India, being the second most populous country in the world with more than 25% people below the age of 25 and 65% below the age of 35, has the largest pool of youth as compared to rest of the world. Out of the 450 million youth just about 69 % are educated out of which close to 13% are unemployed, this land of big dreams has clearly not been able to use the demographic dividend to its advantage. But who is to blame? There is a large chunk of Indian youth cribbing about the dearth of opportunity and rigid competition due to the growing population while we have another set of people debating about how the existing youth is not worth hiring.
While it is easy to say that there aren’t enough opportunities, if we look at the bigger picture we can reason out how the vast majority of Indian youth lacks the required skill to do a task. In a recent interview Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy mentioned that only 2% of the youth in India is skilled as compared to 50% in China, 70% in UK, 74% in Germany, 80% in Japan and a whopping 96% in Korea. Though literacy rate in India has seen a growth of 9.2% in the past decade our country has not seen any decrease in the rate of unemployment whatsoever. This data clearly showcases the flaw in our education system, where students sure are getting education and a degree but aren’t equipped with the required skills to work. The need of the hour is to realise that bookish knowledge will not take one far, what one requires is vocational skills that will come in handy while working. Simply put our education system churns out people but the industry doesn’t find them useful.
On a positive note, our government has felt the need to address this issue. As a result, the National Skill Development Council came into being- to promote skill development in India by creation of vocational institutions. It enables support system by training the trainers, funding the institutes, and partnering with possible private institutes to enhance its reach. Even though Indian Training Institutes also aimed at a similar goal, with all 12,000 of them failed to do so. With the shift in government and commencement of movement like Make in India we can soon see a rise in the manufacturing activities. At present, majority of the people are employed in agricultural sector contributing to just about 14% of the GDP, we require a shift of labour force from agriculture to industry. Manufacturing Industry has shown a greater demand for labour but fail to employ the youth due to the lack of vocational training (skills).
While the National Skill Development council is trying its might to impart proper vocational training to the Indian youth thereby making them skilled as per international standards in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, not much is being done in the service sector. We can still witness majority of graduates from top universities in India taking up a job in the west, one of the many reasons is the fact that despite the growth our country has the lowest per capita income. The stunted growth of entrepreneurs in India is another concern, though the start-up culture is starting to catch up there is still a lot of scepticism and lack of resources and aids for them to survive. The concern for skill development is shown well after 66 years of independence, which is a great deal of time lost it is only with the joint effort of the resourceful government and aspirational youth can we resolve this issue.