Youth Empowerment in India:
The Youth represent the most dynamic and vibrant segment of the population. India is one of the youngest nations in the World, with about 65 per cent of the population being under 35 years of age. While most of these developed countries face the risk of an ageing workforce, India is expected to have a very favourable demographic profile.
It is estimated that by the year 2020, the population of India would have a median age of 28 years only as against 38 years for United States, 42 years for China and 48 years for Japan. This ‘demographic dividend’ offers a great opportunity. However, in order to capture this demographic dividend, it is essential that the economy has the ability to support the increase in the labour force and the youth have the appropriate education, skills, health awareness and other enablers to productively contribute to the economy.
This demands the commitment of the entire nation to all-round development of the youth of India, so that they can realize their full potential and contribute productively to nation-building process. This can be done by empowering youth.
The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UNCHS-Habitat) defines youth empowerment as “the circumstances and factors which enhance the development of citizenship and productiveness among young people as they move into adulthood. It is concerned with the adaptation of government structures and institutions to protect and deliver children’s, youths‟ and human rights, including the right to participation”.