• Every year, International Youth Day is observed on 12th August to recognise and bring attention to the problems faced by the youth.
  • National Youth Day is held every year on 12th January to observe the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

Important points:

  • In 1999, the United Nations decided to commemorate International Youth Day every year on this day.
  • It was based on a recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon to the UN General Assembly.
  • The first International Youth Day was observed on 12th August, 2000.
  • Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health.
  • Lack of Education and Skill: India’s underfunded education system is inadequately equipped to provide the skills young people need to take advantage of emerging employment opportunities.
  • According to the World Bank, public expenditure on education constituted only 3.4% of GDP in 2020.
  • Various studies show that school closures have a serious impact on the learning, lives and mental well-being of children.
  • A survey by the International Labour Organization (ILO) reveals that 65% of adolescents worldwide reported having learnt less during the pandemic.
  • Child marriage, gender-based violence, their vulnerability to abuse and trafficking, especially if primary caregivers fall ill or die. All these issues restrict young women to achieve their full potential.
  • The main contributor in India’s GDP is the service sector which is not labour intensive and thus adds to jobless growth.
  • Further about 50% of India’s population is still dependent on agriculture which is notorious for underemployment and disguised unemployment.
  • Further high levels of hunger, malnutrition, stunting among children, high levels of anaemia among adolescent girls, poor sanitation etc., have reduced the productivity of India’s youth in realising their potential.

India’s Initiatives:

National Youth Policy-2014 provides a holistic Vision for the youth of India which is “to empower the youth of the country to achieve their full potential, and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations”.

Way Forward

  • With a young population of 365 million (30%), India’s demographic dividend – the economic advantage of a large working-age population – is enormous.
  • India must ensure a healthy young population by making efforts to improve access to adolescent-friendly healthcare facilities, gainful employment and nutrition as a critical step to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


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