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'Who cares what happens to the youth?'

Last updated on: April 2, 2013 12:10 IST

'Who cares what happens to the youth?'


Chairman of SEAA Trust, Dr Thothathri Raman examines how spiralling population will disturb career graph of youth.

I really like the guts of the Air India pilot who took on his management with his rap song which laid bare what was wrong with the teetering national carrier which is kept flying for the comfort of the bureaucrats and politicians.

The youngster may be in big trouble, but whatever he is saying cannot be refuted.

We are doing something absolutely wrong with our institutions which directly affect the career graph of the aspirant younger generation at a time when India is boasting that it will have 70 per cent of the world's youth population within its confines.

The demographic time bomb is already ticking and no one has a viable plan to tackle the coming youth crisis.

If left unaddressed, the swelling number of unemployed would spill to the street and nobody can do anything about it afterwards.

Here is a classic instance of how we refuse to look at the problem.

A document prepared by the Working Group of the Planning Commission for the 12th Plan says it all. It states that by the end of the 12th plan period (2017), the unemployment rate which is 8.36 per cent at present would drop to 1.12 percent.

Such magical optimism flies in the face of another set of statistics contained in the same document that the population of the country would have increased by 75 million more and additional number of people seeking employment by 40 million in the same period.

Somewhere the math doesn't add up.

After all this is a country whose political bosses insist that with the Rs 600 largess, the unemployed poor can feed a family of five and those earning over Rs 32 a day remain no longer poor!

The Great Indian growth story has already spelt disaster to the majority with runaway prices shrinking the real earnings in the process.

Add to this the decisive shift of the youth to urban centres leaving behind the traditional safe haven of agriculture and rural employment.

Between 2001 and 2011, the number of cities with over one million population grew from 35 to 53.

But without any skill or evidence of higher education, the youth have no hope of landing a job.

This is the ideal condition for the creative urban elite with easy conscience to dream up colleges that would provide degrees at fancy prices to the gullible, never mind whether these universities can legitimately grant degrees.

Laws are lax and who cares what happens to the youth?

If one does care, there should be a serious re-look at laws that relate to education, skill building and job creation.

Compliance to law must be made strict. There should be investment in serious research to find out the effect of demographic shift, urbanisation, the nature of jobs and the matching quality of education to provide the right type of human resource to feed the growing industrial sector.

It is absolutely imperative everyone is on the same page, be it the ruling party at the centre, the vociferous opposition, the bureaucrats, the intellectuals and the educators.

If they don't get the equation right, there would be no rap song but perhaps a rap with hard knuckles by the frustrated youth!

Photographs: Reuters

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