UPSC Exam Preparation: Gist of Yojana June

UPSC Exam Preparation: Gist of Yojana June

 

Indian Youth: Emerging Power

Definition of Youth
The term ‘Youth’ has been defined by UNESCO- is “best understood as a period of transition from the dependence on childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of our independence as members of a community. Youth is a more fluid category than a fixed age group.”

Importance of Youth

  • As per the annual report of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (Department of Youth Affairs), 2016-17, the youth make up to be the most enthusiastic segment for any institution for governance.
  • From the LGBTQ movement to the ‘equal right for women’ and from environmental concerns to human rights- the youth have been at the centre of activities encompassing multifarious arenas in public life and often act as a workable pressure group.
  • The youth have an innate ability to adapt to the ever-changing societal dynamics and thus, should be at the core of economic/socially meaningful actions.
  • The youth can act as a bridge between two generations. The youth are basically the catalyst of new social thinking, economic development and political activity.
  • The Youth can act as agents spurring societal change. For example, the young today are no longer so rigid in matters of inter-dining and inter-community marriage.

National Youth Policy 2014

“The National Youth Policy 2014 proposes a holistic vision for the youth of India, which is to empower youth of the country to achieve their full potential and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations”.

Objectives and Priority areas of the policy

  • Creating a productive workforce that can make a sustainable contribution to India’s economic development.

The priority areas for this are:

  • Education
  • Entreprenuership
  • Employment and skill development
  • Develop a strong, healthy generation equipped to take on future generations. To be operated through:
  • Health- healthy lifestyle
  • Sports
  • Instil social values and promote community service to build rational ownership- operative tools are
  • Promotion of social values
  • Community Engagements
  • Facilitate participation and civic engagements at all centres of governance to be operated through
  • Participation in politics and governance
  • Youth engagement
  • Support youth at risk and create equitable opportunities for all disadvantaged and marginalized youth. The priority areas being inclusion and Social Justice.

A look at current Government Initiatives

  • The Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan has been mandated for developing and engaging youth in nation building activities.
  • The National Service Scheme (NSS) develops the morale and humanistic personality through voluntary social service.
  • There also exists the ‘National Programmes for Youth and Adolescent Development’. It is also accompanied by National youth festivals and awards to facilitate and encourage the young.
  • Skill up gradation Traning program (SUTP): It aims to develop vocational training skill with the help of trained masters to help generate extra income and boost self-confidence. This programme also aims to recognize the local need and thus imparts vocational training.
  • Promotion of Folk Art, Culture and Yuva Kriti: With the ‘Generation X’ obsessed about the west- this programme comes as the much needed task master to provide opportunity to the rural youth to showcase and promote their culture and talent.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Yuva Swachta Abhiyaan and Shramdaan Karyakram: to alert and engage the youth in contributing to the cleanliness drive and water conservation.
  • Life Skill Training for adolescents (Empowerment for Adolescents):
    This is an important and major initiative for it highlights the psychological derailment of the youth, and training youth in a manner that enables them to cope with pressure and make healthy life choices. This scheme also aims to sensitize and make aware the adolescent about reproductive sexual health, the issues and concerns.
  • Tribal Youth Exchange Programme (TYEP): The aim is to pick up potential youth from the left wing extremism affected tribal belt and tour them to other parts of the nation. It enables them to develop and nationalize their mind set without the influence of a dominant local ideology. TYEP also provides an opportunity where learning by experience may be put into practice in respective tribal home towns whose youth have seen the magic of development; infrastructural growth and skill development.
  • North-East Youth Exchange Programme: Under the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan in an joint effort with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs, aims at a collaboration of North Eastern Youth with the youth of Maharashtra to develop an understanding of socio-economic development and ethos of culturally diverse lifestyles.

Challenges that the Youth Face

  • The young today have sadly been subjected to the ill-effects of fast growing urban sutures and are drawn to crimes even to maintain a living. A major reason for this negative outlook is the disparity between availability and accessibility.
  • While there are programmes and initiatives undertaken by the Government- the method or means to avail of them has not been easy.
  • In fact, the dominant hurdles in accessing these facilities are the ‘financial constraints’ or the ‘social structure’.
  • Academia has not been fully sensitive and welcoming to the ‘on growing crisis of youth identity’.

The Way Forward

  • There is an urgent need to recognize, accept and appreciate the working of a young mind. This recognition has to be substantially different from the strict and rigid mind-set of expectations from the youth.
  • The youth’s capable potential can be put to plural benefits with a mere inclusion of the inter-disciplinary approach in imparting education.
  • The Government through its various means has tried its best to bring out the potential and capability of each individual youth, that not only helps in personality development but foster an emerging national global dominant voice.
  • The transforming youth shall be the torch bearers of a much sensitized, conscious and harmonious world.

 

Job Creation: Challenges and Way Forward

Important Observations

  • India has the world’s largest youth population comprising of around one-fifth of the total world youth population.
  • Indian youth can contribute to higher economic growth if properly absorbed in the labour market.
  • More than half (60.3 per cent) of India’s population falls within the ‘working’ age category of 15-59 years and about a quarter (27.5 per cent) in the ‘youth’ category of 15-29 years. This data is according to the Census of India, 2011.
  • India adds 10 million young people to the labour market every year.
  • As a result, the country is experiencing a youth bulge which is more pronounced in the northern and eastern backward states of the country.

