Thursday, 4 May 2017


                                                                                                               -*Dr. S. Vijay Kumar         
              India is a country with 70 % of youth people below the age of 40 years. 34% of its Gross National Income (GNP) is contributed by the youth. There is a dire need to develop this percentage. The need to empower youth for a better tomorrow is vital to the financial elevation as well as increment of the standard of living. Awareness is a key factor for this empowerment, with guidance towards developing a wholesome outlook of life. Youth empowerment in any development is imperative not only for national development of an entire country but also for personal development of an individual. Youth empowerment is pursued by promoting youth rights, youth activism and in community decision making. Empowerment is necessarily a process of inculcating values to equip the learner lead a life that is satisfying to the individual while being in accordance with the cherished values and ideals of the society. At present it is the most effective mean that society possesses for confronting the challenges of the future. Youth empowerment can be defined as the process whereby young people gain the ability and authority to make informed decisions and implement change in their own lives and the lives of other people. it is a means of encouraging youths to do great things for themselves and also to make great impact in their society”. The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UNCHS-Habitat) defines youth empowerment as “the circumstances and factors which enhance the development of citizenship and productiveness among young people as they move into adulthood. It is concerned with the adaptation of government structures and institutions to protect and deliver children’s, youths‟ and human rights, including the right to participation”. The word 'empowerment' means giving power.

Need for Youth Empowerment:

·         To enable youth to acquire such knowledge, skills and techniques which will help them in their personal and social growth as well as foster in them sensitivity towards problems in the society.
·         To promote national integration and international understanding by developing youth leadership and providing a forum for youth from diverse background.
·         To promote regional co-operation and exchange between people of various countries.
·         To foster initiatives for unfolding the potential of youth through a constant process of self evaluation and self -exploration.
·         To promote research in youth work.

 -*Head & Professor (Associate) of Economics (Retd.), Kakatiya Government (UG&PG) College (NAAC “A” Grade), Hanamkonda, Warangal District (Telangana State). Ex - Member Board of Studies, Kakatiya University, Warangal – 506 009 (India).

·   Poverty eradication: Youth empowerment can help to reduce the rate of poverty to a significant level. One of the keys to empowering the youth is with skill development. When a youth is equipped with essential skills, he can utilize them to feed, assist others, and even invest for future use, aiding the nation economically. This will in-turn contribute to the increase in employability and add to the GDP of the nation.

·      Good education standard: Empowerment can help youth to understand the importance of education that leads to social improvement of the country. When a youth is empowered, he understands the importance of education and helps to uplift the concerned sector in which he is working, which is the integral for a developing nation. Today, India lacks the proper infrastructure for education, which can easily be brought into existence only through empowerment.

·      Good governance: With the inculcation of youth empowerment, the youth can reject the status quo and pave a path for a better future. To build a better tomorrow, we need to nurture the saplings of today. Hence, a radical government, which is pro-people, comes from harnessing bright minds capable of taking the nation into a brighter future.

·     Crime reduction: Empowerment ensures that youth has the necessary skill to sustain a livelihood, preventing him to adopt the path of crime. Empowerment enables a young mind to differentiate the wrong from the right, denouncing the path of injustice for a respectable living.

·         Youth Empowerment involves the following:
  • Helping youth identify, utilize and maximize their potentials.
  • Helping the youth to develop confidence and self-identity.
  • Encouraging youth to grow together in accountability.
  • Imbibing in youth, the eagerness to create a change.

·         Benefits of Youth Empowerment
  • It reduces the level of ignorance and crime among young people.
  • It serves as an opportunity for the youth to develop their skills and talents; thereby making them a better person.
  • It develops the potential of the youth.
  • It helps young people to be responsible.
  • It helps youth to be self reliant.
  • It helps the youth to invest into their future.

             On August 12th is celebrated as the International Youth Day, world over. On this day in 1985, the United Nations recognized the youth as an integral part of the society. The UN, for statistical consistency across regions, defines ‘youth’, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. All UN statistics on youth are based on this definition, as illustrated by the annual yearbooks of statistics published by the United Nations system on demography, education, employment and health. In India Youth are defined as those aged 15 to 29 in the National Youth policy (2014). The UN also acknowledged that the energies of the youth need to be harnessed effectively in a productive manner. In India too, we have the ‘National Youth Policy’ that has been designed to effectively address the problems faced by our youth, and the related solutions. This policy expresses the vision the country has for our youth; it also identifies objectives and priority areas that are addressed and considered extremely important by the Government.
The National Youth Policy, 2014: It defines the vision of the government of India, for the youth of the country and identify the keys areas in which action is required to achieve their full potential and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations in the area of, education, employment and skill development, entrepreneurship, health and healthy lifestyle, sports, promotion of social values, community engagement, participation in politics and governance, youth engagement, inclusion and social justice. 

