India, endowed with vast youth population “resource”, can create miracles as far as the country’s growth is concerned. Besides, Indian youths can also partner in the economic development of other nations.

Converting this “resource” into human wealth is something on which the current Modi Government at the Centre is working very hard. The Centre is taking all out steps to empower the nation’s youth by sharpening their skills through it’s Skill Development Mission (SDM). The main purpose of SDM is to enhance the skills of the educated youth to enable them make India a robust economy.

The Pradhan MantriKaushalVikasYojna is one such bold step that aims to leverage the students to attain skills. In addition to this, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has also been set up under the public-private partnership program to “facilitate the development and upgrading of the skills of the growing Indian workforce through skill training programs.”

Comparative advantage of India vis-à-vis its youth power.

By 2022, the age of an average Indian would be 29. This will be 37 in China and the USA respectively and 45 in Western European nations. This gives an added advantage to India as the country can easily meet its own manpower needs and also that of the other nations. Japan will be facing the problem of ageing by 2022 as the average age of its population will be 40.

Reaping Demographic Dividends; The Indian Way

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Though India’s greatest asset is its youth population, the nation’s biggest problem is the lack of employability of the educated youth. They are not employable because they are not “transformed” to play leadership roles in the growth of the nation.

The SDM also aims to prepare the Indian youth in such a way that they gain employability in foreign nations too. This is the reason why the Central Government has introduced the International Qualification Framework in partnerships with leading vocational training institutes in other countries, identifying global workforce requirements in key sectors in select destination countries.

Subsequently, India lag far behind the European nations, Canada and USA in reaping the demographic dividend despite the fact that we have abundances of young hands. In fact, India is not able to capitalize on the human resources because a large proportion of them are not employable. The primary reason for it is the talent and skill gap caused by the traditional class-room education continuing for decades together. We have not moved with the changing time.

An ILO report says in India there exists a wide gap between the total demand of trained manpower and its supply. This means the country cannot just easily reap the demographic dividend with a vast number of educated youth still lying unemployable. For that, they need to be transformed so that they could carry forward the nation’s growth trajectory.

At a juncture when the Centre has launched ‘Skilling India,’ a major initiatives to enhance the employability of the youth, time has ripened to have a look at the necessity of creating leadership pipeline for our youth. The ILO report says India will need 500 million “skilled” workforce in the next eight years. Currently, we have about 3.4 million skilled manpower. Thus, there is a vast gap of 496.6 million skilled workers which needs to be filled at the earliest possible.

Why Is India Still Lagging Behind In Its Potential Human Resources?

The shortage of skilled manpower, termed as “empowered workforce” in the management science, is due to the continuance of our traditional and archaic education system. When our educational pattern should have laid emphasis on training students in employable skills, we restricted ourselves to the old class-room teaching restricted on only the theories. As a result, we could not chisel their talents whereas they could have been the most dynamic factor in boosting our GDP growth. But the fact remains that the growing complexity and scope of today’s functional approaches demand special type of skills, attitudes and competencies.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has announced its decision to cooperate with the state governments and the Union Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in imparting training for skill development. This is a very positive step taken by CII as India is currently moving from the (traditional) commodity-centric economic model to the knowledge-centric growth.

This new model of growth can be achieved only with the help of empowered workforce or youth with high degree of skills that ultimately would make them corporate leaders.

The National Policy on Skill Development has also accorded top priority on transformation of educated youth. It is the “transformed” youth who can speed up the pace of the nation’s growth. On being groomed, honed, chiseled and transformed, the level of their abilities and skills grows substantially.

The sequential changes in the human resources are made possible through phase-wise transformations initiated within themselves by honing their entrepreneurial skills, enhancing their sense of duty, building up their level of confidence, augmenting the self-esteem and above all, managing their talent.

Transformed people often move to higher stations of life. This is due to the reason that by nurturing their skills, the educated youth can easily turn achievers in different fields of their employment or as an entrepreneur.  This happens as their skill, after getting sharpened, finds their best expression in the form of actions directed towards achievement of higher goals.

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