Number of Mass communication and Journalism graduates bloomed in the State. Every year these Universities produce a good number of professional Mass communication and journalism graduates.
The number of Mass communication graduates is piling up in the state but they have a tough time getting jobs. The administration has failed to recognize the need of professional mass communication degree holders in the efficient functioning of its machinery. Despite having severe scarcity of Mass communication professionals in the state Information Department and also in other government departments both at Gazetted as well as Non-Gazetted levels, the administration has failed to take any initiative to redress the unemployment problems among Mass communication and journalism graduates. In recent years, a negligible number of posts were referred to the State recruiting agencies like JKSSRB and JKPSC by the information department or any other department for their fulfillment. This Department, which publicizes the various initiatives and schemes launched by the administration for the welfare of the public, is lacking professional manpower affecting its commitment towards the publicity of the administration’s Initiatives.
While the administration, from time to time came up with different schemes for Graduates from other fields like Agriculture, Forestry and Sports Education, but no such Initiative was launched for the employment of the journalism Graduates due to which the employment space for these graduates have been shrunken to the lowest level. With Information Department, which is the main PR wing of the administration, acknowledging the need of professional man power for handling the information and PR jobs in the administration, the it is not serious enough to utilize the services of qualified journalism graduates.
Professionals are finding to difficult to find any job in the administration. The posts reserved for Mass communication and Journalism professionals are being held by non professional officers which is affecting the working of the administration at the highest level. The Government needs to bring serious reforms in this domain. It should also come up with the comprehensive policy for the employment of Mass Communication and Journalism Graduates.
The introduction of Mass Communication, as one of the subjects at the Higher Secondary level, and subsequent creation of posts of lecturers in School Education Department, announced recently, should be pursued vigorously without any further delay. The administration should initiate efforts to create a separate state Information Service on the line of Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) and conduct competitive examinations through Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) to fill up the Gazetted Posts in the information and other departments. Posts unfulfilled at Non Gazetted level could be referred to JKSSRB to cover the gap of manpower shortage in the information and other departments.
—The author is P.G in Mass Communication and Journalism and writes on various issues. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org