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News & Trends - Indian Society Lifestyle Standards

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News & Trends - Indian Society Lifestyle Standards
<b>Youth survey shows high joblessness, low awareness</b>

By IE
Wednesday January 2, 02:17 AM

A first-ever survey to study the behavioural pattern of the youth in the country - conducted across six states - has revealed a high rate of unemployment among the educated section, especially among women, lack of comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS, high rate of tobacco consumption among men and low participation in community programmes. Also, it has found that more women than men were married before the prescribed legal age and in Jharkhand the percentage was as high as 81.

The survey was conducted by the Mumbai-based International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), in collaboration with the Population Council, New Delhi, at a time when the Centre has begun work to formulate the next National Youth Policy.

IIPS undertook the household-based survey in six states from January 2006 to take forward the 10 thematic issues raised in a UN worldwide study of the youth.

The institute is now collating the baseline data. However, it is ready with fact-sheets for Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu. The fact-sheets for Bihar and Rajasthan will soon be ready, and that of Andhra Pradesh by April 2008.

"We chose these six states as they are representative of their regions," said Dr Usha Ram, one of the coordinators for the IIPS survey. Over 1.5 lakh households were interviewed in these six states.There were 300 primary sampling units from each of the states, with 150 units from urban and 150 from rural areas. And each of the units surveyed had 75 men and an equal number of women. In Maharashtra, 25,641 households were interviewed, 37,893 in Tamil Nadu, 28,258 in Jharkhand and 28,585 in Bihar.

"The idea was that the Centre is planning the next youth policy, but a comprehensive data on the youth is not available. The data available through family health surveys and National Sample surveys are fragmented. Therefore, this large-scale study - to record different aspects of the life of the youth in a representative manner - was undertaken. It should provide for baseline data for the youth and can be used for the policy," said Dr Usha Ram.

"The study attempts to collate information regarding the youth in terms of employment, education, premarital and extramarital sexual behaviour, access to economic resources, autonomy, gender issues, community participation," said Professor F Ram, another coordinator for the survey.

According to the Government, the number of youths in the age group of 13-35 years, as per the 1991 Census, was estimated at around 34 crore, and this is anticipated to increase to 51 crore by 2016.

For the IIPS survey, youths - both male and female - in the 15-24 years age group were divided into four categories of married males (MM), married females (MF), unmarried males (UM) and unmarried females (UF). About the findings, S K Mohanty, another IIPS survey coordinator, said, "Unemployment is higher among women than among men. Also, the unemployment rate by educational level is substantially higher among women with 12 years of schooling in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand." Dr Usha Ram added, "Because of educational levels and social status, women do not want to do lower or inferior jobs."

As far as education goes, higher percentage of married women than married men, and unmarried men than unmarried women are out of school by the age of 12 in all three states, the survey revealed. "Awareness and knowledge of HIV and condoms is high, but correct knowledge is not there," said Dr Usha Ram. The survey found that participation of young men in community programmes is very low and even poorer among young women.
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