Youth is a nation’s growth engine, and India is fortunate to have the highest percentage of young people. More than 30% of its population is under the age of 30, making India the country with the most youths in the world. However, the demographic advantage is not without its drawbacks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is focusing on developing a road map to meet the aspirations of Indian youth so that they can play a critical role in realizing the vision of a developed India in Amrit Kal by 2047.
The 4 E model of the government aims to improve Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Excellence. After a 34-year hiatus, India finally got its New Education Policy (NEP) under PM Modi. It provides flexibility in terms of subject selection as well as a multidisciplinary learning approach as opposed to the rigid and decades-old curriculum-based learning. The Government of India has increased its education spending since 2014, as evidenced by the establishment of 7 IITs, 7 IIMs, 14 IIITs, 13 Central universities, and 16 AIIMS in the last eight years.
There has also been a significant increase in the number of seats available in medical and engineering programs across India. The number of MBBS seats increased from 50,000 in 2013-14 to 70,000 in this period, while the number of MD seats increased from 25,000 to 33,000. Furthermore, a strong emphasis has been placed on instilling in the youth the spirit of innovation and research. More than 10,000 Atal Tinkering Centers have been established at the school level across India to encourage young minds’ innovation, creativity, and imagination, as well as to instil skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, and physical computing.
In 2015, the government also launched the Skill India Mission, which provides a platform for youth to receive hands-on training in emerging fields. Over the last eight years, the Skill India Mission has trained over 1.2 crore youth, opening up many national and international job opportunities for them.
In terms of job opportunities, the Government of India has given a significant boost to the manufacturing sector by introducing Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes for a variety of industries, including telecommunications, automobiles, semi-conductors, and others. This will result in the creation of 60 million new jobs over the next five years. Furthermore, it has announced a total of 10 lakh government jobs in various PSUs and government departments. PM Modi has made 1.5 lakh job offers to newly hired employees in various government departments and ministries over the last two months.
The Prime Minister has also ensured that India develops a new generation of entrepreneurs who will be future job creators for the youth. The government launched the Start-Up India Mission with this mission. The fact that India now ranks third globally in the start-up ecosystem, with over 84,000 new start-ups established in the last eight years, demonstrates the mission’s success. Under the PM Mudra Yojana, the government has disbursed a total of Rs. 15.52 lakh crore in loans to 29.55 crore MSE borrowers.
In the field of sports, the Modi government has launched the Khelo India games to nurture and groom young athletes. On the one hand, the Khelo India Games provide a level playing field for youth from all states and union territories, while on the other, it prepares young athletes for international competitions. Khelo India Games has produced a plethora of young talent year after year. It enabled India to win the most medals in both the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.
PM Modi’s vision for a new and developed India is centered on youth. It is past time for the youth to rise to the occasion and devote their energies to nation-building.