Topper of Civil Services Examination 2016, TINA DABI does a random survey of her Twitter and Facebook followers and finds India’s biggest problem is unemployment. The 2016-batch IAS officer wrote this Changing Tomorrow exclusive after her training at Mussoorie got over. She has joined in Rajasthan and is undergoing training at Jaipur.
When asked to pen down a piece on how I perceive the India of tomorrow, I was both humbled and pensive. A gamut of things ran in my mind regarding what all I would wish for our glorious country to achieve in the future. Definitely, I would want to see India as a country that has moved beyond its casteist and communal mind-set. A country where women feel safe not only outside the house but also within its four walls. A country with an excellent public service delivery system. A country where the rural-urban divide has diminished significantly with agriculture becoming remunerative and cent percent rural electrification. Finally, a country confident enough with its cultural heritage to embrace the quickly evolving global cosmopolitan values. The list is not exhaustive and I believe my readers can think of even better accolades than the above that India must achieve to truly take its place at the top in the comity of nations.
However, after a moment’s thought, we all cannot help but realize the harsh reality that a number of issues need to be resolved, some of which may be simple while others may be too complex, for India to reach the heights that it deserves. And, for me, the most practical way of addressing these issues would be to go step by step, beginning with the most pressing issue. Now, the question arises what is the most pressing challenge that India faces today which definitely needs to be addressed as quickly as possible for a better India tomorrow? Not enough public debate has happened on this account and no one issue has been singled out as such. Therefore, to get an answer to this I turned towards all those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter who are majorly young men and women between the age groups of 16-35 across India. What started out as a just small random poll on twitter asking respondents what they felt was the biggest challenge facing the country ended up with around 3000 responses and around as many passionate opinions left in the comment section.
What began as a small exercise ended up giving me a cursory glance into what the country’s urban youth (and to some degree rural youth) wants addressed the most. Nearly 54% of those who took out time to take the poll believed that Unemployment was the most pressing issue which needed to be redressed. The issues which were next in line with 21% votes was Poverty and with 15% votes Agricultural Distress. What was the most astonishing that most respondents who left their comments on the poll drew interlinkages between the three issues of unemployment, poverty and poor healthcare, and believed that in one way or the other, one issue led to the another.
If we go by the responses of this random sample of youth who have access to social media, one can conclude that they are sufficiently aware of the fear of the demographic dividend turning into a ticking demographic bomb. They are cognizant of the dire need to create more and more jobs to reduce the pressure of competition on huge number of students chasing too few jobs. There are passionate about their dream job. They want to make it big in life. How well are we prepared to make the dreams of all these young men and women come true?
I think we all envisage an India where each individual gets an opportunity to realize his or her potential. If truly such a feat could be accomplished that each young mind is most productively engaged, the country would move to higher and higher echelons of excellence. The present dispensation understands this very well. Government of the day led by Prime Minister Modi is on a mission mode to create as many jobs as possible. Be it the Start Up, Stand Up India programme or the Skill India mission, all strategies, conventional and non conventional, are being used to tackle unemployment. What is really admirable that with massive publicity given to such programmes, the problem has been brought centre stage for all to think about. Unemployment is one such issue which many a times ends up becoming a
end result of other problems like Poverty, Agricultural Distress, poor quality of education. Therefore, we now need to think for a solution, a multi pronged strategy which tackles all these simultaneously so that one challenge cannot reinforce another.
I desire that the India of tomorrow becomes capable enough to offer all its citizens an opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the country. Be it as doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, carpenters, beauticians, IAS officers, teachers or journalists. This not only requires active intervention of the government but at the same time active participation by the society. It requires citizen empowerment. It needs a citizen who is not only demanding of his rights but conscious enough to also do his duties and is able to locate opportunities for himself or herself to grow. Social media has been a great boon whereby anyone can access information 24*7, can freely express his or her opinions, garner support for a cause, in short become a citizen journalist. With use of the social media, electronic and print media, growing awareness, improving quality of education, all backed with government support, interventions to tackle unemployment can succeed.
The buck never stops at the government. It is also up to each and every one of us to seize opportunities when they come our way. It’s high time citizens too become active partners for building the India of Tomorrow.