ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Migrant Urban Youth in the Draft National Youth Policy 2021

India has one of the largest youth populations in the world. Migrant youth in the urban informal economy are a distinctly vulnerable group. They fall outside the purview of most of the labour legislations, including those related to rights-based social security. The draft National Youth Policy 2021 has recognised this. However, in the absence of a robust strategy, and timely and targeted intervention plan, the policy vision of “unlocking the potential of the youth” will remain on paper only.

Recognising the capacities of youth and realising their potential is extremely important for socioeconomic development and eventually nation-building. Global population trends reveal the emergence of a “youth bulge” as one in every five persons in the world fall in the category of the population aged 15–29 years (Sahu and Kumar 2021). India is experiencing the most advantageous stage of its demographic transition wherein the demographic dividend has reached its peak. It has the world’s largest youth population of around 360 million in 2019, the youth will remain important in the demographic structure of the country at least till 2030 (Sasikumar 2019). It is the accumulation of qua­lity education and skill among youth that will determine the extent to which India can reap the demographic dividend.

This demographic dividend might turn into demographic debt or disaster if youth development is neglected and lead to the potential “unfortunate lost opportunity” (Bhalla et al 2017; Sahu and Kumar 2021). The real cha­llenge is to understand the diverse categories within the youth population and to foresee their potential and role in the economic development of the country. Therefore, the perspective of the draft National Youth Policy (NYP) towards its young population needs a closer reading.

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Updated On : 17th Sep, 2022
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