Business Standard

Equip youth for nation’s progress


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pointed out that the country’s prosperity depends on adequately equipping and empowering youth. Of the four pillars that the government has identified, ‘Yuva’ (youth) is an important focus area. The other three focus areas include ‘Garib’ (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), and ‘Annadata’ (Farmer).

“Their needs, their aspiration­s, and their welfare are our highest priority. The country progresses when they progress,” she said.

When it comes to youth, skilling has been a major focus area. The Skill India Mission has trained 14 million youth, upskilled and reskilled 5.4 million youth, and establishe­d 3,000 new centres, shared the finance minister.

A large number of new institutio­ns of higher learning, namely seven IITS, 16 IIITS, seven IIMS, 15 AIIMS, and 390 universiti­es have been set up.

“The Skill India Mission has helped in building a highly skilled workforce, and the ~1 trillion corpus with interest-free loans for tech-savvy youth will be a true game changer. This will fuel innovation and entreprene­urship, fostering the next generation of tech leaders,” said Debashis Chatterjee, managing director and chief executive officer, Ltimindtre­e.

Other than giving them skills to get employed, Sitharaman also added that today’s youth are also ‘rozgardata’.

“Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana has sanctioned 430 million loans aggregatin­g to ~22.5 trillion for the entreprene­urial aspiration­s of our youth. Besides that, fund of funds, Startup India, and Startup Credit Guarantee schemes are assisting our youth,” she added.

“It is extremely important that with this growth and demand for the workforce, there is the availabili­ty of the right talent with skills specific to new entrants. Hence, upskilling/reskilling becomes a key play.

Given that AI is changing the landscape of jobs, this becomes even more pronounced. Embracing learning-linked apprentice­ship programmes to skill and bill will be a key strategy to develop these skills and get future-ready talent. It is important companies start investing here on a war footing in line with the government schemes,” said A R Ramesh, chief executive officer of Teamlease Degree Apprentice­ship.

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