The Hindu carried out a survey about the youth aspirations and where they are moving forward. It gave new insights and new thoughts.
Here are some of the basic findings.
First, the urban/rural information divides. Newspaper reading habits had grown up dramatically. 55% read newspapers and this 74% for the urban readers. On the other hand, book reading habits seem to have taken a beating. There is a clear sign that books are not read as widely as we would have imagined. Only 7% interviewed say they read books, for even urban readers it is just 14%.This is not a healthy sign. There is in fact a book publishing explosion and book festivals are now a universal phenomenon. Yet, in India it is see that books buying and reading is not as healthy as it should be.
Use of internet is catching up. In urban areas it is just 14%.All India it is just 7%.Here we need to push things faster. Yes, TV viewing is now universal, almost. An impressive 84% watch TV, sports and entertainment 63%. There is no information how many watch the serious news channels or the much more in-depth serious debates like the big fight or the walk the talk.
Mobile phones, two wheelers and internet connections are catching up, more mobile phones, more knowledgeable. Class and economic aspirations.30% want to earn just Rs.5,000 to Rs 10,000. 35% want to earn Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000. The aspirational level for earning higher incomes is weak surprisingly! Just only 15% aspire for this bracket of income. In rural areas this aspiration is just a negligent 1%.
This indicates that there is no real educational motivation to aspire for higher incomes or aspire for more different types of jobs and professions. Surely, this comes as a disappoint ment. The upper classes, the middle classes and the lower classes are yet to realize where they are in life’s many chances, seem to be opening up. This is a big disappointment.
Upper urban class is willing to give up Indian citizenship for US citizenship; this is a high 29%! A pity and a tragedy, I would say! There is a great desire to move out of their present locations, their villages to settle in cities. This is as high as 58%, so to move out of their own states. This is as high as 58%. To move out of their country to work in a foreign country is again as high as 52% to 56%. So, half the urban educated, upper classes are willing to move out of their states, their countries for work outside. That is a poor reflection on what our leaders are promising for the younger generation!
There is still a strong family value system, marriage outside their castes not preferred (58%), younger generation must look after their older parents (77%). To be ambitious? Fine, say 39%.Old values of simplicity, gone? Yes, say 37%. Globalization threat to our culture? Yes, say 32%.Clearly, this side of the changing attitudes and values are yet to get more articulation. There is clearly not much articulation on the level of thinkers, writers and intellectuals.
Participated in politics? In a way, say 21%.Strongly support democracy? Yes, say a good 53%.Discuss politics with friends? Yes, say 47%. Obviously, the political sensitivity of the general public is pathetic and poor.
Economic optimism? Economic future of the country? No, there is pessimism! India will remain one of the poorest countries; say an unacceptable very high percentage of 61%. Why this pessimism? It needs some study. Surely, here too our leaders have failed to give a good lead to the young in the country. India a super power? Yes, say 67%. India a secular power? Yes, say 61%. India likely to break up into many countries? No, say 53%. Why only 53%? We need to really instill more confidence, more optimism and more knowledgeable inputs into our public policy making.
Employment and career? Yes, it is very high on the minds of the youth. As high as 65%. Considering the rather very not so optimistic findings, there is a cause for worry.
Indian youth is not that revolutionary or very adventurous when it comes to breaking out of the older generations, rather conservative attitudes to life, work, and family and even participation in politics.
Certain immediate thoughts sprint to mind.
The youth should take more to political participation. Even as a decent career of public service, politics allows enormous opportunities for mental growth and satisfaction. Education and careers. It seems there is no great growth of the education opportunities as we find in the developed countries. Education is for more aspirations, more self-fulfillment and for more adventurous careers. The conception of education, even in the new generation, seems to be restricted to just study and pass exams and opt for the careers that come at the first offer. This is not a very happy progress at all. So too the career choices. There is still some hankering for the old, 9-5 careers of a docile government servants types.
So, we welcome reader’s responses.