Forgotten Youth, In the process of development

Pushpa Parag
October 31st, 2020

According to Nepal’s National Youth Policy (2015) (where youth are defined as 16-40 years old), approximately 20.8% of total population of the country falls in the age group 16-25 years, while 40.35% of the population lies in the age group 16-40 and 70% of the population is under the age of 35. This phenomenon, where the youth account for the largest segment of the population of any country is defined as ‘population dividend’ or ‘youth bulge’.

Youth force is the change agent of political, economic and social changes in any country. The present developed and developing countries seem to have achieved progress in development and construction through the quantitative and qualitative development of the young human resources. In the development and progress of every country the contribution of the youth has occupied a prominent place. Nepal seems to be in a position where it has an opportunity to enter the golden era of affluence and development taking advantage of the youth demographic benefits.

Nepal has been placed at 145 in the world youth development indicator. Even if compared to South Asian countries, the youth development indicator of Nepal seems to be the weakest Even though the ratio of fully unemployed youth in Nepal has been shown merely as 2.3% in the government figures; the ratio of semi employed youth is about 36%. According to the International Labor Organization, the fully unemployed ratio is 19.2% whereas the semi unemployed ratio is 28.3%. Nearly 36% of the unemployed youth force in Nepal is not connected with economic production and skills. The marginalized, minority, indigenous and physically challenged youth suffer from higher ratio of unemployment. Almost half of the youth labor force is still dependent on agriculture for survival. 7% of the five hundred thousand and 38 thousand youth annually going out for foreign employment are unskilled. Even though the employment ratio looks slightly bigger, this ratio has decreased in the industrial sector. Even though remittance occupies 29% of the domestic production, only a very small part of this has been invested in the production sector.

Present Problems and Challenges before the Nepali Youth:

  1. Lack of equality, time-relevant and employment oriented education, inaccessibility to vocational skills and technology, goalless
  2. Unemployment and semi unemployment
  3. Youth escape and political instability
  4. Weak health, nutrition and mental strength of the youth
  5. Absence of youth friendly investment and environment of entrepreneurship
  6. Gender, region and caste related discriminations and exclusion
  7. Challenges brought forward due to the impacts of globalization and liberalization.

It is the need of today to move forward confronting the existing problems and challenges relating to youth development on the basis of evaluation of the present status of the Nepali youth and internalizing the available prospects and opportunities. The primary concern of the three tier government should be focused on the overall aspect of development and should ensure the youth participation in the process of development. The destruction of nature, always construction in the name of development and youth escape should be stopped and investment on skill, knowledge and empowerment can only step forward in the process of development.

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