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Lecturrete topic 459 - Youth empowerment is necessary for any country’s development. According to you what should India focus on, for Youth empowerment?



Youth empowerment is a crucial driver for the socio-economic growth of any nation. With a burgeoning young population, India stands at the precipice of transformative potential. Empowering youth involves providing them with the education, skills, and opportunities necessary to contribute effectively to society. This article delves into why youth empowerment is indispensable for India's development and outlines the strategic areas India should focus on to harness the energy and innovation of its young populace.

The Demographic Dividend

India is home to one of the world's largest youth populations. According to the United Nations, around 356 million young people aged 10-24 reside in India. This demographic dividend presents a unique opportunity for accelerated economic growth and social progress. However, to capitalize on this advantage, India must invest in youth empowerment, which entails creating an enabling environment where young individuals can thrive, innovate, and lead.

Education: The Foundation of Empowerment

Education is the bedrock of youth empowerment. A robust educational framework not only equips youth with essential knowledge but also fosters critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

Quality of Education

Despite significant strides in increasing school enrollment rates, the quality of education in India remains a pressing concern. According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2020, only 73% of children in grade 5 can read a grade 2 level text. Bridging this gap requires a multifaceted approach:

  • Curriculum Reforms: Revamping the curriculum to include practical knowledge, critical thinking, and digital literacy.
  • Teacher Training: Enhancing teacher training programs to ensure educators are well-equipped to impart contemporary skills and knowledge.
  • Technology Integration: Leveraging technology to improve access to quality education, especially in rural and underserved areas.

Higher Education and Vocational Training

The transition from basic education to higher education and vocational training is crucial for youth empowerment. India's Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education was 27.1% in 2019-20, significantly lower than the global average. Addressing this gap involves:

  • Expanding Access: Increasing the number of higher education institutions and improving their quality.
  • Promoting Vocational Training: Developing vocational training programs aligned with industry needs to ensure students are job-ready upon graduation.

Skill Development: Bridging the Employment Gap

Skill development is another vital component of youth empowerment. As the job market evolves with technological advancements, there is a growing mismatch between the skills possessed by job seekers and those demanded by employers.

Skill Development Initiatives

The Government of India has launched several initiatives aimed at skill development, including the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). However, there is a need to:

  • Align Training with Market Needs: Ensure that training programs are closely aligned with the demands of the job market.
  • Focus on Soft Skills: Incorporate training in soft skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork, which are essential for career success.
  • Promote Entrepreneurship: Encourage entrepreneurial skills and mindset among youth to foster innovation and job creation.

Employment: Creating Opportunities for Youth

Employment is the ultimate goal of education and skill development. However, India faces significant challenges in this regard. The youth unemployment rate stood at 23.75% in 2020, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Job Creation Strategies

To address this, India must focus on:

  • Boosting Industries: Promoting growth in key industries such as technology, manufacturing, and services to create more job opportunities.
  • Supporting Startups: Providing support and incentives for startups and small businesses, which are significant drivers of job creation.
  • Strengthening Public-Private Partnerships: Encouraging collaborations between the government, private sector, and educational institutions to create a cohesive ecosystem for job creation.

Health and Well-being: Ensuring a Healthy Youth Population

Health is a critical aspect of youth empowerment. A healthy youth population is more productive and capable of contributing to national development.

Addressing Health Challenges

India faces several health challenges, including malnutrition, mental health issues, and substance abuse among youth. Addressing these involves:

  • Enhancing Healthcare Access: Improving access to healthcare services, especially in rural and underserved areas.
  • Mental Health Support: Developing robust mental health support systems in schools, colleges, and communities.
  • Promoting Healthy Lifestyles: Encouraging healthy lifestyles through awareness programs and initiatives promoting physical activity and balanced nutrition.

Civic Engagement: Empowering Youth as Leaders

Civic engagement is a vital component of youth empowerment. Encouraging young people to participate in the democratic process and community development fosters a sense of responsibility and leadership.

Promoting Civic Participation

To enhance civic engagement, India should focus on:

  • Youth Parliaments: Establishing youth parliaments and forums where young people can voice their opinions and influence policy decisions.
  • Community Service Programs: Encouraging youth participation in community service programs to develop a sense of social responsibility and leadership.
  • Political Inclusion: Promoting the inclusion of youth in political processes and decision-making bodies.

Gender Equality: Empowering Young Women

Gender equality is fundamental to youth empowerment. Ensuring that young women have equal opportunities to education, employment, and civic participation is crucial for holistic development.

Addressing Gender Disparities

India must address gender disparities by:

  • Promoting Girls' Education: Ensuring that girls have equal access to quality education and reducing dropout rates.
  • Economic Empowerment: Providing economic opportunities and support for young women entrepreneurs.
  • Preventing Gender-based Violence: Strengthening laws and initiatives aimed at preventing gender-based violence and supporting survivors.


Youth empowerment is not just a policy objective; it is an imperative for India’s sustainable development. By investing in education, skill development, employment, health, civic engagement, and gender equality, India can unlock the full potential of its youth. Empowered youth will drive innovation, economic growth, and social progress, ensuring a prosperous and inclusive future for the nation.

In conclusion, India's focus on youth empowerment must be strategic, inclusive, and sustained. The government, private sector, and civil society must collaborate to create an environment where every young individual has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to the nation's development. The youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow; they are the changemakers of today. By empowering them, India will pave the way for a brighter, more prosperous future.