“If the youth are not handled properly and not provided with meaningful engagement in society, it will be a disaster for the country,” says Japanese Ambassador Takashi Hurai.
PKONWEB Report (Islamabad) — Special Assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Usman Dar has said that for the first time in the country’s history, the newly installed PTI government is working to launch the National Youth Development Index (NYDI).
The Index will monitor youth development in the country based on data collected on education, health, employment, engagement and wellbeing, he said.
The weightage each of these attributes will carry in the composite Index remains to be scientifically determined and tested.
Once launched, NYDI would be the first of its kind in the region including MENA and the Asia-Pacific. A similar index idea called Pakistan Opportunity Index (POI) was launched in December 2016 using the youth, economy and Pakistan-related international indexes as attributes.
Pakistan currently has the largest percentage of young people ever recorded in its history, according to the National Human Development Report launched last year by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pakistan.
Titled “Unleashing the Potential of a Young Pakistan”, the report highlights that 64pc of the total population is below the age of 30 while 29pc is between the ages of 15 and 29 years.
It is one of the youngest countries in the world and the second youngest in the South Asian region after Afghanistan.
This youth bulge will critically impact Pakistan as a country if not dealt with appropriately, depending on how the country invests in the youth by providing them with quality education, employment and meaningful engagement opportunities, the report said. Independent observers concur with the findings.
The report also points out ways and means to improve human development outcomes, by empowering the youth, addressing the root causes of the obstacles they face and by proposing innovative ways to overcome the challenges.
Dar who was chairing a meeting with a delegation led by Secretary Statistics Division and a team from the UNDP discussed the report and exchanged views on how to explore a way forward in this regard. It was agreed in the meeting that a tehsil-level national youth development survey would be conducted to capture data on major aspects of youth development.
Dar said, the launch of National Youth Development Index (NYDI) would be a revolutionary step for the socio-economic development of youth, as it would gauge level of youth development not only at provincial/regional level but also at the district and tehsil levels.
According to the report, young people between the ages of 15 and 29 make up 42pc of Pakistan’s total labor force and four million people reach the working age in the country every year. This makes youth bulge an opportunity as well as a challenge.
The report authored by dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University Dr Adil Najam and Dr Faisal Bari, associate professor of Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences is an insightful data-driven exercise presenting holistic approach to harness the youth bulge for development.
Speaking at the launch of the HDI report last year, Japanese Ambassador Takashi Hurai said that if the youth are not handled properly and not provided with meaningful engagement in society, it will be a disaster for the country.