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GS-II : Governance

Empower the youth first

  • 08 September, 2020

  • 8 Min Read

Empower the youth first

Context:

  • The article argues for government intervention for empowering India’s youth.

Details:

Gross under-investment:

  • The 2014 National Youth Policy (NYP) defines youth as persons between 15 and 29 years. According to this definition, the youth accounted for 27.5% of the population then.
  • According to the NYP report, the Central Government spends about Rs. 2,710 per youth on education, skill development, employment, healthcare and food subsidies.
  • Assuming that States spend an equal amount, the total investment in the youth would be under 1% of the GDP.
  • This is grossly inadequate considering that they account for a large proportion of the population and hold immense potential for India’s development.

Impacts:

  • A World Bank report estimates the opportunity cost of not investing in children and youth at 4% of the GDP every year.
  • The lack of investment leads to illiteracy, poor health outcomes and also unemployment among the youth.
  • As per the 2018 State of Working India Report, the youth unemployment rate in India stands at 18.3%.
  • Almost 1/3rd of the youth fall under the ‘neither in employment nor in education’ category.
  • Around 50 lakh youth are expected to be entering the workforce annually.
  • This threatens to disrupt the economic development process in India by turning the coveted demographic dividend into a demographic disaster.

Measures to be taken:

1. Indian Youth Guarantee (IYG) programme:

  • India needs to launch an Indian Youth Guarantee (IYG) programme to address the employment needs of the youth.
  • An IYG initiative, with statutory backing, can function as a facilitatory framework for ensuring the gainful and productive engagement of youth.
  • It would help ensure that young people graduating from college or losing a job either find a good quality job suited to their education and experience or acquire skills required to find a job through an apprenticeship.
  • Existing youth schemes and skilling infrastructure need to be dovetailed and streamlined into the Indian Youth Guarantee (IYG) programme.

2. Youth Development Index (YDI) as a guide:

  • Before the initiation of the Indian Youth Guarantee (IYG) programme, there is a need to identify the needs of the youth.
  • The Youth Development Index (YDI) in India can be used as an advisory and monitory tool for youth development in India. It can help recognise priority areas, gaps and alternative approaches specific to each State.
  • The Youth Development Index (YDI), developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, measures the status of young people in 183 countries around the world.
  • The index is a comprehensive measure across 5 domains that are critical to youth development: Education, Health, Employment, Civic participation, Political participation.

3. Allocation of  financial resources:

  • To ensure the availability of sufficient financial resources for the Indian Youth Guarantee (IYG) programme, there is the need to create a Youth Component Plan, earmarking a specific percentage of the total budgetary allocations under a separate head.

4 .Multi-stakeholder approach:

  • The IYG should engage the district administration and local bodies for effective outcomes while also leveraging the industry to enable employment generation.

Source: TH

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