Demographic Dividend and Rural Youth

Why the government should focus on empowering the youth?

1.        India has a favorable demographic dividend as it has more than 65% of population below the age of 35 years.

2.        The favorable demographic dividend has unlocked ample opportunities for India to channelize the energy of youth in the right direction.

3.        Government of India is implementing various schemes for empowerment of youth, particularly the rural youth.

4.        Various schemes of the government for rural youth aim at empowerment of villages which is essential for all-round development of the nation. Examples – Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G), MGNREGA, Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP), Make in India, Start-Up India, Stand Up India, etc.

5.        Improvement in funds of Gram Panchayats has improved infrastructure in rural areas. Examples- setting up of small manufacturing units, food processing centers, and small scale business units.

How the government measures are helping the process of development?

1.         Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G): 

a) It has motivated the rural youth to live in villages by providing housing facilities like urban areas.

b) They can now contribute to local development instead of migrating cities to seek employment.

c) Large scale construction activities have opened enormous employment opportunities for youth in rural areas.

2.        Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNERGA):

a) It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas.

b) Under the scheme, non-agricultural activities are being promoted in rural areas.

C) This provides alternate employment opportunities and increases the income of the engaged youths.

3.        Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME):

a) They have the potential of providing employment to a large number of youths every year.

b) Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme promotes setting up of such enterprises by giving them several incentives.

4.        Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP): 

a) It is a sub-component of National Rural Livelihood Mission, of the Ministry of Rural Development.

b) It aims at helping the rural poor, including artisans and weavers, to set up enterprises at the village level generating employment opportunities for them.

5.        Village Adoption Programme: 

a) This programme under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries promotes entrepreneurship in food processing and agri-business in rural areas.

6.        Samagra Siksha: 

a) In education sector, it aims at enhancing learning outcomes at school level by using technology to empower teachers and students both.

7.        Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA):

a) It has been launched to impart digital literacy among the rural youth.

b) It empowers the citizens in rural areas by training them to operate a computer or digital access devices, browse internet, etc.    

8.        PM MUDRA Yojana:

a) It provides loans up to Rs 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, etc.

b) By using these loans, the youth of rural India have set up their own enterprises and also provided employment to many others.

What is the way forward?

1.        There is a need to empower rural youth for financial empowerment of the nation and improve the quality of living.

2.        Empowerment of rural youth requires village development.

3.        The government is empowering Gram Panchayats financially for the development of villages. This has to be furthered to produce greater output.