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Empowering Youth: Towards Rebuilding Rural India

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  • Published
    27th Mar, 2021
  • Youth-led development is the key to a nation's advancement. With about 65 percent of its population under 35 years of age, India is one of the youngest nations in the world.
  • According to Census 2011 estimates, 70 percent of the youth population in India comprises rural youth.
  • India's rural youth then have the potential to be the drivers of its economic engine to power its growth.
  • For this, it is important that young people are propelled to channelise their creativity, skill and knowledge for rebuilding rural India.
  • A policy focus on empowering youth with an increased thrust on skill development, employment, entrepreneurship, innovation and talent development has been critical to the ag-round development of youth.

Important initiatives for skill development

  • An exclusive ministry to advance skill development, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) was formed in 2014. Some more initiatives are:


Silent Features

Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme

With this there has been a special focus on skill training of youth in 112 aspirational districts, including those from vulnerable and marginalised sections of society, with NITI Aayog, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of MSME, Ministry of Youth Affairs and with support from corporate sector has taken the initiative to create a digital livelihood access platform — Unnati.

Aatma Nirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM)

Al-based digital platform to bridge the demand-supply gap of skilled workforce across sectors. The platform integrates candidate data coming to the Skill India portal from various State and Central Skilling Schemes, the database of labour migrants including those who returned to India under and aims to connect job seekers with relevant livelihood opportunities in their local communities especially in the post-COVID-19 situation.

Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA)

The Scheme has been initiated with the vision to empower at least one person per household with crucial digital literacy skills by 2020. This is expected to touch the lives of more than 250 million individuals over the next few years.

Atal Innovation Mission

Atal Tinkering Labs are set up to help school students find innovative solutions.

Case Study:

Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir for instance, runs a unique initiative of 'mobile skill training' in kani shawl weaving and traditional crewel embroidery for women. A group of 25-30 women in a village are trained in sheds which are rented spaces in houses of local residents. Once women trainees in a particular village have finished with their course, the skill centres move to other localities and villages. A mapping of the existing skill imparting capacities and identification of potential skilling infrastructure can enable better capacity building and infrastructure utilisation.

Mapping India’s digital journey

  • The Digital India campaign launched by the Government of India is to provide encouragement to a digital-savvy youth and leverage the growing internet penetration, especially among the younger population, which could be drivers of digital literacy and promotion in the entire country.
  • The Digital India journey has impacted all aspects of the lives of Indian citizens, including youth with initiatives of Aadhaar, Direct Benefit Transfer, Common Services Centers, DigiLocker, mobile based UMANG services, participatory governance through MyGov, JeevanPramaan to UN, Ayushman Bharat, e-Hospital, PM-Kisan, e-NAM, Soil Health Cards, SWAYAM, SWAYAM PRABHA, National Scholarship Portal, e-Pathshala, and so on.
  • A 'National Al Portal' and 'Responsible Al for Youth' was launched recently to lay the foundation for an Al-powered future.
  • Digital India's initiatives have also played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 situation with initiatives such as Aarogya Setu, E-Sanjeevani, sensitisation through MyGov and other social media platforms.
  • Fit India movement is led by youths with the help of government initiatives such as International Yoga day, Khelo India, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, National Service Scheme, NCC Scouts and Guides.
  • NITI aayog led ‘Lets play- An Action Plan to achieve 50 olympic medals’, focused on setting up sports universities, improving sports infrastructure. Even indigenous games are being encouraged by the government such as KhoKho, Kabaddi, Mallakhamb (Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra), Kalaripayattu (Kerala), Gatka (Punjab), Thang-ta (Manipur) .


Moving forward, we need to continue to engage youth through cultural, digital and social media platforms so that they become aware about their rights and duties and emerge as forerunners in rebuilding rural India.


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