Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Nov 2017 09:43:33

IN THE light of continuing sluggish growth in employment generation, Vice-President Mr. Venkaiah Naidu’s advice to the country’s youth to become entrepreneurial and not job-seekers, is pragmatic and sane. The Vice-President said, income disparity is a major problem in India and so also tepid growth in the creation of jobs. In view of this it would be much better for the youth themselves to become job-creators instead of job-seekers, so that they can provide jobs to many youths in need of employment.

While self-sufficiency and self-reliance is the best way to tide over the problem of joblessness, there is also need to create conditions for youths to be enthused to be their own masters. And for that the first initiative has to come from the Government. In past some schemes and plans were mooted for generating self-employment, especially among rural youth. However, these were half-hearted efforts in which neither those who were supposed to reach out to the needy youths with the Governmental schemes nor the needy youths felt enthused to be drawn towards the window which promised creation of jobs for them. Therefore, it was not surprising that the skill-development schemes, which were aimed at creation of self-employed entrepreneurs, fell through and had to be consigned to cold-storage.

However, a fresh initiative has to be taken to revive and even redesign the skill development schemes which would create entrepreneurs who would produce goods and services that would meet the demand of the present day market place. Thus training and skill development schemes would have to be necessarily aligned to market demands and the new entrepreneurs should be conversant and equipped to deal with the trends in the market. For that even school and higher education curriculum would have to be oriented accordingly. This has to be done urgently as the country has the biggest population of young people. This is considered to be a demographic dividend. But this has to be exploited fully for the country’s economic growth. This generation has to be creatively and productively engaged.

Fortunately the present Government at the Centre realises the urgency of engaging the youth force constructively for national good. And as part of its plan to engage the youth creatively and impart them entrepreneurial skills, the Union Government’s stress on skill development, encouraging start-ups by providing them incentives through financial and policy support (Mudra) and Stand-up India, are quite notable initiatives. The Government is encouraging innovation at every level and supporting it through newly launched schemes and policies.

Stress indeed has to be on self-employment generation, either through individual effort, voluntary initiative or through institutional policy framework of the Government as the manufacturing sector is unlikely to meet growing need for employment generation as mechanisation and technology are becoming a preferred mode. Hence even if there is an uptick in investment in the manufacturing sector it would not necessarily lead to job creation on a large scale.

Hence it would become increasingly necessary to encourage mini, small, medium enterprises (MSME) all over the country. This will be especially useful in the rural areas where incidence of unemployment is very high with the agriculture sector unable to absorb the growing population of unemployed youths. The potential of MSME sector for employment generation is enormous and remains to be fully untapped. The young entrepreneurs need timely mentoring. Hence the Government’s encouragement to this sector is welcome and should be given a push with greater force and conviction.