•  The biggest strength of Indian economy is its favourable demographic composition, India, 2nd most populous country with 1.35 billion population (UN, 2018), is the largest young nation having 877 million working age population, population between 15 to 64 years as percentage of total population.
  •  The working age population is expected to rise for next couple of decades where as all other big economies including China will have high dependency rate. According to IMF, India can improve upto 2 per cent annual growth rate, if the demographic dividend is harnessed appropriately.
  •  However, the growth potential through demographic dividend depends upon shifting labour force from agriculture. The need of the hour is skilling large number of young labour force to benefit from the changing market and production structure.
  •  ndia can be the hub for other countries for their outsource work and manufacturing provided India improves its education system imparting right training and skills to the labour force. In this context, 'Kaushal Bharat' program, which has the target of training 400 million citizens by 2022, is a welcome initiative.
  •  The initiative includes various programs such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, Skill Loan Scheme, and the National Skill Development Mission. Various Initiatives The following sections outline in brief the various initiatives which have the potential to empower rural youth through job creation and skill development.


The Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank was founded with the motto of "funding the unfunded" by extending financial support, including refinancing, to the micro segment of the Indian economy. In order to provide fund for those institutions and individuals (nearly 5.8 crore non-corporate small business sectors through last mile financial institutions like NBFCs, MFIs and banks etc.), MUDRA Ltd (initially an NBFC) has been recognized by official statement as MUDRA. The scheme seeks to enhance the employability and self-employability of youth in India, in addition to protecting the nonbanking financial companies (NBFC) lending to small business in the country. These will help to increase the confidence of young, educated or skilled rural youth who will now aspire to become first generation entrepreneurs. The existing small businesses, too, will be able to expand their activities.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY):

The PMKVY is a flagship program of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), GOI aimed at improving vocational skills of youth. In terms of scope and potential impact, this is a
program with vast implications on rural youth of the country. The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. Individuals with prior learning experience or skills are also assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Short-term training, kaushal and rozgar melas, placement assistance are among the key components of the scheme. Startup India: Start Up India aims at fostering a favourable environment for startups in view of boosting economic growth and bringing about job creation. The campaign is centred on an action plan with three pillars:

  •  simplification and handholding,
  •  funding support and incentives, and
  •  industry-academia partnerships and incubation.
  1. The Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Department of Science and Technologyhave agreed to partner in an initiative to set up over 75 start-up support hubs under the program. The Reserve Bank of India will also take steps to contribute to an ecosystem that is conducive for the growth of start-up businesses. Under the scheme, a Start Up India hub has been created (pan-India) as a single contact point for start-up foundations in India, which will help the entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge and access financial aid. Patent protection, which is important to incentivise innovations, will also be ensured through a fast-track system for patent examination at lower costs. The system will promote awareness and adoption of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) by the start-up foundations. Policies and incentives include extending tax exemption, patent grants, and self-certification facilities to start-ups. These recognition have enabled the 14K start-ups from across 484 districts of India. 55 per cent of the start-ups are located in Tier 1 cities while 27 per cent and 18 per cent are based out of Tier 2 and 3 cities.
  2. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA): The Act came into force initially in 200 districts, and was extended gradually to other areas notified by
    the Central Government 4. This is one of the continuing flagship programs of the Government to provide minimum number of days of employment to rural people including youth.
  3. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY): It caters to rural youth employment opportunities. One positive attitude towards this initiative is that the funds are disbursed through a digital voucher directly into the qualified applicant's bank account. It seeks to reposition rural India as a resource that can support the needs of the global manufacturing industry.
  4. Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU): It is a techno-financial, incubation and facilitation programme to support all the aspects of start-up business and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas
  5. Self- employment in Horticulture: It provides funds up to 10 lakhs for starting-up a horticulture farms. The scheme has enhanced horticulture production, improved nutritional security and income support to farm households and others; has established convergence and synergy among multiple ongoing and planned programmes for horticulture development. The scheme has also helped in generating employment for skilled and unskilled persons, especially unemployed youth.
  6. National Rural Livelihood Mission (NLRM)/ Aajeevika: It is designed as a special programme for rural development. For basic skill development for the BPL rural youths, the Rural Self Employment Institutes (RSETIs) under NRLM have been set up which enables them to undertake micro-enterprises and wage employment. It also skills the rural youth and provides them jobs with regular monthly wages at or above the minimum wage rates. It was one of the cluster of initiatives of Rural Development Ministry aimed at promoting rural livelihoods. Aajeevika Skills involve few distinct steps like awareness building about opportunities, identifying rural youth for, mobilising who are interested, counselling of youth and parents, selection based on aptitude, and imparting knowledge industry linked skills to improve their employability
  7. The Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana: This scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development provides additional wage employment in the rural areas and thereby provides food security and improve nutritional levels.
  8. Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY): It was introduced by the Ministry of Rural Development to assist the poor families living below the poverty line in rural areas for taking up self-employment. This Central Government funded scheme helps users in providing information and guidelines for setting up the Haats, credit related issues, etc.

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