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Special Content

Volume -15, 13-19 July 2019


Budget 2019-2020 for Young India

Vivek Ojha

IT+IT = IT means Indian Talent + Information Technology = India Tomorrow', 'Desire + Stability = Resolution', and 'we do not need ACTS but Action. This was the epitome of Indian notion of demographic dividend conceptualized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he came into the power. Innovation, skill development, entrepreneurship development, start up business, social business, formation of social and  human capital, vocational training are the core issues of Modi's government to fulfill youth aspirations of the country. Taking into consideration the dreams of Indian youths, Budget 2019-2020 has proposed effective steps to garner the fruits of knowledge based society and knowledge based economy.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman  praised India Inc, saying that the country's job creators are the nation's wealth creators while presenting the Union Budget for 2019-20. Finance minister also  talked about the new National Education Policy. It has been proposed that  National Research Foundation will assimilate all research grants given by different ministries independent of each other and will boost innovation and entrepreneurship.

Massive Open Online Courses through SWAYAM has been successful and is bridging digital divide. Finance minister  proposed  the programme Study in India to bring in foreign students.

This budget outlined that the  legislation for setting up of Higher Education Commission will be presented later this year. 10 million youth will  take up industry-relevant skill training under the Pradhanmantri  Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

Multiple labour laws would be streamlined into four labour codes for ease of doing business domestically.

This year's budget proposed  to start a TV channel, within DD's boquet of channel, just for start-ups.  Budget also mentioned Start up and Stand up schemes achievements and outlined that these schemes are doing great job to protect human dignity and sense of entrepreneurship. Petroleum ministry of India has provided financial assistance to SC and ST communication to come out of human scavenging and become entreprenuers.

Finance minister said during the budget speech that to make indian youths more competitive , skilled and innovation driven few more areas have to be identified like Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things , Big Data, virtual reality and Robotics .  Finance minister gave youth aspirations of the country a cultural tone by mentioning the path showed by lord Basaveshwara for skill development in an egalitarian manner .

This years Budget outlined the significance of  initiatives pertaining to youths  like IMPRINT, GIAN, HEFA, NAD etc which have been taken  to promote Quality Education in recent years .

The Government is committed to improve the quality of education and it is a continuous ongoing process. The vision of the Government of India is to realize India's human resource potential to its fullest in the education sector with equity and inclusion. The Government is committed to provide equitable access to quality education to all sections of the society.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development took a leap forward in transforming education sector with the motto of "Sabko Shiksha, Achchi Shiksha" (Quality education to all). 'Education For All & Quality Education' guided policy actions and decisions enabling transformation have emphasized upon making education Available, Accessible, Affordable and Accountable. 'Education for All' has driven the expansion in education with new institutes of School (KVS, NVS), initiatives such as Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme which aim for improvement in school infrastructure and in teaching and learning, Swachh Vidyalaya and e-governance initiatives like ShaGun Portal, e-Pathshala, Shaala Siddhi, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), ICT in Schools, Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education (CSSTE), Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan in secondary education and in Higher Education, new institutions like IITs, IIMs, IIITs, IISER etc. have been set up and Institutional capacity building initiatives like, SWAYAM PRABHA - DTH channels on 24X7 basis for educational programmes, restructuring of IIT fees to make more inclusive, Amendments in UGC Act to make more gender sensitive, SWAYAM - MOOCs etc. have been undertaken. On the other hand 'Quality Education' has been emphasized with the thrust on promoting research & innovation, and initiatives like Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT), Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN), National Digital Library, National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Higher Educational Financing Agency (HEFA), Digital ISBN, National Academic Depository (NAD), Seema Darshan, Kala Utsav, Prashikshak Portal etc.

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has launched Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY). Several great projects have taken place so far under PMKVY 1.0, which was launched in 2015. For PMKVY 2.0 (2016-2020), the focus has been on 'Craftsmen Training Scheme' running in over 15,042 Industrial Training Institutes across the country. Government plans to train 10 million youth by the year 2020 under PMKVY 2.0. With an aim to provide skilled work force to the industry in 138 trades, under this scheme people get an opportunity to get a training with duration of 6 months , 1 year and 2 year.

The responsibility of these projects is given to the Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). According to Press Information Bureau, DGT has taken following initiatives to improve quality of skills for better employment opportunities. 

Asserting that the development of youth was central to his government's policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had  said that the government  focused on four 'E's- education, employment, entrepreneurship and excellence--to help youths of this country . Prime minister told the nation that  in the last four year government had  set up seven IITs, seven IIMs, one NIT, 14 IIITs, 103 Kendriya Vidyalayas. The number of undergraduate medical seats increased from 50,000 in 2013-14 to 70,000 now. Post graduate seats went up, too, from 25,000 in 2013-14 to 33,000 now. 2,400 Atal Tinkering Centres were created to boost innovation.

Young India Aspirations and Barriers in the way -

Young India aspirations are not free from hurdles. Indian youths are facing problems of unemployment, lack of higher education facilities, lack of credit to start businesses etc.  Silicon valley based e- learning firm Coursera's Global skills index released in  2019 found India lagging in two out of three future skills assessed - technology, business and data science. India was ranked 44th out of the 60 countries in the technology domain. It is, worth mentioning here that two thirds of the world population is falling behind in critical skills including 90 percent of developing economies .

Indian youth and Demographic Dividend-

India has one of the youngest populations in an ageing world.  By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28, as compared to 37 in China and the US, 45 in Western Europe, and 49 in Japan. Demographics can change the pace and pattern of economic growth. While China's spectacular growth has already benefited from a demographic dividend, India is yet to do so.

Outlining the potential of India's demographic dividend India's envoy to Sri Lanka Taranjith Singh Sandhu recently out lined Sri Lanka that with an average age of 29 years per person, India will become the world's youngest country by 2020 . Sixty-four per cent of India's population will be in the working age group by 2020. It can be  pointed out that at a time when leading economies like Europe, US, South Korea, Japan are ageing, India holds the advantage of having an increased working population which is also known as functional population of 15 to 59 years of age group. Western Europe, the US, South Korea, Japan and even China aeging, this demographic potential offers India an unprecedented edge which could further contribute to the GDP growth rate. The core aim of India's foreign policy is to meet the developmental aspirations of its 1.30 billion people. Youth awakening call of Swami Vivekanand has to be materialized by the the government of India to make India safe, strong and prosperous internally as well as externally.

The author is a Delhi based Academician

E-mail id: peerlesstreasure@ gmail.com

Views expressed are personal.