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Articles by Dr. B. T. Rudresh

Importance of youth

Youth are the future of a country. Any idea of national development is just a myth without the active participation of youth. The old generation passes on the baton to the waiting team. The young have dreams, passion and hopes. Their bubbling enthusiasm has to be regulated and utilized. Their surplus power has to be exploited for the welfare of the country. Proper guidance and direction can bring them in the forefront of national development. There are many ways that youth can contribute to national development. They can do so by working hard in any field they are involved in, be it the teaching, mechanic, or farming field. Having said that, it is also essential to note that young people must also believe in themselves; that they can become a big asset both individually and collectively to national development if they work hard.

The best and the first and foremost way to strengthen our youth are to provide them with education. The kind of education that we plan must make them responsible, honest, scientific in thinking and open-minded to accept relevant knowledge. Without these virtues being developed, our youth cannot walk in the desired way.

Challenges

It is true that today’s youth are facing many challenges, such as HIV/AIDS, unemployment and drug abuse. But there are also opportunities to gradually overcome some of these challenges. In a situation where opportunities are limited youth seeking jobs must learn to take what is available till they get what they want. This country needs more qualified engineers, plumbers, tailors, economists and journalists, doctors, etc to lead us to our developmental aspirations. However, to help our youth get to where they want and enable them become effective contributors to nation-building all hands must be on deck in achieving this objective, as the youth need support and motivation. To enhance the participation of youth in national development, they must be given the opportunity to effectively participate in decision-making processes, especially on issues affecting their lives. Let us acknowledge and celebrate what youth can do to build a safer, more just world. Let us strengthen our efforts to include young people in policies, programmes and decision-making processes that benefit their futures and ours. The future of India is intimately connected with that of its young people

Current situation

As the second fastest growing economy in the world today, India has already entered the league of trillion dollar economies. Its Gross Domestic Product is expected to continue growing at about 8% a year till 2022. By this time our population will reach 1.4 billion. 83% of the population increase will be in the 15-59 working age group making India home to 25% of the world’s workforce. Known as India’s demographic dividend, this development will give India an unrivalled edge in the globalised economy. In the next decade, economic growth is likely to create over 500 million jobs, 75% of which will be skill-based. This will make effective vocational training of critical importance.

Level of skill development among present generation

Knowledge, skills, and resourcefulness of people are critical to sustain development, economic, and social activity in a knowledge society. It is estimated that India would require a workforce of 2.3 million employees in the IT and IT-enabled services sectors by 2015. However, over the past fifteen years, India has produced 1.6 million professionals and faces the uphill task of producing another 0.8 million in the next two years. According to NASSCOM, which is the National Association of Software Companies, each year over 3 million graduates and post-graduates are added to the Indian workforce. Of these only 25 percent of technical graduates and 10-15 percent of other graduates are considered employable by the rapidly growing IT and ITES segments. Hence, what we have today is a growing skills gap in spite of huge growth of the country's service-driven economy, which is growing faster than most countries in the world. It has therefore become necessary to prepare and plan for a world-class, competent, talented and innovative workforce. It is also a fact that universities and educational institutions have been unable to update their syllabi in tune with the high speed changes taking place in the world of technology. Hence, the students churned out are not equipped to meet the current industry requirements and often companies have to incur additional expenses of time and monetary to train new hires. It’s high time now for our education system needs to reboot itself and joint initiatives by the industry and academia will play an important part in plugging the talent gap in the years to come. Training individuals for the jobs of the future and allowing them to visualize what it possible today will not only make a difference in their lives but will enrich our communities now and for the future.

Last word

Let us focus on constructively using the power of the youth for the betterment of the nation. Let us frame such policies which aim at empowering our youth so that we can be assured of a better future and a brighter tomorrow.


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