Some Important Terminologies

  • Worker Participation Rate: Worker Participation Rate (WPR) denotes the proportion of workers/employed persons to total population.
  • Unemployment Rate: Unemployment Rate is the proportion of persons who were available for work but did not get work and are still seeking work.

Challenges and Concerns

  • The number of jobs created each year is inadequate to absorb this growing population of youth in the labour market.
  • Unemployment is higher in urban than in rural areas and for females compared to males.
  • The unemployment rate among young females in urban areas is alarmingly high at 28 per cent.
  • Unemployment among educated youth is becoming increasingly more acute as the level of unemployment among youth rises with increase in the level of education.
  • More than one-third of educated females aged 18-29 years, having completed certificate course or diploma degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels are unemployed.
  • Unfortunately, it is observed that the Indian labour market is not only creating inadequate jobs, but that discrimination prevails against females in recruitment and hiring practices in the labour market.

Government Initiatives

  • The Indian Government has introduced a number of employment generation schemes to address this problem. These include:
  • Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)
  • Swaranajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)
  • Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)
  • ‘Make in India’
  • ‘Skill India’
  • Startup India and Stand-up India: a) The Government had initiated ‘The Start-up India’ and ‘Stand-up India’ in January 2016 to encourage entrepreneurship by providing assistance such as tax benefits and a mega start-up fund of Rs. 10,000 crores. b) The ‘Stand-up India’ scheme was launched in January, 2016 and it was aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among marginalized groups such as scheduled castes (SCs), scheduled tribes (STs), and women.
  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY): This scheme provides access to institutional finance to micro/small business units. Under the PMMY, three kinds of loans can be sanctioned. These loans signify the stage of growth/development and funding needs of the unit. They are
    1. Shishu (Rs 50,000)
    2. Kishor (Rs 50,000 to Rs 5,00,000)
    3. Tarun (Rs 5,00,000 to Rs 10,00,000)
      Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP): In order to promote entrepreneurship in rural areas, the government is planning to launch the “Start-up Village Entreprenuership Programme” (SVEP). The objective of the SVEP is to energize and streamline economic growth by providing necessary thrust from the grass roots, i.e. villages, towards creation of sustainable self-employment opportunities. SVEP is expected to support creation and strengthening of about 1.82 lakh village enterprises in 125 blocks across 24 States in four years i.e. 2015-19. This initiative is expected to create employment for about 3.78 lakh persons.

Concluding Remarks

  • India is going through a phase of demographic transition due to which the proportion of youth in the total population is increasing. An increasing number of youth require good education and a steady creation of suitable jobs. It is unfortunate that while on the one hand India has one of the lowest participation rate for women in the world, on the other, the unemployment rates among the young women who are joining the labour force are extremely high.
  • Employment creation needs to be part of macro and other economic policies.
  • Indian economy has not created enough jobs and to accelerate the process of job creation, different ministries need to include job creation in all their programmes and policies.
  • Also, a large part of central and eastern India has not been able to experience growth and employment creation as in western and southern India. Such regional inequality needs to be corrected.
  • There is need for sustainable policies and programmes so that more and more women get employment.

 

Making a Nation of Job Creators

Background

India needs 10 million jobs a year and global data shows that it is start-ups, not large enterprises that create net new jobs in any country. Start-ups are also the centers of innovation and are a great way to enhance employment creation in the economy. 

What is a Start-up?

  • A start-up is a young company that is just beginning to develop. Start-ups are usually small and initially financed and operated by a handful of founders or one individual. These companies offer a product or service that is not currently being offered elsewhere in the market, or that the founders believe is being offered in an inferior manner.

Business Cycle of Start-ups

  1. In the early stages, start-up companies’ expenses tend to exceed their revenues as they work on developing, testing and marketing their idea. As such, they often require financing.
  2. Startups may be funded by traditional small business loans from banks or credit unions, by government sponsored small business administration loans from local banks, or by grants from non-profit organizations and state governments.

Types of Startups

Start-ups are essentially of two kinds.

  1. One that starts something ground up, something that no one has thought about and is often ground breaking. This type of start-up is difficult to create but once created, often sees unprecedented growth.
  2. The second kind of start-ups are primarily the ones who do not want to reinvent the wheel. They are akin to adding old wine in a new bottle to create something new and innovative.

Challenges that start-ups face

  • There is no formal mechanism to mentor start-ups in the country. Unfortunately, every mentoring that happens is on an ad-hoc basis. Honest, unbiased, good business mentors are far and few in between.
  • There are challenges of funding, patents and creation of intellectual property.
  • There is a long process of registration of patents and lack of incentives for research and development. In fact, this is one of the reasons why many start-ups prefer to be domiciled abroad.

