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UN report on youth and agriculture, World Youth Skill Day


Every year, 15th July is observed as the World Youth Skills Day as designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2014.

A recent United Nations report has said that making agriculture-food systems more appealing to the youth can secure the future of global food security and nutrition.


GS-III: Indian Economy (Employment, Human Resource, Growth & Development of Indian Economy)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. 2021 World Youth Skills Day
  2. Status of skill development in India
  3. Initiatives in India for Skilling Youth
  4. About the UN report on youth and agriculture
  5. India’s Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) Scheme

2021 World Youth Skills Day

  • The 2021 World Youth Skills Day will again take place in a challenging context, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and with education and training systems yet to return to pre-crisis conditions.
  • The 2021 World Youth Skills Day’s theme is ‘Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic’.
  • It aims to celebrate the resilience and creativity of youth throughout the crisis and focus attention on how technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems have adapted to the pandemic, participate in the recovery, and imagine priorities they should adopt for the post-COVID-19 world.
  • The Primary aims of celebrating World Youth Skills day is to equip young people around the world with essential skills for employment, work, and entrepreneurship while achieving the Incheon Declaration: Education 2030 and eliminating gender disparity.
  • The Incheon Declaration: Education 2030 devotes considerable attention to technical and vocational skills development, specifically regarding access to affordable quality technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.’’

Status of skill development in India

  • India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54% of the total population below 25 years of age.
  • India’s workforce is the second largest in the world after China’s. While China’s demographic dividend is expected to start tapering off by 2015, India will continue to enjoy it till 2040.
  • However, India’s formally skilled workforce is approximately 2% – which is dismally low compared to China (47%), Japan (80%) or South Korea (96%).
  • To leverage our demographic dividend more substantially and meaningfully, the Government launched the “Skill India” campaign along with “Make in India”.

Initiatives in India for Skilling Youth

  1. A Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was created under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2014 and was subsequently upgraded to full-fledged ministry.The role of the Ministry involves coordinating and evolving skill development frameworks, mapping of existing skills and certification, industry-institute linkages among others.
  2. Draft National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015: The objective of the Policy is to meet the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standard (quality) and sustainability. It aims to provide an umbrella framework to all skilling activities being carried out within the country, to align them to common standards and link skilling with demand centres.
  3. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): This is a flagship outcome-based skill training scheme aimed at benefiting 24 lakh youth. A monetary reward is provided to trainees on assessment and certification. The steering Committee for PMKVY is responsible for providing directions for implementation.
  4. Skill Management and Accreditation of Training Centres (SMART): SMART centers provide a single window IT application that focuses on the accreditation, grading, Affiliation and Continuous monitoring of the Training Centres (TC) in the skill ecosystem.
  5. Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood (SANKALP): SANKALP is a Centrally sponsored scheme of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) with the primary focus on district-level skilling ecosystem through convergence and coordination.
  6. Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM): Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched ‘Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM)’ portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities in 2020.  Through ASEEM, agencies, employers, and job aggregators who are looking for a skilled workforce in the specific sectors will have access to the required details of the availability of skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans.

About the UN report on youth and agriculture

  • Youth aged between 15 and 24 years accounted for 16% of the world’s population in 2019 and young people were concentrated in Asia, Central and Southern Asia.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 440 million youth from the African continent would enter the labour market between 2015 and 2030.
  • Food systems are the largest employers, particularly in developing countries. Yet, they often do not provide decent and meaningful work or adequate livelihood opportunities, nor maintain a balance between the needs and rights of different generations.
  • Agri-food systems, if made more appealing and equitable to youth, are a large, untapped reservoir of employment opportunities.
  • As almost 88% of the world’s 1.2 billion youth live, particularly in Africa, where over 70% of youth subsist on USD 2 per day or less – youth engagement and employment in sustainable agri-food systems is a worthy goal to be realized.

India’s Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) Scheme

  • In order to realize the importance of rural youth in agricultural development, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has initiated a programme on “Attracting and Retaining of Youth in Agriculture (ARYA)”.
  • The Objectives of the ARYA Project are to attract and empower the Youth in Rural Areas to take up various Agriculture, allied and service sector enterprises and to enable the Farm Youth to establish network groups to take up resource and capital-intensive activities.
  • The Scheme is implemented through Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK-Farm science centres) by training youth in taking up agriculture’s allied and supplementary activities such as poultry farming, dairying, fisheries, goat rearing, mushroom production and other similar activities which keep the rural youth attached to agriculture, either directly or indirectly.

-Source: Down to Earth Magazine

February 2024