The foundation of a nation lies in the skills and knowledge possessed by its youth. India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below 35. These figures are indicative of the potential collective power of the youth. Over time, we have witnessed discussions on how India should adjust its policies to ensure that the youth population, which itself is nearly twice the population of USA, is sufficiently skilled for transformation as effective leaders. Such a transformation will drive economic growth and develop and sustain an ecosystem that fosters mutual respect, brotherhood and active participation in events that affect the direction the country takes.
One of the critical areas in this regard is the policy formulation for education reforms. Undoubtedly, education is one of the most important pillars of future growth and the government, despite countless attempts, has not been able to provide effective education to all of India’s youth. To put it simply: Access to quality education is sacrosanct. Although the quality offered and the contributions made by the premier institutes are known, there exist thousands of schools in villages and municipalities without sufficient teachers, inadequate infrastructure and they receive insufficient funds and support. The attempts made by hundreds of NGOs aren’t enough to fill in this humongous vacuum.
One of the reasons that this problem may sustain is that the government’s spending on education is less than 3% of the GDP. This figure is abysmally low given that nearly 650 million children and youth have to be imparted quality education from the primary through the post-doctoral level and this number is likely to increase in the intermediate future. And this is one of the main reasons that youth’s active participation in the election process and the resulting high desirability to vote is necessary. The youth of this country must vote largely on the basis of the education policies that are likely to be formulated, and they can be empowered only through education to bring about the much-needed transformation that India deserves across all fields.
– Abhik Banerjee, PGP 2019
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