By Shivaji Sarkar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s enchantment with youth, which he sees as the force that can change the face of India has got significant reflection in the Union Budget 2015-16 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The main aim of the government is to create entrepreneurship among Indian youth and educate them.
“India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54 per cent of the total population below 25 years (over 70 crore people) . Our young people have to be both educated and employable for the jobs of the 21st century,” said Jaitley.
The government, Jaitley says, would have to encourage and grow the spirit of entrepreneurship and support new start-ups. “Thus our youth turn from being job-seekers to job creators”.
In line with this vision, a National Skills Mission will be set up under the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry. This will help consolidate skill initiatives across several ministries. This is primarily aimed at increasing the employability of rural youth population.
To celebrate the centenary of visionary and ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay, a Rs 1500 crore Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana is being launched. The money would be disbursed through a digital voucher directly into qualified student’s bank account.
Sports has got the required stress. The ministry of youth affairs and sports got a hike of Rs 384 crore in allocation of Rs 1389.48 crore as plan outlay and Rs 151.65 crore as non-plan expenses. Of the total outlay, Rs 886.57 crore for sports and games and Rs 336.62 has been set aside for youth welfare scheme. Sports Authority will get an amount of Rs 369.39 crore up by Rs 17.34 crore. However, assistance to national sports federations has been kept at same as last year. While Rs 5 crore has been earmarked for talent search and training scheme, Rs 12 crore has been allocated for anti-doping activities.
For education, as per government aim, no child would have to travel beyond five km. It would upgrade 80,000 secondary schools and add or upgrde 75,000 junior and middle schools to the senior secondary level. The massive investment expected in this programme would employ youth as teachers, masons, labourers and other service workers. It may change the face of the hinterland.
The budget announced a slew of skill development and employment schemes. The initiative of creating the local entrepreneurship includes agricultural development and boosting up education for the youth. In order to support the agricultural sector, the FM also proposed to allocate Rs 25,000 crore to rural development funds.
“Our commitment to farmers run deep, an ambitious soil health card has been introduced to improve soil fertility”, added Jaitley focusing on the development of agricultural sector. He also said that the government is also committed towards ensuring employment through MNREGA and a total amount of Rs 34,699 crore has been allocated for this project.
The newly introduced employment plans aim at making more workers eligible for minimum wages and increase in the number of new start-ups. The Finance Minister also proposed to allocate Rs 1,000 crore fund for tech start ups, entrepreneurs. “We are now seeing a growing interest in start ups. Experimenting in cutting edge technologies, creating value out of ideas, initiatives and creating them into scalable enterprises and businesses is at the core of our strategies,” he said.
The government is also creating a mechanism known as Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) to be techno-financial incubation and facilitation programme to support all aspects of start up business and other self employment activities particularly in the technology driven areas.
An expert committee to prepare draft legislation for obtaining regulatory clearances expeditiously would be appointed. He said it took years to get permissions to start a project. The expert committee would prepare a draft legislation where the need for multiple prior permissions can be replaced with a pre-existing regulatory mechanism. This would help a large number of youth gain proper livelihood.
Investors would no more have to spend a large amount of time and resources in getting multiple permissions. The government aims towards ease of doing business. The government recently launched an E-biz portal which integrates 14 regulatory permissions at one source. The aim is to make the country an investment destination.
India has been ranked 142 among the 189 countries in the latest World Bank report, falling two places from last year’s ranking. Lower rank is one of the reasons to get less foreign direct investment into the country. The government is taking steps to bring India into the top 50 ranks. It has taken several steps including issuance of checklist with specific timelines for processing applications filed by foreign investors and launch of a single registration Labour Identification Number for labour related compliances.
According to the Economic Survey 2014-15, India has emerged as the world’s fourth largest hub for start-ups with over 3,100 of them, driven by ‘hyper growth’ in technology and software products in the country.
Two new schemes promising to assist the students and youth in education and setting up enterprises have been announced. To help the poor and middle-class students pursue higher education, an IT-based Student Financial Aid Authority will be set up to administer and monitor scholarships and loan schemes through the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram.
Even for non matric minority youth, a training scheme called Nai Manzil has been launched a new mission.
If the government goes ahead with plans to support the ‘Make in India’ program, it could lead to significant demand for various skills. Similarly, if various reforms including the insurance and coal bills, which have been promulgated through ordinance, get passed by the Parliament they could lead to large scale employment generation in insurance.
In case of a reform that guarantees “near-national treatment” to foreign banks and helps in the expansion plans then the industry as a whole foresees creation of opportunities across the country. The expansion could introduce more competition, innovation and bringing global expertise and technology transfer into local banking practices. This would embark a whole new journey in the banking space with the need for creation of talent pool and employable talent.
Banking as an industry has evolved and this has strongly impacted the skill-set requirement. India is experimenting with several new ideas in financial inclusion in almost all areas requiring immediate focus – banking and payment channels, technology platforms and regulatory platforms. Electronic payments and inclusion of Big Data and Cloud Computing are expected to by banks in training.
The bid for world class internet banking capability and creating platforms for Digital Banking is likely to open sea of opportunities for the youth. The new outlook would ensure not hiring only those with expertise but those who have the learning agility and can adapt to the changing environment easily. This would entail investment on training and development by banks and financial institutions.
Focus areas include new technology adoption, productivity, responding to skill deficiencies, new hire inculcation and staff performance, technology adoption, productivity, responding to skill deficiencies, new hire inculcation and staff performance management.
The positive impact of this will rub off on both services & tech businesses in the human resoruce (HR) space. On the HR services side, recruitment firms, executive search firms & skill development companies are likely to see a significant uptake in revenues because of new job creation, replacement of employees who move for better opportunities and the need for a lot more skilled blue collared workers. In short, large number of youth would get jobs, famliy incomes would rise andIndia would be high on happiness index.