Government Financing Initiatives

  • Pradhan Mantri Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Limited (MUDRA):
    This scheme started with an initial corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore to extend benefits to around 10 lakhs SMEs. One can submit a business plan and once approved, the loan gets sanctioned.  One gets a MUDRA Card, which is like a credit card that can be used to purchase raw materials, other expenses, etc.
  • Bootstrapping or self funding: Self-funding, also known as bootstrapping, is an effective way of start-up financing, especially when you are just starting your business.
  • Crowd Funding: Crowd funding is like taking a loan, pre-order, contribution or investments from more than one person at the same time. In this, a start-up will put up a detailed description of his/her business on a crowd funding platform. He/she will mention the goals of his/her business, plans for making a profit, how much funding he needs and for what reasons, etc. and then consumers can read about the business and give money if they like the idea.
  • Angel Investment: Angel investors are individuals with surplus cash and a keen interest to invest in upcoming start-ups. They also work in groups of networks to collectively screen the proposals before investing. Angel investors can also offer mentoring or advice alongside capital.
  • Venture Capital (VC): Venture capitals are professionally managed funds who invest in companies that have huge potential. They usually invest in a business against equity and exit when there is an IPO or an acquisition. VCs provide expertise, mentorship and act as a litmus test of where the organisation is going, evaluating the business from the sustainability and scalability point of view.
  • Business Incubators & Accelerators: Early stage businesses can consider Incubator and Accelerator programs as a funding option. Incubators are like a parent to a child, who nurture the business providing shelter tools and training and network to a business. Accelerators are almost or less the same thing, but an incubator helps/assists/nurtures a business to walk, while accelerator helps to run/take a giant leap.
  • Microfinance Providers or NBFCs: Microfinance is basically access of financial services to those who would not have access to conventional banking services. NBFCs or Non-Banking Financial Corporations are corporations that provide Banking services without meeting legal requirement/definition of a bank.

Government Initiatives

Start-Up Action Plan has a 19-point agenda including incentives such as self-certification for complying with labour and environment regulations, a panel of facilitators to help file patent and intellectual property applications, tax exemptions for seed funding, capital gains and three year holiday on income tax as well as a Rs. 10,000 crore financing support through a fund of funds for four years.  

Start-up India’s 19-Point Action Plan

  1. Self-certification Compliance
  2. Single Point of Contact via Start-up India Hub
  3. Simplifying Processes with Mobile App and Portal (for registration, filing compliances and obtaining information)
  4. Legal Support, Fast Tracking and 80 per cent reduction in patent registration fee
  5. Relaxed Norms of Public Procurement
  6. Easier & Faster Exit
  7. Funding Support via a Fund of Funds corpus of INR 10,000 crore
  8. Credit Guarantee Funding
  9. Tax Exemption on Capital Gains
  10. 3- Year Income Tax Exemption
  11. Tax Exemption on Investments above Fair Market Value (FMV)
  12. Annual Start-up Fests (national and international)
  13. Launch of World-class Innovation Hubs under Atal Innovation Mission
  14. Set up of countrywide Incubator Network
  15. Innovation centres to augment Incubation and R&D
  16. Research Parks to propel innovation
  17. Promote Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  18. Innovation Focussed Programs for Students
  19. Annual Incubator Grand Challenge

Concluding Remarks

  • It can be concluded that Start-up companies are the most dynamic economic organizations on the market, since they vide additional dynamics and competitiveness to any economic system. They act as a catalytic agent for change, which results in chain reaction. Once an enterprise is established, the process of industrialization is set in motion.
  • All these activities foster entrepreneurship and create demand for various types of units and will in turn, lead to overall development of an area due to increase in demand and setting up of more and more units.
  • Indigenous start-ups will not only make the lives of the people easier through their affordable and convenient services but will also act as a major booster for the development and the progress of the Indian economy.  

 

Flag Bearers of Indian Culture

Background

Since time immemorial, Indian youths have played the role of flag bearers of Indian wisdom, civilization and culture across the world. Swami Vivekananda is believed to be the first “Pravasi Bhartiya” of India who endowed the world with something that could be cherished throughout the human civilization. The tradition of spreading Indian ideas and values across the globe dates back to 2nd century BC when the young son and daughter of Mauryan emperor Ashoka went to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and established Buddhism in South Asia.

The legacies of such spirited youths are still being carried ahead by millions of young talented Indians who have today, made their presence felt in almost each and every corner of the globe.

Indian Diaspora: A Youth Brigade

  • The United Nations international migration report 2015 observes that the median age of all international migrants is just 39 years.
  • India has a strong 25 million diaspora spread throughout the world.
  • According to a survey conducted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in 2015, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world.
  • The United States of America alone has approximately 3.2 million Indians holding various kinds of visas and citizenships.

Phases of Indian Emigration

First Phase

  • Since India’s relations with the outside world in the colonial era were largely shaped by the British interests, Indian diaspora has a substantial presence in such countries of the world which were colonized by the Imperial British government.
  • Thus, sizeable presence of Indian diaspora in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, West Indies, and East African countries is not surprising.
  • London became one of the nerve centers of Indian youth. Madam Kama later settled in Paris where she broadened the ambit of Indian presence. Similarly, a bunch of young revolutionaries founded the Ghadr movement in the United States of America and Canada, thus developing these countries also as prominent centers of contact and regular exchange.

Second Phase

  • However, the most remarkable phase of Indian emigration started after the era of decolonization.
  • Opening of quality institutes of higher education like IITs in India gave an impetus to the young talented technical graduates to grab opportunities in developed countries of West Europe and North America.
  • Some of them permanently settled in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Third Phase

  • The later phase of liberalization in India saw the generation of huge off shore opportunity for young talented Indians.
  • Rising production and labour cost in developed countries persuaded them to search for cheap alternatives and both Indian land and labour in handy for their needs.
  • Giant American technical companies hired cheap but equally talented Indian technocrats at half the price of American technocrats.
  • It benefitted the American companies by reducing their costs and increasing the profit.
  • On the other hand, it provided respectful employment to the jobless young Indian technical graduates. It was thus a win-win situation for both the countries.

