Tata-Dhan Academy: PDM


Programme in Development Management

Young Leadership for Young India

“Man is like an infinite spring, coiled up in a small box, and that spring is trying to unfold itself” – Vivekananda

Until the 1990s, India was famous as the second most populated country in the world. While India continues to hold this claim to fame, it now has a new identity: that of the “youngest country”—it has the largest youth group avaialble as human resources—in the world. According to the World Bank, youth are the most valuable assets for developing countries in the next generation.

Youth leadership has been an interesting and challenging concern for Indian visionaries throughout history. Even in the Ramayana, Maharshi Viswamitra mentors Lord Rama. In the middle era, Chankya guided Chandragupta for a united India. Now Dr Abdul Kalam enthuses immense faith on youth for vision India 2020.

But is it easy to utilize our human resources? For India’s development, young leadership is required in every aspect of growth and in all democratic aspects including legislative, judiciary, and administrative branches. Resources are available, and opportunities are present, but so are challenges. Leadership calls for initiative and sacrifice, but today’s youth seem lured by diversions which, in some cases, results in our youth becoming a liability rather than an asset. This lack of leadership is seen in many sectors. For instance, the Indian army is facing a shortage of more than 20,000 officers. Every year in India, more than 250 universities, 1,500 research institutions, and 10,428 higher-education institutes, produce 200,000 engineering graduates and another 300,000 technically trained graduates, but the demand for high-quality professionals is still unmet. Agriculture universities are producing thousands of graduates every year, but still we count the agriculture growth rate in decimals.

That alarming reminder is a major concern for policy makers because on one hand, there is a shortage of high-quality professionals while on the other hand, unemployment is a serious problem in India. This can be an indication that many sectors, agriculture in particular, is inefficient at utilizing youth power.

Another problem is that many Indian youth are doing a marvelous job in every field, but instead of working in India, they migrate abroad for work. Part of this results from a livelihood- or lifestyle-seeking nature; very few youth have the guts to face the challenges and adversities you can expect to find in the development sector. Yet, what developing India needs are people who can take initiatives to bring forth new dimensions in development, not youth who are quick to follow and easy to misguide.

India has a huge youth resource. Indian institutes, planners, policy makers, visionaries, and schools all need to take initiatives to mentor and support the young masses to transform them into the leaders we need to achieve Vision 2020. Making leaders is a challenging task, but it is not impossible. As the youth icon Vivekananda says, “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.”

Yogesh Bhatt, PDM 11


  • World Bank. (2006). World development report 2007: Development and the next generation. Washington DC: Author.

Filed under: PDM 11, Spectrum

One Response

  1. Pulkit Rastogi says:

    What we study, what we hear and what we WRITE…
    With a pure heart if we follow it, without any biasness, m sure Indyouth will be the best & thus our INDIA!!!

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