Shilong : Meghalaya is one state that has functioned for close to 45 years without a policy even in some of the most critical areas such as health, education and agriculture. Much has been spoken about a youth policy considering that Meghalaya, like India, is a young state with a youth demography that is both a boon and a challenge. A young population means that the state has to plan for job creation and skills development. Government can no longer be the job provider. It only needs to create the conditions necessary for the private sector to step in and open up job avenues. Skilling the youth in different areas of interests would enable them to start up their own businesses. Indeed entrepreneurship is yet to take off mainly because of the lack of access to finance.
In 2012 Meghalaya launched the flagship programme – the Integrated Basin Development Programme with several verticals that seek to address key sectors such as water resources, horticulture, fisheries, entrepreneurship etc. Several youths have been trained on entrepreneurship development and some have been able to launch their own enterprises. But they are still too few to be counted. In April this year, the Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Zenith Sangma had informed that the State Youth Policy would be prepared by the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development (RGNID), Chandigarh and that the first draft would be put up on the Government website for public viewing by June end. This Policy was to be the guiding frame work for the government, civil society organisations and the NGOs to plan and design the programmes, which will meet the aspiration of young people. Till date this Policy has not been seen on the website and nor do we hear of its launch. How long does it take to come up with a Policy and why use outside consultants for every kind of work? Does Meghalaya not have local resources to come up with a Youth Policy? Will the next Government be any different or can we expect policies to come up on key areas of development?
Source: The Shillong Times