DEVELOPING THE DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND…..
On occasions and forums more than one, it is argued that youth is a key stakeholder in a nation’s development. I fully endorse this perception, particularly in the case of our nation, where our demographics are dominated by the younger generation; a whopping 3/4th (appx) of India’s population is identified as ‘Young’. Given these figures, it is critical that we depart from a casual approach, but by design focus on enabling our youth; enabling in terms of imparting education, developing skills, instilling values and sowing the seeds of a vision, a vision of making India a nation of the 21st century. A nation capable of scaling new heights in technology, education, healthcare, social sector et al., and more importantly, a sustainable nation, a nation capable of comprehensively providing for its peoples’ needs. This, in my view, is what calls for a compelling case to develop and engage our youth in the process of nation building.
Unfortunately, a quick appreciation of the layer below the demographics reveals that we are facing a unique challenge of ‘Skill Deficit’; as low as only 10% of
our youth possesses marketable skills for livelihood. This observation makes the quality of education imparted to our youth a vital link between our national aspirations of development and its actual realization.
Issues related to career opportunities generally occupy a proportion of a young mind. Education in India, since the past many decades usually had a clear disconnect with the job markets. There was lack of organized guidance, except possibly from parents and senior family members. Therefore, I see in a large number of cases where type of job and basic qualification a person possesses are totally divorced. This sometimes has raised serious concerns about the utility of education per se. A recent study also shows that India is likely to become a country with world’s highest unemployment rate. You don’t have to be an economist to believe so, it is logical; we are one of the most populated nations with an overwhelming youth component devoid of employable skills.
I apologise for sounding like an alarmist, I am far from being one, but it is critical to profoundly reflect on challenges that might potentially impede our nation’s growth. By orientation I am a solution oriented individual and I build teams and organizations that are problem solvers. My team of thinkers at the #KDSinghFoundation and I personally believe that in order to expedite India’ growth trajectory, it is critical we take giant leaps in counselling our youth in the right direction; enabling them to make the right skill building decisions in the formative years. It is critical to apprise them with contemporary tools which are prevalent in the job market and, more importantly advising them to tread the right path and imbibing ethical values.
In our commitment to serve our nation, #KDSinghFoundation has decided to launch a MULTILEVEL INTERVENTION PROGRAMME to provide advisory support to youth across Haryana, to begin with. We are in the design stage, about three weeks from launch. We are proposing to extend our support broadly across the lines of developing soft skills, guidance on vocational courses, information on availability of professional courses in the vicinity, matching their interest and aptitude with the electives they can opt for, information on occupational opportunities in the vicinity, delinquency prevention advisories et al. This is still work in progress, once firmed up, I will share the details of the same with you all.
I am confident that with the above intervention, #KDSinghFoundation will be able to guide the youth and develop them into an asset, the so called “DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND”, and take a significant step towards nation building and inspiring others to the follow suit.