Silicon Valley: A Tale of Successful Indian Entrepreneurs

In 1960, there were only 12,000 Indian immigrants in the United States of America, most of them either unskilled workers or low skilled uneducated farmers.  However, positive changes in the US immigration act 1990, induced large influx of highly skilled, young educated Indians into the USA.

From 1980-2013, the population of skilled Indians increased from 206,000 to 2.04 million, roughly doubling every decade.

Today, Indian citzens are the top recipients of temporary high-skilled worker H1-B visas, accounting for 70 per cent of the 316,000 H1-B petitions approved by US citizenship and Immigration services in the fiscal year 2014.

Silicon Valley in the United States of America, which is the largest global hub of software technologies and start-ups has over  the years acquired an Indian face. Some of the giant software companies located in Silicon Valley like Google, Microsoft, AMD, Adobe, etc. have Indian CEO’s. Other big companies and startup firms like Facebook, Motorolla, Reckitt Benckiser, Master Card etc. have Indian managers handling key global business affairs.

Diaspora Ties with the United Kingdom  

  • The UK has around 2 million British-Indian citizens who immigrated and settled in Britain in different phases.
  • Majority of this population is young and dynamic and third generation immigrants, who are entreprenuers, businessmen, technocrats, managers and doctors of the highest repute.
  • Young Indians have so well assimilated with the British politico-social culture that they contest elections and participate actively in the entire political process of the country. A record number of 10 Indian origin candidates won parliamentary elections in the UK in 2015, most of them young.

Diaspora Ties with the Gulf Countries and Malaysia

  • There are broadly two kinds of contemporary diasporic flows from India.
    The first type consists of highly skilled professionals, workers and students engaged in white collar jobs, who usually emigrate to countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The other major class of emigrants is that of semi-skilled and unskilled workers who have shown massive emigrating tendencies to the Gulf Countries and Malaysia.
  • Kerala has the highest number of residents serving in the Gulf countries. Young Kerala girls have successfully taken up the jobs of nurses and midwives in super speciality hospitals in Gulf countries.
  • The large Indian expatriate class in these countries has popularized Indian culture and Bollywood films in Gulf countries.

Critical Observations

  • India receives approximately, $ 70 billion as remittances from its expatriate community living in various parts of the world. This is the highest amount received by any country.
  • India has benefitted both culturally and economically from its expatriate community.
  • However, the departure abroad of a large number of well-trained Indians naturally has led to concerns about “Brain Drain” in India. In 2010, India ranked first in sending around 60,000 young trained doctors to other countries. India also supplies the most trained foreign doctors to English speaking Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Such massive emigration of health professionals has had a negative impact on India, especially in rural areas where the dearth of doctors is already so high.

Government Initiatives

  1. Pravasi Bhartiya Divas: This is an annual meeting to celebrate the achievements of Indian Diaspora and felicitating them for their efforts for establishing links between India and their countries of residence.
  2. Merger of PIO and OCI Cards: The merger of both these cards has been done with the intention to facilitate hassle free entry of persons of Indian origin into India and ensure their long-term residency without having the necessity to visit police station every now and then.
  3. Youth Pravasi Bhartiya Divas: Recognizing the importance of young Indian Diaspora and the need to connect them to the growth story of India, the government inaugurated this scheme to connect with the youth, the new generation of pravasis growing up all over the world.
  4. Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra: The Indian Diaspora living in over 150 countries can now visit and stay at a new home in New Delhi known as Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra. They can search their roots, obtain investment advice, book domestic travel, attend events in a huge auditorium and hold business meetings.
  5. Vajra-Visiting Adjunct Joint Research Faculty: This scheme is envisioned to contribute to the nation’s growth in science and technology.
  6. Know India Programme (KIP): The objective of this program is to help familiarize the Indian Diaspora youth, in the age group of 18-26 years with the Indian land and their ancestors and share their views, expectations and experiences and to bond closely with contemporary India.

Concluding Remarks

Young India diaspora is of immense significance to India. Of late, conservative governments in countries like the USA, UK, and Australia have announced to curtail the work visas to highly skilled Indians. Saudi Arabia also introduced Nitaqat scheme, which protects its domestic work spaces from outsiders. In other countries like Yemen, Sudan, Kenya or Iraq, Indians very often get stranded in war like situations. Though the Indian government has shown exceptional professionalism and ability in evacuating its stranded citizens, still it needs to frame a dedicated evacuation policy to protect its young working population from any extremities.

Young population is an asset domestically, as well as internationally, so, to train them according to the specific needs of the countries more dedicated schemes like Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana needs to be floated.  

 

Distance and Online Entrepreneurship Education in India

Definition of Distance Learning

According to the All India Council for Technical Education, “Distance Learning is a field of education that focuses on the pedagogy, technology and instructional systems design that aims to deliver education to students who are not physically on site”.

Scope of Distance Learning
Serving diverse sections of the population, most of whom do not have access to formal education, the Open and Distance Learning system (ODL) in India has emerged as a convenient, flexible and viable alternative.

