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Recruitment agencies across Kashmir are being accused of exploiting young jobseekers by accepting large sums of money from applicants applying for government jobs. The government is being called upon to force recruitment agencies to reduce their application fees, according to greaterkashmir.com.
The political turmoil of the region has resulted in some of the highest levels of unemployment across India. The region cannot attract foreign investment; combining this with an under-developed corporate sector and the unpredictable political environment has resulted in disproportionate levels of unemployment, particularly among young people.
Kashmir is a disputed territory administered by three countries: India, Pakistan, and the People's Republic of China.
Greaterkashmir.com reported that in a recent local government recruitment drive, many positions were advertised with application forms costing RUP 200 (USD 3.30). In order to apply for more than one position the students were required to purchase one application form for each vacancy. It is estimated that the government netted RUP 70 million (USD 1.2 million) with 306 million forms being sold.
In another incident, applicants for the Public Service Commission were charged RUP 800 (USD 13.21) per application form, when official guidelines listed the price as RUP 50 (USD 0.83).
Recruitment agencies have been accused of profiting from the dire employment situation and exploiting the most vulnerable job seekers. The financial requirement of job-hunting are creating additional barriers for young people into the job market and preventing suitable candidates from applying for positions due to the financial burden of job-seeking.