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The youth of India is its untapped potential. Around 66% of the total population is below the age of 35. Nearly 40% of the Indian population is aged 13 to 35 years Youth constitute a large chunk of the Indian workforce, yet 80% don't possess any employable skills.
Additionally, there is a grave disconnect between the demand and supply of skilled manpower in the country. Many young people are unable to avail any technical, vocational or professional skill training due to poverty, a lack of awareness and a lack of understanding of the job market. The lack of a highly skilled labour force has major implications for India's economy and society.
As per estimates, the working population in India was estimated to be 400.7 mn in January 2021. As projected by the pre-budget economic survey 2021, conducted by Business Standard magazine, the working age group is estimated to be 64% of the Indian Population and the average age of Indians is 29 years, one of the youngest in the world. The India Skills Report 2021 found that fewer than half of India’s graduates are employable. In order to unleash the potential of this large youth population and to enhance their employability quotient, technology and specialized skill development is essential.
In India, nearly a quarter of the people live below the poverty line. The need for economic improvement is visible and urgent. The country’s youth hold the key—unfortunately, only 2 in 5 economically active youth are either unemployed or working yet living in poverty. The overall youth unemployment rate had spiked to 34.7% in the April-June quarter of 2020 when the first wave of the pandemic had taken a massive toll on growth and jobs. Even prior to the pandemic, unemployment was at 25% in the 15-23 years age group compared to 6% overall.
Youth living in underprivileged communities lack employment opportunities and the chance to train themselves with the skills needed to pave the way for better employment. Such potential should not be wasted.