Every additional year of education in India increases a person’s average income by about 6.7 per cent, according to a new study that noted this return is higher for girls than boys.

The study was commissioned by the NGO, Population Foundation of India, on why the government needs to invest in young people’s health, education and well-being.

Based on an analysis of secondary data, it was found that every additional year of education in India increases a person’s average income by about 6.7 per cent.

“This return is higher for girls than boys. Each additional year of education yields an 8.6 per cent increase in women’s monthly wages, while for men the number stands at 6.1 per cent,” it said.

The study also found that every rupee invested towards the completion of school education is expected to bring an economic benefit between Rs 4.5 and Rs 8.2 in terms of future earnings of each individual, it said.

The study pegs the total cost of establishing adequate mental health facilities for adolescents at Rs 8,134 crore over the next six years. According to the findings, another Rs 2,745 crore would be needed per year to cover the treatment costs.

It projects that the cost of providing iron and folic acid tablets to school-going adolescent boys and girls and out-of-school adolescent girls would cost roughly Rs 3,000 crore per year.

Speaking on mental health issues faced by adolescents, PM’s EAC Chairman Bibek Debroy said there was a serious lack of data given that most cases are under-reported due to the stigma around such problems.

He also talked about the need to act fast to realise India’s demographic dividend. “Beyond 2035, or thereabouts, India will begin to age. Even more important is that we get our policies on these people who are entering the labour market right,” said Debroy, who released the study on Monday.

Poonam Muttreja, the executive director of the Population Foundation of India, stressed the need for collaborative action between various arms of the government and civil society organisations to work towards adolescent development.

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