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Upskilling our nation’s young workforce

The New Indian Express, India, 25 June 2020 - All developed countries have focused on building the skills and knowledge of their population for accelerating economic growth and social development in their nations. India is in a sweet spot as far its demographics are concerned. As per the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015, it was estimated that the average age of the population in India by 2020 would be 29 years as against 40 years in the US, 46 in Europe and 47 in Japan.

India has a great opportunity to supply a workforce to its industries and to the rest of the world. This is likely to attract foreign companies to set up industries in the country. The labour is affordable and the people are willing to work for longer hours than their counterparts in developed nations. The return of investment for a foreign company is much greater than it would be in other countries. In addition, English is one of the official languages, which makes it easy to work.

The Government of India, in the last few years, has taken positive steps to increase the ease of doing business, though there is still more to do along the lines of digitising land records, getting tax authorities to be more sensitive to foreign companies, reducing the cost of power, reducing GST, etc. It is working in the right direction. The unemployment rate in India as per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy is 15.4 per cent as of on June 20, 2020. In June 2019, it was 7.87 per cent. Such a high unemployment figure is not good for any growing economy and it can create social unrest.



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