Growth of Distance and Online Education in India

  1. Open and Distance Learning as it is addressed today aims to universalize education by leveraging the potential of available educational technology with Information and Communication Technology. 
  2. Virtual and Online education refers to courses conducted using internet platforms and tools. These virtual learning environments have the potential to reach the masses and provide them with access to quality contents, pedagogy and learning support to wider sections of the public and therefore considered a significant part of Open and Distance Learning. 

Challenges facing Entreprenuership Education in India

According to Adult Population Survey (APS), 58 per cent of Indian adults consider entrepreneurship as a desirable career choice.

Only 6.6 per cent are involved in some kind of entrepreneurial activities.

Further, a factor driven economy like India faces the risk of discontinuance in business due to reasons such as risk of failure, lack of financial access etc.

Perceived capabilities and opportunities are low among the youth population especially women (slightly more than 40 per cent).

Initiatives taken to spur Entrepreneurship

Distance and Online education has been growing with the help of public and private entities.
Currently there are 5 programmes:

  1. EDII (Entreprenuership Development Insititute of India, Ahmedabad): Open and Distance Learning Programme in Entreprenuership (OLPE_
  2. Symbiosis University, Pune: Certificate Program in Entreprenuership Development (CPED)
  3. IGNOU: Certificate in Entreprenuership (CIE)
  4. Welingkar Institute, Mumbai: Diploma in Entreprenuership Management (DEM)
  5. West Bengal National University of Juridicial Sciences (Kolkata): Diploma in Entreprenuership Administration and Business Laws

Challenges Distance Education Faces
Seeing the scope of entrepreneurship education in the country, the distance learning mode of education is yet to achieve recognition. Institutions offering distance learning entrprenuership programmes need to build the rigor in terms of curriculum and structure to deliver a result oriented programme.

  1. Commercialization vs. Quality Education: It is observed that some of the universities, both private and public, have taken distance education as a means for earning money, which is very unfortunate.
  2. Distance education courses have been started for commercial reasons without caring for proper standards, both in providing print material as well as other facilities vis-à-vis TV, radio, etc. Some of these institutions do not have trained teachers/staff to look after the online programmes, their curriculum and the course material.
  3. Distance education in entrepreneurship gets little response in India. The universities/institutions running distance education in entrepreneurship need to ensure quality in higher distance education.

The following are some of the needs and opportunities for quality distance entrepreneurship education in India (National Institute of Business Studies, 2014):

Population: Formal educational models cannot stand up to the expectations of the rising middle class aspirations. An innovative and wide-reaching educational arena such as MOOCs is essential to educate the population. Transformation of unskilled and semi-skilled labour to skilled labour; and shift from informal sector to organized sectors of dignified employment are possible only through cost-effective entrepreneurship education. 

Flexibility: Though governed by its own norms, ODL accommodates the learners and provides them with flexibility to learn and grow amongst the community of learners.    

Educating the Youth: With 28 per cent of its population being young, India cannot afford to ignore its unemployment issues. There is a wide felt need amongst the current generation of youngsters, especially women to educate and train themselves for better employment opportunities.  

Rising Need for Trained Personnel: Indian industries suffer from staffing issues. Unfortunately, a large portion of our graduates are unemployable and lack basic skills. Open and Distance Education in Entreprenuership could groom these individuals into innovative and successful entrepreneurs.

Spatial and Temporal Limitations:

  • Not every student can afford to enrol in a regular course from a formal university. This could be to a number of reasons- for example: affordability of time, money; sometimes time and space availability between students and teachers can be asynchronous.
  • Open and Distance Learning Models in entrepreneurship training can break these barriers.
  • Working individuals can learn and finish their course through ODL without affecting their jobs as these courses are self-paced and provide enough freedom to cope with.  

Improved Qualification and Scope for Promotion
Distance Education Platforms especially for courses like Entreprenuership and Management provides for additional skills and knowledge to the existing working population. This way, not only does it supplement their career with additional qualifications but enhances their productivity and increases their chance for promotion in their existing occupation.

Education after Retirement
An important highlight of Distance education courses in Entreprenuership is that it empowers the retiring population to invest their savings or engage in entrepreneurial ventures thereby help them secure their life after retirement.  

International Collaboration
Entreprenuership Development Insititute of India, Ahmedabad in collaboration with Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Germany aims to create and train new entreprenuers in large-scale primarily to address the unemployment issues in the country.

In order to fulfil the learning needs of the individuals spread across different geographic regions, the programme took the ODL route.

The Way Forward

Employment Oriented: All human development reports have made it very clear that any type of education is an investment. This holds particularly true for countries of South Asia, including India, where enrolment in higher education is still low and insignificant. The need is felt seriously for entrepreneurship/self-employment/vocational education that ensures some degree of employment opportunities available by establishing a meaningful relationship between education and employment.  

Virtual vs. Real A study on online management studies through distance mode revealed that students preferred ‘personal contact with the faculties’ for subject matter queries alongside the virtual classroom experience.

Credibility and Authenticity
Gaining credibility amongst the potential employers and authenticity among students are necessary since Open and Distance Learning has inherent challenges to face. Sustainability and quality in entrepreneurial training through distance learning mode could be assured only through fostering constant reflection and feedback amongst all the stakeholders viz., students, faculties, and academic support staff involved in the course.

