The Citi Foundation Helps India Prepare To Be World’s Youngest Population By 2020

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Last year, Prime Minister Modi of India launched an ambitious project that aims to train over 400 million young people in different skills by 2022. The initiative is called ‘Skill India’, with the tagline - 'Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat', which means ‘Skilled India, Successful India.’ Today, every third person in an Indian city is a youth. In about four years, the average-aged person will be 29 years old and very likely a city-dweller, making India the youngest country in the world by then. India is set to experience a dynamic transformation as the population burden of the past turns into a demographic dividend, but the benefits will be tempered with social and regional inequalities.

Supporting the India’s national agenda of ‘Skill India’ will be the Citi Foundation’s India Innovation Grant Program (IIGP), which is a first-of-its-kind initiative in India, launched in 2014 to encourage non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to develop innovative, sustainable financial education and inclusion models. Now in its third year, IIGP will expand to focus on investing in the skills of the youth across the country and prepare them for and connect them with economic opportunities, which in turn, will propel economic progress and inclusion in India.

In India, the Citi Foundation’s overall grant program is focused on addressing the socio-economic challenges with innovative and strategic grants, which will help enhance and grow financial inclusion, promote responsible financial behavior via increased financial literacy and create new income-generating opportunities in low income communities. Since 1999, the Citi Foundation has supported more than 35 non-profit organisations, benefiting an estimated 2.5 million individuals across India. Now through its IIGP plan, it will identify leading programs that will help young people, aged between 16-25 years old, build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job.

The IIGP 2016 is part of Pathways to Progress, Citi Foundation’s global scheme to prepare young people with career necessary tools and opportunities needed to thrive in the current world’s economy. Pathways to Progress is comprised of programs, research and partnerships that helps the next generation build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job.

So, as India prepares to become the world’s youngest country by 2020, while the West, Japan and even China are ageing, this demographic potentially offers this nation a thriving and growing economy. However, while India is undergoing this demographic transition, regional disparities in education mean the benefits will not be evenly spread across the country. That's why IIGP 2016, along with ‘Skills India’, will be crucial to see how things eventually play out for the youth in the end. 

Photo Credit: Citi Foundation