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Rising Population of India could be turned into an asset
Ever growing population statistics of India has been a grave cause of concern for the countrys growth and IIMs have grabbed the topic on Population of India in their WAT 2016 to assess how an IIM aspirant thinks of growing population. The 1.2 billion population of India contributing to 17% of entire world population has made India as the second most populated country after People’s Republic of China. The way it is moving, very shortly it may surpass the population of China and may claim to be the
most populated country of the world.
The ever growing population statistics of India has been a grave cause of concern for the country’s growth and IIMs have grabbed the topic on Population of India in their WAT 2016 to assess how an IIM aspirant thinks of growing population of India and whether there are more positive factors than negative ones which could be brought about by these aspirants while writing short essay on the topic ‘If growing population of India can be termed as an asset or it will remain a liability’.
Key facts & background
- There were merely 23 crores Indians in 1901. The growth was not very high till 1951 when the first post independence census was conducted. Even after 50 years since 1901 India contained it population to 36 crores.
- In next 50 years, growth of Population of India shot up 3 times and in 2001 population grew to 1.02 billion (102 crore).
- There has not been any increase in the land size of India. On the contrary, after 1947 partition and 1962 war with China, India lost its substantial land part.
- Growing population ate up the entire economic growth of India and the country could register its progress very slowly.
- No discussion in India about environment, health, employment and various other issues is meaningful by skipping the burning issue of rising population.
- The biggest drawback with the population growth rate during the first 20 years was that more unskilled population contributed to the growth statistics. It was only late in 20th century that skilled population began to form the growth part of India.
- Present skilled workforce in India is only 2 percent of the total population. This ratio is much lower when compared to the other fast developing nations.
- India needs 120 million skilled people in the non-farm sector at present. This demand is set to go up to 150 million in 2016-17.
- Accordingly, if trained and utilized in a channelized manner Indian Population will prove to be a valuable asset rather than a liability.
Young and skilled population: More an asset
With the continuous rise in the young Indian population, India is growing younger. There is a “demographic dividend” which needs to be exploited. As per the findings of the ‘State of the Urban Youth, India 2012: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills,’ a report published by IRIS Knowledge Foundation in collaboration with UN-HABITAT, every third person in an Indian city today is a youth and in about seven years, the median individual age in India will be 29 years, very likely a city-dweller, making it the youngest country in the world.
- The youth segment of India’s population is growing rapidly, and is projected to continue to do so for the next 30 years. This demographic dividend has the potential to inject new dynamism into country’s flagging economy if the state acts quickly on health, education and employment.
- Right now more than 50% of India’s population is below 25 which can be tapped for all round socio-economic growth of the nation as the young workforce has more innovative minds.
- Except China no country in the world has such a big man power as India has which is indeed a blessing for the country. Such a huge and skilled man power coupled with resources needs to be regarded as an asset.
- The huge population offers a bigger pool of human resource and hence a bigger consumer market.
- In the past decade, India has emerged as a major back office to the world with global firms outsourcing work to take advantage of the country's less expensive, educated, young English-speaking workforce.
- India produces 2.5 million IT, engineering and life sciences graduates a year, besides about 650,000 post graduates in science and IT related subjects. The IT sector alone employs about 850,000 graduates and professionals while the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors are snapping up others.
- Near about 402 million Indians are aged between 15 and 59 - the working age - and this number is expected to grow to 820 million by 2020.
Hurdles in making rising population an asset
There is a need for increase in employment opportunities in the rural areas to make the productive use of people’s skills. Indian population will become India’s strength only when India has the power, strength and will to feed the people, provide them clothing and shelter, good education, health care and jobs.
- We cannot talk about turning the rising population into an asset without taking into account the problems of corruption, poverty and illiteracy which go hand in hand and have been creating hurdle in the country’s progress as a whole.
- There is a need for the implementation of the government schemes like National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme in the rural areas at a massive scale so that more and more people are able to join the national mainstream.
- There is a need to make the rural population of the country more and more literate and bring them out of poverty. The schools in the villages need to be made more developed with the curriculum and education system matching with that of the schools in the cities.
- The public schemes targeting the poor need to be implemented properly and honestly because after that it would be easy to bring the large chunk of the country’s population into national mainstream so that they are able to play a decisive role in nation building.
- India needs various job schemes in the interior regions where there is not much industrial activity.
- No capital in the world can substitute the human capital, the Indian state and the government need to properly utilize its skilled and talented population.
Making the real HR capital
The advantages of such a large population for making the country more developed is to achieve the goal policies framed to harness the potential of country’s youth population, which will certainly help in galloping the economy ahead in the double digits.
A huge population creates demand which is also a major indicator of economic growth of a country. The need is to provide the right share of employment opportunities, education, proper meal and a corruption free environment.
For the all-round progress of a large nation, it is essential that its entire population contributes significantly in diverse areas and sectors of the economy. A talented and hard working population can easily emerge as a source of national development. A country like India can use vast natural resources coupled with the huge manpower to make the country progress in the right direction. In India there are more workers than dependents, which is good for the development of any economy.