Job Creators or Seekers: what does the future hold?

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On National Youth Day (January 12) sheatwork looks at the potential of the power of the youth brigade, which can have a huge impact on the economy of the country

India celebrates National Youth Day on January 12, a date which was specially chosen to honour the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, one of India’s most inspiring spiritual and social leaders.

It is quite befitting that his birthday was chosen to represent the youth, for we must remember that he was the greatest youth icon India had. Interestingly, he was one that influenced millions of youth across the world. With his unforgettable and inspiring Chicago speech in 1893, he took on the mantle of becoming the voice and face of Indian philosophy and spiritualism for the Western world. Since then, he has been a constant source of inspiration for the youth. As the 21st century has revealed, it is a time when the youth of India are facing new problems, pushing boundaries and aspiring for a better future – thoughts of Swami Vivekanand have become even more relevant.

He believed it’s all in the power of the mind – “Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.” What was admirable was that he saw hope for the future in every child; and he firmly believed that with “muscles of iron” and “nerves of steel” they could bring about social change. Without a doubt, Swami himself personified the eternal energy of the youth, along with a restless quest for truth.

Today, India is privileged to be the youngest country – almost 50 percent of India’s population is under the age of 25. The future of the nation rests on their shoulders, so it’s the appropriate time to celebrate the youth. The need to empower young people has never been so important.

Our PM Narendra Modi had urged the youth to become “job creators instead of job seekers”, and specified that the younger generation should actively strive for the success of start-up India, a few years ago. Addressing the 20th National Youth Festival he had laid stress on harmony and togetherness, saying that without peace, unity and harmony, development cannot have any meaning.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, speaking at NIPM 2019 conference on ‘India’s Changing Paradigm: Skills and Entrepreneurship for Global Competitiveness’ had also stressed this point, when he stated – “empower the youth to become job creators rather than becoming job seekers”. He had gone on to say that skilling of youth should become a national movement and urged all stakeholders to participate in a mission- mode, to accomplish this objective.

India is going to continue to have a large youth population for the next two decades, which poses an imminent challenge – how do we leverage the potential of this rich and abundant human resource? Our Vice President noted that a workforce with appropriate skilling was important to reduce unemployment, raise incomes, and improve standards of living. He also suggested revamping the education system in a holistic manner.  

As economists and researchers suggest, if the ‘youth’ is properly skilled and absorbed in the labour market, it can contribute to higher economic growth of the country. Currently, as the world is at the centre of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is moving towards the vision of New India and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. So, an urgent thrust towards the aspirations of the youth brigade of India would be of highest significance, for inculcating and strengthening the ‘Atmavishwas’.

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