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YOUTH IN INDIA: A FOCUS ON PROBLEMS AND EMPOWREMENT

OF YOUTH
Dr. B. PRABHAKAR*
Dr. P. SIVA RAMAKRISHNA**

Youth is the new definition of the changing times, it is a perfect example of it doesnt get any
better than this. Todays youth is full of spark, it burns everything it touches. They are not
obstinate, they make mistakes and learn from them. They have the courage which is inexplicable,
they are dynamic, and they have written their fate themselves. They have the key to the lock and
they are the only ones who can set the caged bird free.

The youth is full of ideas, they have the finger on the pulse, so they are best suited for the nation
and the economy to grow. When young people come together, they counter each other, they face
challenges, they bring strong opinions to the table and they are invincible. The new entrepreneurs
of our country are sure to bring success and a change in the working system of the country. The
offices are becoming friendly and casual rather than dull and boring, people have started loving
their jobs and are passionate about them, which is why the performance is also better1.

The youth is said to have hot blood and when it gets stirred up, they can fight any force whether it
be corruption, terrorism or the aliens. The youth wants the country to be happy and prosperous,
the fight against terrorism is still in the beginning stage but soon it will overpower everything else.
An Indian is sick of being the victim all the time, the youth is now here to prove that the any
individual can become aggressive if poked for too long.

Politics is one of the lesser touched fields by the youth but hopefully soon, the world will see
leaders who have the power and the brains. The nation will have pragmatic as well as educated
politicians who focus on getting rid of the problems rather than minting money.

*Academic Consultant, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Vikrama


Simhapuri University, Nellore

** Academic Consultant, Department of Commerce, Vikrama Simhapuri University, Nellore


Youth has been seen to take over things which require correction and change and we all know that
the political system figures the first position in that list. The political system will be transformed
once the youth gets into it, because to change the system, you have to become a part of it first.

Youth is the only part of the population which is open to experimentation, it has brought forth so
many new career options which were seen only in dreams till some time ago. They are entertainers
and comedians who talk about things which instantly become a stimulus, they are players who
bring pride and fame to the country, they act, and they sing and make things bling. They are the
social media wizards who use every platform lucratively. They are everywhere, every corner of
the world, their reach is phenomenal. Indian Youth make sure they are heard or seen and they
make the best of it. They are pure magic.

RESUME OF YOUTH IN INDIA

Every third person in an Indian city today is a youth. In about seven years, the median individual
in India will be 29 years, very likely a city-dweller, making it the youngest country in the world.
India is set to experience a dynamic transformation as the population burden of the past turns into
a demographic dividend, but the benefits will be tempered with social and spatial inequalities2.

The population in the age-group of 15-34 increased from 353 million in 2001 to 430 million in
2011. The predictions suggested that a steady increase in the youth population to 464 million by
2021 and finally a decline to 458 million by 2026. By 20203. India is set to become the worlds
youngest country with 64 per cent of its population in the working age group. With the West, Japan
and even China aging, this demographic potential offers India and its growing economy an
unprecedented edge that economists believe could add a significant 2 per cent to the GDP growth
rate

PROBLEMS FACED BY YOUTH IN INDIA

Education: First and the foremost concern of todays youth in India is education. Indian youth
demands for better education, employment driven training and brighter future. Youth also want
that skill based education and job placement should be a part of every higher institution. More
emphasis should be laid down on career oriented courses and there should be a connection with
real life scenario rather than just bookish. Youth from non-urban setting generally lacks good
communication skills. This is also one of the major concerns because it acts as an obstacle on the
way to get job and progress.

Job: Youth unemployment in India is on rise. According to the World Development Report
2013, 9% of males and 11% females aged between 15 to 24 years are unemployed. As per data
of 2009-10, 9.7% of young men and 18.7% of young women in India were unemployed4. At
global level, chances of youth being unemployed is three times more than adults. Global
financial crisis hit youth first then adult. Also as per NSSO survey, youth unemployment among
illiterate is less as compared to educated youth. Because illiterate youth is willing to do all sorts
of work whereas educated ones look for jobs in their respective field only. Young graduates
suffer the most as far as getting job is concerned.

Corruption Todays youth is concerned with the issue of corruption more than anything else
and that is why most of the protestors in the recent Anna Hazares campaign against corruption
were the Indian youth. Mr Ratan Tata once said, The youth of today will need to recognize that
they shoulder a great responsibility. They will need to fight for rooting out corruption, for
ensuring that no one is above the law and uniting the citizens of India as India first instead of
communal or geographic factions. Though fighting against corruption is the responsibility of
every citizen but youth by virtue of their nature and energy participate more in this cause.
Corruption should be rooted out of country. Youth in India must know what they want and how
they want because good and bad co-exist in the society. Today we relate everything related to
success in terms of money. But success is more than this. Youth must derive inspiration from
their role model and live life with proud.

Emotional Imbalances

Modern youth are very much imbalanced in their emotional life. Researches show that they are
very high at their IQ (Intelligent Quotient) rate but deep down at EQ (Emotional Quotient)
levels. They dont know how to take away strain and do not know how to face with a risky
moment. They are crooked enough but not prudent enough. Failures of love affairs become
common among them. Their life also more open to sex rackets due to lack of emotional maturity
and prudence.

Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

They are nowadays very much prone to alcoholism and drugs. They often act criminally or
violently because they are under the influence of drinks and drugs. It becomes really a problem
in the life of the youth. They are unhappy at their home, become weak in their studies, a lot of
tension and anxiety is created in their mind.