             The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports Shri Jitendra Singh has said that the National Youth Policy, 2014 (NYP 2014) has been approved by the Government. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today he said, the implementation of the Policy is a continuing process. The objectives and priority areas of NYP,2014 are given in the below table:

Sl. No.
Priority Areas
Create a productive work force that can make a sustainable contribution to India’s economic development
1. Education
2. Employment & Skill Development
 3. Entrepreneurship
Develop a strong and healthy generation equipped to take on future challenges
 4. Health and healthy lifestyle
  5. Sports
Instil social values and promote community service to build national ownership
6. Promotion of social values 
7. Community engagement
Facilitate participation and civic engagement at levels of governance
8. Participation in politics and    governance 
9. Youth engagement
Support youth at risk and create equitable opportunity for all disadvantaged and marginalized youth.
10. Inclusion
11. Social Justice.

An empowered youth stands the chance of succeeding in his society unlike those who lack such opportunity. Be it sponsored or self-empowerment, support is very important as it "beautifies" the youths and their countries at large. The Youth represent the most dynamic and vibrant segment of the population. India is one of the youngest nations in the World, with about 65 per cent of the population being under 35 years of age. While most of these developed countries face the risk of an ageing workforce, India is expected to have a very favourable demographic profile. It is estimated that by the year 2020, the population of India would have a median age of 28 years only as against 38 years for United States, 42 years for China and 48 years for Japan. This ‘demographic dividend’ offers a great opportunity. However, in order to capture this demographic dividend, it is essential that the economy has the ability to support the increase in the labour force and the youth have the appropriate education, skills, health awareness and other enablers to productively contribute to the economy. This demands the commitment of the entire nation to all-round development of the youth of India, so that they can realize their full potential and contribute productively to nation-building process. This can be done only by empowering youth. 

Needs of youth in India:
·         The government has launched the National Youth Policy (NYP 2014) to cater the needs of youth in India. It is a comprehensive policy document that states the vision of the Government of India (GOI) for the youth of the country and also how this vision is sought to be realized by the government.

·         NYP-2014 caters to needs of the youth in the age-group of 15-29 years, which constitutes 27.5 per cent of population. The target groups identified are (i) Student Youth (ii) Migrant Youth (iii) Rural Youth (iv) Tribal Youth (v) Youth At Risk (vi) Youth in violent conflicts (vii) out of school/dropouts (viii) groups with social /moral stigma (ix) Youth in Institutional Care. Young women, Youth belonging to socially and economically disadvantaged communities /groups, and differently abled youth form the three priority groups among the target age group. 

·         NYP 2014 identifies the vision and the five key objectives for youth development that are further sub-divided into 11 priority areas. It further suggests policy imperatives that should be implemented in each of these identified priority areas. The concerns of target groups and the priority groups therein, shall be addressed through a subsequent action plan based on policy interventions.

·         NYP 2014 seeks to achieve a productive workforce through education, skill development for better employability and entrepreneurship training; a healthy generation with sports as a way of life; a sense of community service and strong social values; high levels of participation in governance; and social inclusiveness by creating equitable opportunities for all. The thrust areas are promotion of National values, social harmony, national unity, and empowering youth through employable skills, education, health, sports and recreation, gender justice, participation in community service, environment and local governance.

The NYP 2014 is being implemented in four steps: 

      GOI formulated an action plan within 6 months for the implementation of the policy across all the concerned ministries and department; 

         The MYAS (Ministry of Youth Affairs) also constituted a Youth Council consisting of exceptional youth from across the country to oversee the implementation of the policy; 

       A set of short-term and long-term indicators for measuring the success of the policy; and 

        The youth are encouraged to engage their elected representatives and the government if there is any shortcomings in the implementation of youth oriented schemes as outlined in the NYP. Youth Development Index include the indices viz. Youth Health Index, Youth Education Index, Youth Work Index, Youth Amenities Index, and Youth Participation Index.

Young people in all countries are both a major human resource for development and key agents for social change, economic development and technological innovation. Their imagination, ideals, considerable energies and vision are essential for the continuing development of the societies in which they live. The problems that young people face as well as their vision and aspiration are essential components of the challenges and prospects of today’s societies and future generations. Hence, Identifying the challenges faced by today’s youth and suggesting strategies and recommendations. There is also a critical need to involve young people in decisions that will affect them. We cannot talk about sustainable development without the active involvement of youth, these ideas forward to harness the demographic dividend, holding human rights, gender equality, human capital, and dignity at the center of all our investments.

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