Ramandeep Kaur #
Approximately 600 million population in India is younger than 25 years of age and close to 70% of the total population is less than 40 years of age. Near about 40% of the Indian population is aged between 13 to 35 years that is defined as youth according to the National Youth Policy.
Such a huge population of young is not only exceptional in India but also in the World. In case, this demographic dividend is not used properly then it may result in demographic disaster in India. The youth then will not be on right track. Also if we look at the median age of the country and the average age of our leaders then it is clear that country’s median age is 25 years whereas the average age of our cabinet ministers is 65 years.
Hence there exists a gap in age which leads to a gap between thoughts. This gap in India is much wider than the gap in any other country, such as in United States the gap is of 23 years whereas in Germany the gap is less than 10 years. History reveals that in such a scenario where there exists such a wide gap and most of the population is comprised of youth then it definitely leads to one or more political movements in the country. This had been seen in America at the time of the civil rights movement and the sexual revolution which happened during America’s baby boomers period when 79 million people born between 1946 and 1964.
Even if you check the history of India then also it is clear that youth can bring a huge change. Almost all our freedom fighters were young when they started their struggle for freedom that resulted in the freedom of our country. But this enthusiasm among today’s youth is eloping somewhere leading to frustration and lack of zeal. The reason may be unnecessary burden in the form of competition, unemployment, lack of job skills and skill based job etc.
Indian Youth at present is also facing acute pressure in every field from getting job to performance at the job. In the coming decade, it is expected that the Indian labour force will grow by more than 8 million per annum.
More and more youth will enter into the labor market. So the real challenge in front of the policy makers is to create enough jobs in the market for this educated workforce so as to direct the youth and nation.
Some Key Areas of Concern for Today’s Youth
Education: First and the foremost concern of today’s youth in India is education. Indian youth demands for better education, employment driven training and brighter future. Youth also want that skill based education and job placement should be a part of every higher institution.
More emphasis should be laid down on career oriented courses and there should be a connection with real life scenario rather than just bookish. Youth from non-urban setting generally lacks good communication skills. This is also one of the major concerns because it acts as an obstacle on the way to get job and progress.
Job: Youth unemployment in India is on rise. According to the World Development Report 2013, 9% of males and 11% females aged between 15 to 24 years are unemployed. As per data of 2009-10, 9.7% of young men and 18.7% of young women in India were unemployed.
At global level, chances of youth being unemployed is three times more than adults. Global financial crisis hit youth first then adult. Also as per NSSO survey, youth unemployment among illiterate is less as compared to educated youth. Because illiterate youth is willing to do all sorts of work whereas educated ones look for jobs in their respective field only. Young graduates suffer the most as far as getting job is concerned.
Corruption: Today’s youth is concerned with the issue of corruption more than anything else and that is why most of the protestors in the recent Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption were the Indian youth. Mr. Ratan Tata once said, “The youth of today will need to recognise that they shoulder a great responsibility. They will need to fight for rooting out corruption, for ensuring that no one is above the law and uniting the citizens of India as ‘India first’ instead of communal or geographic factions”. Though fighting against corruption is the responsibility of every citizen but youth by virtue of their nature and energy participate more in this cause.
Corruption should be rooted out of country. Youth in India must know what they want and how they want because good and bad co-exist in the society. Today we relate everything related to success in terms of money. But success is more than this. Youth must derive inspiration from their role model and live life with proud.
Youth have to speak out from the very beginning of their career and life that they won’t compromise and will adhere to ethical values. Display honesty even if you are not questioned or watched. Show fairness and transparency in whatsoever you do. This will bring change in you and your surroundings.
[Courtesy: Compare Infobase Limited]