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Expert panel "busts" Govt of India startup dream: Majority lower strata youth prefer "secure" employment

By Our Representative
At a time when the Government of India is keen to promote startup enterprises, a spot survey in a Niti Aayog report has found that just about 17 per cent of the urban youth, belonging to the lower strata, are interested self-employment or entrepreneurship, and majority would prefer, instead, permanent, preferably government job.
The survey says, while “87 per cent of respondents in semi-urban areas and 68 per cent in rural areas” might go in for self-employment, this is mainly because of fewer opportunities are available in the formal sector. Even in informal sectors, it adds, “employment in private or family occupations are lower”.
Job security is what the respondents across all areas prefer the most. Thus, the report says, “Over 80 per cent of respondents in semi-urban and rural areas also aspire for government jobs”, adding, “Over 60 per cent of the respondents across location, whether in urban, semi-urban or rural areas, would prefer the security of steady income from a job.”
The survey forms part of the “Report of the Expert Committee on Innovation and Entrepreneurship” of the Planning Commission successor body, Niti Aayog, prepared under the chairmanship of Prof Tarun Khanna. Its aim was to “review the existing initiatives aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in India, especially those efforts that result in widespread job growth.”
The report comments, while the survey “highlights societal preferences for job security”, it clearly shows that “while respondents felt that they could earn more money if they succeeded as an entrepreneur, they have a high desire to get a fixed income.”
It adds, “They can neither envision a small business doing well in their hometown, nor do they have sufficient confidence, encouragement from friends and family or access to role models to venture into self-employment or entrepreneurship.”
The survey finds that there is a much higher desire among the females towards self-employment (62 per cent) than male (45 per cent). At the same time, it adds, females were found to be “more likely to opt for higher education (54 per cent), as opposed to their male counterparts (five per cent).
The report is based on an interview with 195 lower strata youths in 10 Pratham Institutes in Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It insists, the survey results suggest that much remains be done “to encourage education, vocational education and self-employment.”
The survey further states that “across all geographic areas, 97 per cent of the youth perceived that access to start-up was a barrier to entrepreneurship”, adding, “Nearly 75 per cent of respondents in semi-urban areas and over 90 per cent of respondents in rural areas indicated that they would opt for entrepreneurship if a government scheme provided support.”
“This points towards an interesting information gap that can be bridged to make lower income youth become aware of existing government programmes, policies and schemes to support entrepreneurship, as well as non-governmental funding and patient capital sources available to support business or self-employment, particularly in rural or semi-rural areas”, the report believes.

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