New Delhi, April 1: Vice President Hamid Ansari warned that "failure" to properly educate and provide "productive employment" to millions of Indians, especially youth, will have "serious economic and social implications" for the country.
"Nothing can be more disruptive for our social cohesion and sustained economic progress than a large army of educated, unemployed youth who feel dis-empowered in every sense of the term," he said while giving the convocation address at Jamia Hamdard University here.
Referring to estimates, he said, "By 2022, 63 per cent of our population will be in working age group. Also, we are one of those countries where working age population will be in far excess of those dependent on them till 2040."
"This demographic structure presents us with a potential demographic dividend which (if) tapped could add to our growth," he said.
The Vice President pointed out that this could happen if two conditions namely "higher levels of education and skill development" and "creation of an atmosphere for rapid growth of economy and quality employment" were fulfilled to meet the needs and aspirations of youth and the marginalised and deprived sections of the society.
"Educating, skilling and providing productive employment to our teeming millions, especially the youth becomes a matter of highest priority in order to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend. Failure to do so would have serious economic and social implications for the country," he added.
Ansari also mentioned empirical evidence which shows that socio-religious groups such as SCs, STs, Muslims, women as well as backward regions of the country which lag behind in education, also trail the rest of the nation in terms of employment and socio-economic and political empowerment.