India’s restless youth want change: Patil


New Delhi : Calling the youth India’s “greatest strategic resource”, President Pratibha Patil Thursday said the challenge before the country was to invest in their education, employability and employment.

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“Over 50 percent of our population is below 25 years of age and their creative energy is our greatest strategic resource. India has the capacity to contribute to a fourth of the global work force if it invests in skill development of its youth,” Patil told a joint session of parliament.

“Besides making massive investment in education, the government will focus on the national skill development initiative that has commenced operation with the very ambitious goal of creation of 500 million skilled people by 2022 so that we recognise the demographic dividend,” she said.

In the same vein, Patil also referred to the knowledge society, emphasising that creativity, innovation and enterprise hold the key to people and nations realising their potential.

“The ‘dreary desert sand of dead’ habit must be left behind. Our young people are tearing down the narrow domestic walls of religion, region, language, caste, and gender that confine them,” she said.

Underscoring the fact that the government must invest in their hope, the president said the policies for education would be imbued with a spirit of innovation.

“The next 10 years would be dedicated as a decade of innovation,” she added.

At the end of her speech, Patil said India’s young population was restless and wanted to see change quickly.

“My government carries the weight of their dreams. Together, let us dedicate ourselves to making each day of the next five years, a day closer to the realisation of their dreams.”