Quality Education for Empowering Indian Youth

Background

India is the second largest populous nation of the world. India had a staggering 600 million people i.e. more than 50 per cent of its population below the age of 25, till the latest count, and it is a matter of another couple of years that the nation will become the youngest in the world, having more than three-fourth of its population under 25 years of age.

The demographic dividend is never a burden on any nation, but a window of opportunity. Such differential population spurts, called demographic dividends, have boosted the economic growth in many East Asian countries, like Republic of Korea, in the recent past.

Pillars of Youth Empowerment

The sustainable employment of the youngsters of India can primarily be stabilized on the following four pillars:

  • Education
  • Skills and Employment
  • Radical Temperamental Change
  • Government’s policies and initiatives

The vision of “Transforming India” can only be fulfilled by the motto of Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD)- “Education for All, Quality Education” and that can really shape our developing nation only if our education system has the appropriate flavour of the basic attributes of any education system, i.e. Access, Equity, and quality followed by talent and skill promotion.

Challenges

In the current scenario, the Enrolment Rate (GER) in Higher Education (HE) in India is much lower (22 per cent) than the world’s average (28 per cent). Despite of the mushrooming of private engineering institutions and universities, the density of the scientists and engineers in India is one of the lowest in the world.

India being secular and democratic gets fragmented on various issues of caste, gender, topography, age, etc. which hinders the equal access of available education resources to the citizens and does not let the system bear its desired fruits. These pot holes need to be patched up before we talk of quality education.

The existing education system of India runs a hurdle race with number-less barriers like:

Crunches

  • Lack of quality and motivated teachers and mentors- being non promising, less paid and least recognized profession in the country.
  • Faculty crunch or adhocism: Most of the even top institutions of the nation have empty chairs of regular heads, seasoned faculty and experienced researchers with 1/3rd faculty positions being unfilled.
  • Paucity of Funds (Especially in state institutions): This is the biggest lacuna, as more number of students are being enrolled in state institutions having higher number of seats than federal institutions in toto.
  • Least prioritized budgeting from nation’s GDP (3.3 per cent)
  • Interfering and overpowering political and bureaucratic setup.
  • Inability of senior academicians and researchers to implement their vision of ages.

Obsolescence

  1. Out dated and rigid curriculum
  2. Shelled approach: designed curricula make youth of today literate but not educated with holistic development. Ill-equipped institutions of HE except federal funded institutions.

Non- Involvement

Lack of participation of employ & employer

  • Neither the industry nor laboratories nor commerce and business and nor even the stakeholders are consulted in the design of curriculum.
  • This leads to more unemployable educated youth which might become a burden than an asset to the nation.

Government Initiatives

Despite all the upheavals, our youth from Science and Technology, Arts and Humanities are progressing.

  • Expansion of education: for the youth is being undertaken by the government at every level by establishing new institutions like IITs, IIMs, IIITs, IISERs, AIIMs, Central Universities, colleges, etc. along with Institutional capacity building initiatives.
  • Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN): aimed at tapping the pool of scientists and entrepreunuers, internationally to encourage their engagement with the institutes of Higher Education to augment the country’s existing academic resources to elevate India’s scientific and technological capacity to global excellence.
  • Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) India: with an aim to direct research in the premier institutions into areas of social relevance.
  • UchchtarAavishkar Yojana (UAY): launched to promote industry specific needs based research so as to keep up the competitiveness of Indian industry in the global market.
  • National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF): for ranking the higher education institutions annually based on an objective and verifiable criteria for promoting quality.
  • Establishment of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA): for creating capital assets in order to give a big push for building up robust higher education institutions.
  • National Academic Repository (NAD): for maintaining academic awards in a digital depository, enabling online access and retrieval, eliminate  fraudulent practices such as forging of certificates and mark-sheets and facilitate validation. 
  • SWAYAM PRABHA: a project for telecasting high quality educational programmes through 32 DTH channels on a 24×7 basis.
  • SWAYAM: an indigenous IT platform for hosting the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for providing best quality education covering all subjects and courses to the students even in the remotest corner of the country.  
  • National Digital Library: for building a National asset for providing access to the knowledge repository in terms of books, e-learning material, encyclopaedia, journals, monographs, reviews, research work, articles, etc. for the benefit of learners/professionals/scholars and other interested people.
  • Campus Connect: Wi-Fi enabled campus by providing: 1- GBPS Connectivity to universities and 10 MBPS connectivity to colleges.
  • All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE): covering all HE institutions in the country for making informed policy decisions and research.
  • National Initiative for Design Innovation: to ensure maximum reach of design education and practices by free sharing of courseware through the internet.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowships: in Sciences and Humanties for grooming young researchers for launching an academic/research career to acquire new skills, broaden horizon and transiting in cross disciplinary areas.
  • UGC-BSR Faculty Fellowship programme: for strengthening Basic Science Research in Universities to provide opportunity for continuance of research contributions by talented science and technology teachers who are nearing superannuation.
  • Scheme for Strengthening Science Based Higher Education and research in Universities and colleges: with an objective to promote excellence in research in higher education by supporting research programmes.
  • The Skill India: an excellent initiative of the Prime Minister to provide appropriate skills primarily to unemployed youth, marginalised women and rural communities to explore employment opportunities and sustainable livelihood options for raising their life standards.
  • Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA): though education is the State’s responsibility, but to promote the quality standards of state’s education system, federal funding under RUSA is given to the states to promote performance based education. It works on the “Carrot and Stick Policy”.  
  • RUSA is the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) of the Department of Higher Education, MHRD which aims to provide strategic central funding to State Higher Education Departments and Institutions and achieve the broad objectives of access, equity and excellence.
  • Choice Based Credit System (CBCS): An excellent approach to redesign curriculum which is going to be student centric, thus giving them ample opportunity for interdisciplinary academics along with multi-directional movement within state, nation and world’s education system. The system will also help in removing the stigmas of evaluation and hurdles of employability.

