Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting Budget 2020-2021 on Saturday made an important point. She said that people of India have unequivocally given their jan-aadesh in 2019 “for not just political stability” but also “reposed faith in our economic policies”.
While reading out her Budget speech, Sitharaman said that “this Budget is woven around three prominent themes which are ‘Aspirational India’, ‘Economic development for all’ and a ‘Caring Society’. These themes sum up the philosophical core of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) evolved over the years and expressed in terms of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s exhortation of Sabka Saath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas and concept of Antyodaya.
While the concept of Antyodaya, translating into “rise of the last person” has been conceptualised by Deen Dayal Upadhyay and followed by generations of BJP leaders and karyakartas, the narrative of ‘Aspirational India’ bears an imprint of Prime Minister Modi.
In her speech, Sitharaman defined ‘Aspirational India’ as “in which all sections of the society seek better standards of living, with access to health, education and better jobs”. I believe the power that will catapult India in achieving this will be the youth of the nation. And, for this reason, youth has been the focal point of numerous development projects initiated under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and development of youth has also been central to the development narrative in the last six years.
In the current Budget too, development of the youth has been ensured by giving substantial importance to education and training of youth and creating new avenues for utilizing the potential of the young workforce.
As highlighted in the Budget, by 2030 India is set to have the largest working-age population in the world and the fact remains that they not only need literacy but also jobs and life skills. For this a robust education system is required that can train and equip this young workforce to meet the ensuing challenges.
Keeping this in mind it has been decided that the New Education Policy will be announced soon. The Budget clearly states that “It is felt that our education system needs a greater inflow of finance to attract talented teachers, innovate and build better labs. Therefore steps would be taken to enable sourcing External Commercial Borrowings and FDI so as to able to deliver higher quality education”.
One of the criticisms of the Indian education system has been that it doesn’t contribute significantly to employability and the students of the “general stream” has been the worst hit by this. Accepting that students in the general stream (vis-à-vis services or technology stream) need their employability improved, it has been decided that about 150 higher educational institutions will start apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021.
The government also proposes to start a program whereby urban local bodies across the country would provide internship opportunities to fresh engineers for a period of up to one year. And, most importantly to ensure equal access to education and provide quality education to students of deprived sections of the society as well as those who do not have access to higher education, there is a proposal to start a degree level full-fledged online education program. This shall be offered only by institutions that are ranked within the top 100 in the National Institutional Ranking framework.
A National Police University and a National Forensic Science University are being proposed in the domain of policing science, forensic science, cyber-forensics that shall create news avenues of employment for the youth.
In her speech, Sitharaman said, “Entrepreneurship has always been the strength of India. Even today, young men and women have given up greener pastures elsewhere to contribute to India’s growth. They are risk-taking and come up with disruptive solutions to festering challenges. Equally, established old industries are resetting themselves in a changing global and domestic situation. We recognize the knowledge, skills and risk-taking capabilities of our youth. He is no longer the job seeker. He is the creator of jobs”.
She added the (we) “wish to create more opportunities and remove road-blocks from his path”. And to do so the government has proposed to set up an ‘Investment Clearance Cell’ that will provide “end to end” facilitation and support, including pre-investment advisory, information related to land banks and facilitate clearances at Centre and State level which will work through a portal.
Economic Survey 2020 points out that, “general education improves knowledge of the people while skill training enhances their employability and equips them to tackle requirements of the labour market”. In this context, an important achievement has been training of 69.03 lakh youth under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) as of November 2019.
According to the India Skills Report 2018 by UNDP in association with Wheelbox, the employability score is all-time high at 45.60 percent in 2018 as compared to 38.12 percent in 2016. Schemes like PMKVY do not provide short-time support, rather tend to works as an ‘enabler’ helping the young population to be ‘self-reliant’ in the long run. And, most of the youth-oriented schemes that have been launched in the last six years have focused on this aspect and this will lead to the real empowerment of the youth.
Copy-Pasted from https://www.firstpost.com/