Making employability a reality from a distant dream

Indian employeesThe question of making the Indian youth employable and taking advantage of the demographic dividend is constantly raised in several quarters.

The question of making the Indian youth employable and taking advantage of the demographic dividend is constantly raised in several quarters. Statistics with many hues are presented from time to time, most of which highlight the magnitude of the

issue and emphasise the complexities involved in finding solutions. Here are some interesting facts on employability presented from divergent perspectives.

According to National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report, as per their studies conducted in 2009-10, there are close to seven crore Indians who are unemployed or underemployed. According to Nasscom, not more than 30% of the engineering graduates are employable. On the other hand, according to NSDC, in the 21 high growth sectors identified, 34.7 crore skilled personnel are required until 2022.

If we were to place all of these facts together, it would appear that the solution should be easy to find—train people with the required skills and they should be ready to be absorbed by the sectors that are looking for them. The solution unfortunately is not that simple as there are multi-layered issues which are interlinked and therefore a multi-pronged approach is required to address the issues.

Firstly, the demand for jobs and supply of talent in each of the states is not balanced, leading to the youth migrating to other states in search of jobs. Higher educational institutions are being set up in different states by license holders, many of whom are not being aware of the exact nature of demand that exists for the students whom they plan to educate. According to the Chairman of AICTE, SS Mantha, the current GNER in higher education stands at 19% out of which 5% are in technical courses. Given the current success rate of secondary education, a minimum of 25 million seats or more will have to be created each year in the university system, for all those desirous of having access to higher education as this has been granted as the fundamental right according to our constitution. And this number will go up in the coming years on account of the thrust on primary education for all, as well as the enhanced focus on minimising school dropouts/ enhancing success rate and targeting higher GNER in higher education. Thus the problem is likely to get more complex in the years to come and therefore requires a careful analysis of the situation at hand.

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