Assam is the gateway to the South-East Asian markets. As Assam is rich in natural resources, there is a high possibility of a new avenue for business across the state. Despite enormous underlying possibilities, the market has not flourished as expected.
One of the recent stride taken by the state government towards the same was observed in the year 2017 in the month of October. The Assam Government initiated the ‘Advantage Assam’ programme with the primary aim to showcase the tremendous investment opportunities and highlight the geo-strategic perks offered to the investors across the country.
Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam, propounded the programme as the largest ever investment promotion and facilitation edge, driven by the government to a large extent, with the sole motive to transform the state as one of the largest manufacturing hubs in the ASEAN region. The summit saw the influx of top industrialists, business tycoons, venture capitalists, angel investors, and others. Still, the region massively lags behind in the key aspect ‘investment & funding’.
As per a report, companies with an investment capital of more than Rs 10 crores had to prove their intentions to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. Revealing the present scenario, there has been a huge drop-down, in terms of ideas proposed by the investors in the past few years, and currently, is negligible in comparison to other developed states of the country.
The main highlight from this step was expected to be the rise in employment opportunities across the region. The keen eye of investors would have definitely caught the attention of private firms in the country and would have created a sphere for private entities in the region. Regardless of all efforts, the unemployment factor is said to have increased. According to the statistics presented by the State Skill, Employment and Entrepreneurship Department, around 20,00,000 educated, yet skilled youth and 3,00,000 unskilled youths are unemployed in the state.
From the above-mentioned statistics, it is clear that there might be some legit cause that is leading to high unemployment rate in the state. The first cause can be identified as unskilled resources. Most of the educated youth are not highly skilled to perform specialised tasks. Another key cause is the hardcore dependency on government jobs. Against the unemployment ratio, government jobs are very minuscule in numbers.
A few of the educated youth make their way by clearing clerical examinations, and the rest by keeping their hands on. Thus, such a mindset towards public sector jobs makes the private sector less attractive. Furthermore, the youth of the state are not interested in doing small jobs. Their inclination for being famous lands them only in the search for attractively paying jobs, forgetting the fact that those require immense skills and learning.
In context to this, the present scenario is changing. The saffron-led government has come up with the concept of ‘Start-Up India’. The Assam Government, in collaboration with the Start-up India team, is undertaking an outreach campaign in educational institutions to motivate youth for entrepreneurship.
Government officials along with the region-based small scale industrialists and professors of Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Assam are trying their best to promote the same and discuss the issues related to entrepreneurship among students – paving a better future for young minds and creating a start-up ecosystem.
Now, the core ideology lies in understanding the word ‘entrepreneurship’, which is crucial to eliminate unemployment. Entrepreneurship, in itself, is a broad term. It is not just about starting a new venture; in fact, is all about leveraging the entrepreneurship skill one possesses. Be it in terms of innovation, risk-taking ability or enhancing leadership qualities, most of the youth lag far behind in this. Hence, it becomes necessary to build a platform in order to enrich these entrepreneurial ideas into reality, right from the primary and secondary level of education.
In similar lines, Board of Secondary Education of Assam (SEBA) is supposed to introduce commerce as an elective subject for classes 9th and 10th, and this small but great process of sowing seeds of entrepreneurship in the minds of youth can reduce the unemployment rate in the state.
Featured image provided by the author.