STRATEGIES FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

Educational attainment

Education is milestone of youth empowerment as only the educated youth can play a very
dominant role in the economic development of our country as well as in becoming informed
citizens, parents, and family members. The growth of youths education in rural areas is very slow
implying that still large women folk of our country are illiterate, the weak, backward and exploited.
Therefore Educating the women is the most powerful tool of change of position in society
bringing reduction in inequalities and functions as a means of improving their status within the
family. Our nation today is faced with challenges of increasing educated unemployment;
weakening of student motivation; increasing unrest and indiscipline on the campuses; frequent
collapse of administration and deterioration of standards. Literacy and educational levels are
increasing for Indian youth still there is negligible level of formal vocational training among young
people in India as about 89 per cent of young people do not have any kind of vocational training
and among the rest about half have received it through hereditary practices. Education implies not
only gaining knowledge but also transforming that knowledge into application through vocational
training and skill development.

Youth empowerment through information technology

Information and Communication Technology are an important aspect of youth culture offering
solutions to the increasing youth participation in our nation thus promoting the social and
economic development of India by empowering enthusiastic and energetic youths. It is comprised
of computers, networks, satellite communications, robotics, cable television, electronic mail (e-
mail), electronic games, and automated office equipment. The use of computers and the Internet
can aid youth by supporting communication and access to information, building awareness among
the youths, encourage decision making and dialogue between groups and support disadvantaged
people thereby building social capital and capacity building. Status barriers can be reduced, and
online communication with disenfranchised groups, such as women, people of colour, and those
with disabilities, can be promoted as well.

Social empowerment of youth

Proper nutrition, in the form of a balanced diet rich in nutrients, including iron, is the key to the
health of youth. Not only are malnourished youth unlikely to contribute to their full potential to
the economic growth of the nation, but their malnourishment can also threaten the health of the
next generation. The nutritional status of youth is a matter of prime concern as adolescent
females face high rates of iron-deficiency anaemia. Another issue of grave concern among youth
is substance abuse. Drug use, smoking and irresponsible alcohol consumption are common
problems associated with youth. Substance abuse has many negative effects on the health of
youth as well as on their educational attainment and productivity -Third National Family Health
Survey (NFHS-3).Poor health is often caused by lack of information and lack of health services
for the youth and problems resulting from them are sexually transmitted diseases including
infection with HIV, early pregnancies, lack of hygiene and sanitation, mental diseases, drug
abuse, unwanted risk-taking and destructive activities. The current generation of young people is
especially vulnerable to contracting and transmitting of AIDs due to lack of information, peer
pressure, inability to calculate risk. With IT, the youths are empowered to make informed
choices, have greater potential and opportunity to reduce the number of new infections.

Employment

Youth unemployment is the lack of job opportunities for people typically in the age group of 15-
24 often caused by a mismatch between Education and the requisite skills, high population rate
and low level of economic growth, low literacy rate and lack of awareness about new job
policies, rigid labour laws, technological changes and global crisis. Unemployment and
underemployment among youth has worsened in recent years because of the global recession
which has affected developing countries most recently. Unemployment creates a wide range of
social ills and young people are particularly susceptible to its damaging effects chiefly lack of
skills, low self-esteem, As quoted in UN World Youth Report, 2003 (Youth Employment
Network), the National youth policies relating to employment should address the following5:

Employability: investing in education and vocational training of young people and


elaborating strategies to enhance the impact of these investments.
Equal opportunities: giving young women the same opportunities as young men.
Entrepreneurship: making it easier to start and run enterprises in order to provide more
and better jobs for young people.
Employment creation: instead of focusing on the supply side of the labour market,
governments should increasingly put job creation at the centre of their macroeconomic
policy.

Political empowerment

It refers to the equitable representation of youth in decision-making structures, both formal and
informal, and their voice in the formulation of policies affecting the nation. Youths participation
in mainstream political activity has important implications for the broader arena of governance in
any country. An empowered youth stands to empower the masses. Any youth who was empowered
in his time of hardship will lead his people through the right path. Youths who were empowered
on leadership skill will do well in leadership positions and provides first class rule to his nation
because he has been trained on how to lead people. He applies what he learnt and makes his
governance acceptable to the citizens. The embezzlement of public funds by top governing officers
no longer takes place when youth are empowered on leadership skills. The availability of Right to
Information is a powerful tool in the hands of revolutionary young people.
Conclusion

Youth and the youth ministry is a much discussed theme today. Youth of today are the hope of the
society as a whole. With all their capabilities the youth have got several
psychological problems which are natural since they are social beings and therefore essentially re
lational beings. The society as a whole has got an obligation to help the youth in their psychologi
calneeds. Youth are to be well educated in psychological disciplines and the parents also should
beware of the stages that a child passes through. Proper guidance and training shall be given forth
youth from the part of parents and teachers in their journey of development to youth hood. Freedom
of the youth should be respected by the parents and teachers. A proper religious background and a
deep sense of the sacred will also guide youth to mature personality

References:

1. Dhirubhai Ambani speech on youth, Hindu daily ,2011


2. National Skill Development Agency Action Plan , October, 2014, New Delhi, pp8-12
3. Statistical Abstract of India, Ministry of Statistics, 2014 pp32-35
4. United Nations ( UN ), World Development Report , 2013 , pp42-44
5. United Nations ( UN ), World Youth Report ,2013 , pp 12-18