 

Bringing Youth to the Mainstream

Background

The Naxalite movement traces its origins to May 18th, 1967, when the Siliguri Kishan Sabha in West Bengal, declared their support to few individuals of the Naxalbari village who had suggested adopting armed struggle to redistribute land to the landless. The Naxalite movement, as it is now referred to, over the years, spread itself geographically to other states of the country. The youth belonging to such insurgent areas understandably live under vulnerable situations.

Government Initiatives for the Youth in CPI (Maoist) insurgency affected ‘Red Corridor’

  • In 2009, a Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Division was created as a part of the Home Ministry to effectively address the Left Wing Extremist insurgency in a holistic manner. The division was also made responsible for coordinating with various departments of state and central government on the developmental activities and initiatives in these areas.
  • As per the new Integrated Action Plan, the government plans to bring adivasis into the mainstream and at the same time strictly deal with the violence.
  • A district-wise approach of development has also been replaced now by adopting block level development planning.
  • It is also planned to setup development hubs in each of the worst affected districts.
  • Government has launched scores of initiatives in the field of education and skill development for the benefit of the youth belonging to the LWE regions.
  • Since uneducated and unemployed youth are considered as soft targets by insurgents to recruit and join the cadre, Government has worked out an integrated plan to educate the youth of the region:
    • For example, Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, residential schooling facility is being provided to all children.
    • For girl child, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas provide affordable and quality elementary education.
    • Secondary education is ensured through Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). A number of KVs and Navodaya schools are also being opened up.
  • Ministry of Skill Development is training 160 youth in each of the 34 LWE affected districts under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana. Additionally, the government is preparing students for competitive exams through its institute ‘Prayas’.
  • Further, the Police of Jharkhand have initiated a very unique initiative for the children of LWE affected region Palamu of the state. This initiative is called ‘Taare Zameen Par’. In this initiative, books, notebooks, clothes, bags, shoes. etc. are collected from the residents of Daltonganj, the headquarters of the Palamu district. The police then re-distributes those among local children who come from under-privileged backgrounds.

Government Schems for the youth affected by North-east Insurgency

  • The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region is coordinating central government department initiatives for the North East.
  • The Skill Development Ministry has planned State Skill Development Mission for few of the north eastern states. The mission is working to train youth with the help of government ITIs and private agencies.
  • Additionally, State Livelihood Mission as well as NULM schemes are also being deployed to skill the youth.
  • The areas being identified are as follows: a) Hospitality (Cuisines, Food & Beverage, Pastry and Baking) b) Tourism- Tour operators, hotels, home stay, taxis to places of attraction, etc. c) Nursing, Para medics d) Wellness and beauty e) Fashion designing and garments, handloom weaving. f) Essential Technicians g) Automobile- fitter, turner, mechanics, welding h) Soft skills for employability in any sector i) Retail merchandising j) Aviation- Cabin Crew, Air Hostess, ground crew, etc.
  • DONER Ministry is also offering subsidy incentives in NER for industrial and other units generating employment.

Government Schemes for the youth affected by Terrorist organizations and insurgent groups of Jammu and Kashmir

  • UDAAN: It aims to provide corporate exposure to the youth as well as provide corporate India with the talent available in the state. The schemes have received an overwhelming response and is making a considerable impact on ground.
  • Sadbhavna: This initiative is run by the Indian Army. Under Sadbhavna, Army runs several important programmes for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Army also runs National Integration Tour under Sadbhavna where students get to visit other states of the country and get a first hand view of the culture of their fellow citizens.
  • Army also runs vocational training centres and women empowerment centres spread across the state to provide practical skills to interested and deserving candidates.
  • Army in association with its training partner, Centre for Social Responsibility and Learning (CSRL) and Petronet LNG runs Kashmir Super 40 initiative for coaching Jammu and Kashmir youth for engineering entrance exams.
  • Himayat: This scheme endeavours to train 1.24 lakh local youth of Jammu and Kashmir in job intensive vocational courses.

 

3rd International Day of Yoga

Note to the Students

On the occasion of the 3rd International Day of Yoga, Yojana magazine has covered two articles, namely:

  1. Bringing Harmony Between Body and Mind
  2. Reconnecting with Oneself

Here, we present the highlight points from these two articles.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a spiritual science originated in India by ancient Indian sages. Yoga is a system of holistic living with its deep roots in the tradition and culture of India. Yogic literature has been found in almost all the ancient scriptures. Rich sources of Yoga have also been found in Medieval, Modern and Contemporary literature. Yogasutras of Patanjali (400 BC) is believed to be the first systematic text. Patanjali gave the eight fold path of Yoga, popularly known as Ashtanga Yoga. This Ashtanga Yoga takes care of all the aspects of a person.

