The budget just presented by the hon'ble Finance Minister touched on 3 thematic areas, Aspirational India, Economic Development for all and a Caring society which are key for the youth of India and opportunities for them. It was stated that by 2030 the working age population of India will be the largest in the world. Providing job opportunities and ensuring continued jobs for all in a world of disruptive changes will be paramount for which skill development and re-skilling will be important.
Farm sector action plan for facilitating an enabling ecosystem for improving farm productivity, processing and logistics for faster reach to market provides entrepreneurial and job opportunities across districts. Skills will need to be built at the district level in farming and allied sectors so that requisite capacity is there for implementation. The boost in planned infrastructure spending is expected to result in new job opportunities in construction as well as operation & maintenance of assets and facilities developed for which skill development will be a key requirement for successful implementation.
It was stated that the National Education Policy will be announced which is expected to bring in transformative changes in India's education system and get aligned to global standards. Talented teachers and better laboratories & facilities will be key. Allowing external commercial borrowings for funding modernising facilities is a positive move. Teacher training for adopting the new teaching and learning methodologies across the country will need to be funded.
To better the employability of students in the general stream, 150 higher education institutions are proposed to have embedded vocational courses to increase their expertise for targeting jobs of the future. The internship programme for graduate engineers at the Urban Local Bodies not only gives them a great opportunity to gain experience but also helps augment the capacity of the urban local bodies to provide better service delivery leveraging smart technologies.
To improve reach and access of quality education to deprived sections of society across the country proving online degree courses from the top 100 ranked Indian institutes is a key move. This ensures quality of such online courses as well as acceptability of degrees.The shortage of doctors at districts has sought to be addressed through setting up medical colleges attached to existing district hospitals in states that opt to participate. The medical colleges will be built in PPP mode with Central Government providing viability gap funding.
For youth seeking opportunities abroad, in areas of nurses, paramedics and caregivers the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship will jointly develop a special training package for bride courses to bring equivalence to standards of other countries. As a policy direction, this budget gives opportunities for employment, but the challenge will be in implementing at the ground level benefitting every district of the country.
(The author is Partner, Deloitte India)