Around the globe, especially in developing countries, the rural face is changing rapidly. The World Bank states that Agriculture, the mainstay of rural economies, is also evolving at a fast pace. It is becoming more technologically oriented & commercial. Thus the Government of India now has a reason as well opportunity to bring rural youth into the domain of skill development & technical education. India needs skilled youth in other fields too. From space technology, electricals, automobiles to textile & MSME, technically skilled manpower is necessary everywhere.
From a citizen’s perspective too, skill development is of utmost importance. Employers & organizations look for candidates who have specialized in a particular job that will add value to the business. Lack of employment is one of the biggest reasons behind the poverty rural India suffers from & vocational training increases the employability of a person.
A huge issue with the rural youth of India is the increasing number of drop-outs who have not completed their secondary or higher secondary education. To take up technical training this minimal qualification is required. The government should first make sure that students complete their schooling. Rural schools should be upgraded & infrastructure should be bettered. This will inspire students to go to school regularly.
Industrial Training Institutes (ITI,) present all across India, are meant to skill these drop-outs into employable youth. But here the issue is that of awareness. Many are not aware that ITIs in a span of a few months to 2 years can make an individual a master in a technical skill. This service is available free of cost. The government should upscale awareness drives on ITIs & other government-owned skill development institutes in rural India.
Technical training is also necessary to encourage the indigenous industries of the country. Many traditional arts & crafts, cuisines etc are on the verge of extinction due to two reasons – lack of resources on part of the poverty-stricken rural economy & no commercialization. Technical training & higher education will enable the youth to revive these indigenous industries. It will also encourage them to take up entrepreneurship. Development of medium, small & micro enterprises plays a crucial role in strengthening the economy of a developing nation. The government should financially assist these small entrepreneurs initially.
Technically skilled youth who have also completed higher education are of utmost value to the nation. India is proving itself to be a global leader in space technology, agricultural innovations & medical research. Many urban youngsters, who are highly qualified, have the tendency to look for jobs outside India. Meritorious & talented rural youth should be identified & encouraged by the government so that they can prove to become the prized human resource India needs.
On the twenty-sixth convocation of the Periyar Maniammai Institute of Science & Technology, Chief Minister of Puducherry, Mr. V Narayanasamy said that development of rural India is the key to the overall development of the nation. He added that for valuable inventions to happen in medicine, science or any sector, India needs the youth who are not only qualified but also vocationally trained.
India Skills Competitions 2018 that took place on the first week of October in New Delhi’s Aerocity showcased the skills of hundreds of skilled youth mostly from rural & remote areas. It is a baby step towards transforming the rural scenario by making the rural youth ‘learn by doing’. Hopefully, it will go a long way in empowering the youth of rural India.