Q . India is been having a population base favorable for economic development. Considering the present economic situation and the aim of being a $ 5 trillion economy, examine the measures taken to ripe the fruit of the demographic dividend and suggest further measures to be taken. 14TH, NOVEMBER,2020 (10 marks, 200 words, GS-3)
- Introductory para to present the current population stats and what Economic Survey predicts
- The next para about the present measures and steps taken to ripe the fruits of demographic dividend
- Third para for the issues and challenges awaiting
- Final concluding para about the future steps and measures needed.
Demographic dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) means the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure.
Economic Survey 2018-19 has noted that “India is set to witness a sharp slowdown in population growth in the next two decades”. Although the country as a whole will enjoy the “demographic dividend” phase, some states will start transitioning to an ageing society by the 2030s. The age distribution, however, implies that India’s working-age population will grow by roughly 9.7mn per year during 2021-31 and 4.2mn per year in 2031-41.
Why India needs to reap fruits of Demographic Dividend?-
- With the number of children in India reducing, and the 18-23 population hardly growing, soon India may have an ageing population supported by a shrinking workforce.
- Entry of more women in workforce.
- The elderly population in India is projected to double from 8.6% in 2011, to 16% in 2040.
How India can gain from its Demographic Dividend?-
- Employability of working age population
- Good healthcare– The National Sample Survey Office data on health (75th round, 2018), shows that a deep-rooted downturn in the rural economy is making quality health-care unaffordable.
- Quality education– UNICEF 2019 reports that at least 47% of Indian youth are not on track to have the education and skills necessary for employment in 2030; virtual classes; Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
- Vocational training and skills
- Appropriate labour policies
- Good governance
- Job creation– The Economic Survey 2019 calls for additional jobs to keep pace with the projected annual increases in working age population.
- Technological advancement
- Removing gender disparities–
- Equal pay for women will make it worth their while to stay longer in the workforce.
- The Economic Survey of 2018 points out that ‘son meta preference’ – the desire to have a male child – has resulted in 21 million “unwanted girls” in India.
- India’s current bulge in the working population is a good opportunity for it to improve its economic growth and enhance the standard of living of its population.
- However, it can harness the economic potential of the youth bulge only if it can provide good health, quality education and employment opportunities.
- This can be done only by overcoming the current challenges faced by the Indian economy through policy support and the necessary reforms of the existing laws.