Doon Varsity holds Seminar on Employment for Youth
By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 24 Dec: Participating in a panel discussion on “Youth in India: Challenges of Employment and Employability” organised by Department of Economics, Doon University, leading economists and academicians said that, while the stark reality remains that the government can’t provide jobs to all aspiring youth, there is a need to transform the education system towards skilling and reorienting the youth and changing their mindset.
“We are living in times when the economic discourse is dominating the academic landscape. We urgently need to address the issue of unemployment that is a matter of concern for a young nation with demographic dividend tilted in its favour,” Doon University Vice Chancellor Professor Surekha Dangwal said in her inaugural address.
She said universities should respond to the challenges by reorienting the education system, invest in skilling, re-skilling, training and change of curricula in sync with the changing economic and social world order. She emphasized that the new National Education Policy is a step in this direction.
Stating that India is a rich country inhabited by poor people, former Director of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Sanjeev Chopra stressed on optimal use of resources for generating employment opportunities while realising that life-long employment and employability is impossible. Knowledge and information is changing rapidly and so is the economy and academic discourse. The youth have to stop at looking at this phenomenon with binaries, change the mindset and constantly update themselves to respond to ever changing situations.
“India has not been able to keep pace with changing times as we have been partly and historically driven by socialist principles,” former Vice Chancellor of Kumaon University Professor DK Nauriyal said, noting that though 42 per cent of the workforce is still in the agriculture sector, there has been a clear shift from the labour intensive economy to capital intensive economy in recent decades.
Prof Rajendra P Mamgain, Professor and Head, Department of Economics, highlighted various dimensions of youth employment and unemployment. The major challenge, he said, is a rapid rise in unemployment in recent periods despite a reasonable economic growth. The challenge is an abysmally high rate of unemployment among women and those with higher levels of education. Covid-19 has accentuated the crisis. This requires special demand-side interventions to create employment opportunities both in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors, he declared.
Prof HC Purohit, Head, School of Management, said that India is a most vibrant emerging economy and the growth trends for the last couple of years indicate that the prospects across all the sectors are high. The reform initiatives taken by the government during the Covid lockdown show that the economy is moving on the right track. Start-ups like software as a service, Edtech and Fintech are employability areas for youth. Production-led initiatives are helping entrepreneurs and manufacturers to invest in India and MUDRA bank schemes, large scale investments and growing FDI will help create more jobs for the youth.
NABARD Chief Regional Manager AP Das highlighted different schemes of NABARD aimed at creating livelihood generation in rural India. He said there is need to build a bridge between education and career options for rural youth, as this would help reduce distress migration from rural to urban areas.
Civil society leader Lokesh Nawani said that sometimes the reality on the ground is dramatically different from what is debated in seminar halls. He emphasised on the need for the academic community to connect with ordinary citizens and accordingly initiate research.
Professor Harsh Dobhal from School of Media and Communication Studies said that, while the government jobs were no more available to all, the aspiration level among youth remains the same and universities must play a role in re-directing these aspirations while customising the curricula in tune with the changing scenario.
Those present on the occasion included Dr Madhu Bisht, Dr Shikha Ahmed, Dr Vasvi Bhatt, Dr Rajesh Bhatt, Dr Arun Kumar and a number of research scholars.