Two very disconcerting issues have come to light in a report by the newly found Centre for Development and Employment Research. One, 25 percent of the population between 15 and 29 years is inactive, i.e. they are neither in the education cycle nor economic activity. And they number around 11 million. And two, an equally perplexing and a matter of equal concern, is the fact that the prevalence of unemployment is greater among the higher educated section of the youth.
It is surprising that, given the stress that the current government has put on education, such a large portion of our youth should be outside the ambit of the country's education programme. What needs to be determined is whether this is due to lack of opportunity or other factors. We also feel that there cannot be a more distorted scenario than young people with higher education finding no employment.
Given that more than a quarter of our population is comprised of youth the situation is grim and calls for the government to initiate proactive measures to address the situation on an urgent basis. We feel that neither of the two situations – uneducated unemployed and educated unemployed – is acceptable. The youths are the backbone of the society and our future, and if they are left out of the mainstream activity of the state it is only at the cost of our development and wellbeing. Along with relevant and appropriate education and vocational training for the youths, employment opportunities must be created for them.