iipm think tank
> Boast about it, folks!!!
Daily Indian Media
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Business and Economy
The Daily Indian
The Sunday Indian
Boast about it, folks!!!
India’s pride of being a ‘young’ nation is just a gas ball of ‘illiteracy’!
India is young, and we’re more than proud to voice out loud that 570 million people in India are under the age of 25 years; now that’s more than a whopping 50% of our total population by the current estimates! And hey! It just doesn’t get better than this. India is expected to register the world’s largest addition to ‘working age’ class by 2010. What more? India’s labour cost, as a percentage of value added is also one of the lowest amongst all Asian countries (as CIA’s report titled ‘Indian economy & trends’ highlights). Really, at a time when the world is up and against the problem of a greying population, India has an ever-increasing young population. All’s good so far. But here comes the hiccup? The quality factor! Yes, the predicament is that a significant proportion of this young population is uneducated, thus rendering them unemployable.
Currently, India has a workforce of 549 million. Of this, the total rural workforce accounts for 407 million, now that implies that a whopping 74% of our young and seemingly employable youth live in rural areas. What’s worse, close to a thumping 60% have agriculture as their primary source of livelihood. This indirectly implies that we just have a shameful 40% engaged in basic manufacturing or services. Even by the most optimistic of estimates, market reports suggest that a shameful 40% of the current total workforce is illiterate and another 40% have no high-school degree. That basically means that a shameful 20% (109 million) qualify as high-school passouts (and we boasted about India being a ‘young’ & a ‘knowledge’ economy!)... The proof of the problem lies in the fact that rural India, despite being home to 74% of our workforce, contributes just 18% to India’s GDP!
These simple statistics reveal the deplorable condition of our rural workforce, a story of a hopeless, downcasted Indian future. Today, skill-based training, clubbed with proper awareness about potential markets remain the only panacea. Young, but illiterate – India can’t be proud of it (or is it?!)...
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