Skills and knowledge drive economic growth and social development of a country. Nations with higher levels and better standards of skilled workforce can deal with challenges and opportunities in the domestic and global market. India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. It is currently celebrating demographic dividend with two-third of 1.3 billion people under the age of 30 years. However, a big challenge lies ahead as estimates show that India has a very few skilled labour force. According to Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), over 30% of the youth aged between 15 to 29 years are ‘not in employment’ which refers to those who are not searching for jobs either due to unavailability or there are no jobs that match their skills. Despite the government’s initiatives to promote jobs, unemployment is turning out to be a new norm. This is because India is facing challenges at many levels. Skill India, that seeks to improve the skills of the Indians, is showing very limited results. This is because of the limitations that exist within the various government initiatives. It is necessary to address these issues so that India can become a $5 trillion economy.
Since 2018, India’s working-age population has grown larger than the dependent population consisting of children and senior citizens. This youth bulge is going to last for 37 years. However, the current economic slowdown has led to layoffs, growth decline in various sectors and joblessness. Necessary steps like policy support and reforms must be taken to make full utilisation of India’s demographic dividend to promote the growth and development of the economy.
On 23 July 2019, the Code on Wages Bill was introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha. This bill, if made into law, will improve the standard of living of about 50 crore workers across the nation and provide legislative protection against labour exploitation, which is a problem faced by the citizens working in the unorganised sector.
Automobile sales in India saw a steep decline in July this year. The automobile sector is currently facing prolonged demand slowdown for the past 12 months. This had cost at least 15, 000 job losses within 2-3 months, during the period when India is facing an unemployment crisis and overall economic slowdown.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, addressed the problem of population explosion in India. He termed those who opt for smaller families as patriots. He argued that the development and prosperity of the nation begin only when all the individuals are healthy and resourceful. He appealed for the public effort to reduce the population at the ground level. This speech comes with the backdrop of the UN Population Projections report that estimated that India will be the most populous country in the world through the current century.