Benefits of Yoga

  • Yoga is a drugless system of healing, health care and healthy living. It has its own concepts and principles regarding health and disease.
  • Yogic practices lead to promotion of health, prevention of disease, effective management of psychosomatic disorders as well as better understanding of a higher level of consciousness.
  • Non-communicable diseases i.e. Coronary Artery Disease, Hypertension and others can be very well prevented and managed effectively by incorporating the principles of Yoga as a lifestyle programme in daily life.
  • Yoga is a way of developing inner skills and levels of confidence beside other benefits.

Yoga and the Youth

  • The youth are facing a lot of challenges in their life whether related to studies or related to employment. Yoga can transform them into a real Yogi- dealing efficiently with day to day challenges.
  • India is a large country with more than 125 crore population and the dpment of the country mostly depends upon its health. If the health of the country is good and robust, the country can run to a long distance without any feeling of tiredness.
  • The theory of youth empowerment can be broken down into three components:
    1. Individual Empowerment
      Youth or adults developing skills to exert control and improve competence, as well as developing critical awareness to effectively collaborate for the betterment of organizations and communities.
    2. Organizational Empowerment
      Entities that provide and benefit from, the opportunity for youth or adults to acquire the skills needed to gain control over their lives, provide alternatives to service provision, as well as entities that develop and influence policy decisions.
    3. Community Empowerment
      Efforts to improve the community, respond to threats to quality of life, and provide for citizen participation at the local, state and national level.

Common Health Issues affecting Youth

  • The problems faced by the youth are not only social and economical but also psychological.
  • Bound by relationships and painful loneliness, they get tempted by drugs and alcohol.
  • The other major issues are: peer pressure, family liabilities, and workload. Due to shortage/lack of proper counselling/care the youngsters tend to end their life.

Common Problems

  • Overweight and Obesity
    Stress
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Interpersonal violence among youth
  • Suicide Tendencies
  • Tobacco Use
  • Alcohol and Drug Addiction
  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Concluding Remarks

Yoga helps one to reconnect with oneself. Slowing down, calming our minds, and connecting with our inner selves help to bring the person into the present moment. This can ultimately help to relieve one from the pressures and stressors of the busy world and helps to prevent the NCD’s.

 

GST- The Game Changer

Background

  • The genesis of the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country was laid down in the historic Budget Speech of 28th February 2006, wherein the then Finance Minister laid down, 1st April 2010, as the date for the introduction of GST in the country.

Why GST?

Before GST, the government levied taxes on manufacture (Central Excise Duty), provision of services (Service Tax), interstate sale of goods (CST levied by the Centre but collected and appropriated by the States) and the State Governments levied a tax on retail sales (VAT), entry of goods in the State (Entry Tax), Luxury Tax, Purchase Tax, etc. Thus, it is clearly visible that there was a multiplicity of taxes which were being levied on the same supply chain.

Further, creation of tariff and non-tariff barriers such as Octroi, entry Tax, Check posts etc. hindered the free flow of trade throughout the country.

What is GST?

All the indirect taxes are proposed to be subsumed in a single tax called the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which will be levied on supply of goods or services or both at each stage of the supply chain, starting from manufacture or import and till the last retail level.

So, basically, any tax that is being levied by the Central or State Government on the supply of goods or services is going to be converged into GST.

Advantages of GST

  • Will help to create a unified common market for India, giving a boost to forerign investment and the “Make in India” campaign.
  • Will mitigate the cascading of taxes as Input Tax Credit will be available across goods and services at every stage of supply
  • Harmonization of laws, procedures and rates of tax between Centre and States and across States
  • Improved environment for compliance as all returns are to be filled online, input credits to be verified online, encouraging more paper trail of transactions at each level of the supply chain.
  • Common procedures for registration of taxpayers, refund of taxes, uniform formats of tax return, common tax base, common system of classification of goods and services will lend greater certainty to the taxation system
  • Greater use of IT will reduce the human interface between the tax payer and the tax administration- this will go a long way in reducing corruption
  • Will boost export and manufacture activity, generate more employment, and thus increase GDP with gainful employment leading to substantive economic growth
  • Will help in poverty eradication

Advantages to Trade and Industry

  • Simpler Tax regime
  • Increased ease of doing business
  • Reduction in multiplicity of taxes
  • Elimination of double taxation on certain sectors like works contract, software, hospitality sector
  • Will mitigate cascading of taxes
  • Reduction in compliance costs- no multiple record keeping for a variety of taxes
  • More efficient neutralization of taxes especially for exports
  • Simplified and automated procedures for various processes such as registration, returns, refunds, tax payments, etc.
  • Average Tax burden on supply of goods or services is expected to come down which would lead to more consumption, which in turn means more production thereby, helping in the growth of the industries manufacturing in India.

Advantages to Consumers

  • Final price of goods is expected to be transparent
  • Reduction in prices of commodities and goods in long run
  • Relatively large segment of small retailers will either be exempted from tax or will suffer very low tax rates
  • Poverty eradication by generating more employment

Advantages to States

  • Expansion of the tax base
  • Power to tax service

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