A country’s youth is the most important and dynamic segment of its population. It is believed that developing countries with a large youth population could experience exponential growth if they invest in the education, health, and rights of their youth. Without a doubt, today's youth will be tomorrow's innovators, creators, builders, and leaders. The Union Budget 2023-24 has highlighted ‘Amrit Peedhi’ or ‘Youth Power’ as a priority under the ‘Saptarishi’ guiding us through the Amrit Kaal. Apart from the budget’s focus on revamping our education system to make it more practical and industry-oriented, emphasis has also been given to vocational and skill training. According to the Hon’ble Finance Minister, India's vision for the Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with strong public finances and a robust financial sector, Jan Bhagidari through Sabka Saath Sabka Prayas will be critical in achieving this. The economic agenda to realise this vision focuses on three things: providing ample opportunities for citizens, particularly youth, to fulfill their aspirations; providing a strong impetus to growth and job creation; and finally, strengthening macroeconomic stability. Under the Union budget 23-24, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will be launched to skill lakhs of youth within the next three years. On-the-job training, industry partnership, and alignment of courses with needs of the industry will be emphasised. The scheme will also cover new-age courses for Industry 4.0 like coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, IOT, 3D printing, drones, and soft skills. To skill the youth for international opportunities, 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different States. The accelerated pace at which technology is being adopted world over has led to a shift in how businesses operate. AI, cloud, blockchain, data science, and automation, among other technological innovations, are paving the way for skill-based opportunities across industries. The unprecedented adoption of digitalization is causing seismic shifts in the talent acquisition and management space. India, despite being a workforce talent hub, has experienced a gap in the demand and supply of highly skilled tech talent in the past. The Union Budget presents a remarkable opportunity to bridge this gap. Apart from the above a Unified Skill India Digital Platform will be launched to further expand the digital ecosystem for skilling. This platform will enable demand-based formal skilling, linking with employers including MSMEs, and facilitating access to entrepreneurship schemes. To provide stipend support to 47 lakh youth in three years, Direct Benefit Transfer under a pan-India National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme will be rolled out.

The Union Budget 2023-24 is a step in the right direction as skill development and training will be critical in creating a world-class workforce that will aid the Indian economic rise. Addressing India's youth's skilling and training needs will also help our country achieve its long-term development goals of reduced inequality, decent work and economic growth, poverty eradication, and overall well-being.

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