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Globalisation has generated jobs in India: Shashi Tharoor

Sep 19, 2013

India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development laments that a country of 1.2 billion people has a shortage of skilled people.

Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi: India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development is of the view that there is an urgent need to mainstream vocational education, so that a verifiable system of certification can be established for training in skills that the society finds valuable, as also to ensure that these skills are taught to willing learners by master craftsmen – who may otherwise teach only a handful of apprentices in their whole lives, surely a failure to apply their experience and talents to scale.

Tharoor laments that a country of 1.2 billion people has a shortage of certified masons.

In an interview with Rakesh Sood of One World South Asia, Dr Tharoor discusses changing nature of the Indian workforce while a new generation of enthusiastic workers, equipped with fresh work ethics and perspectives, gets ready to take on the burden of responsibility at a time when the country is going through economic turbulence of the worst kind. Excerpts from the interview:

OneWorld South Asi: As per the International Labour Organisation (ILO) projections, India will have 116 million workers in the age group of 20 to 24 years by 2020. How could this demographic boom place India in an advantageous position?

Shashi Tharoor: ILO predictions put the average age in India by 2020 at 29 years as against 40 years in USA, 46 years Europe and 47 years in Japan. In fact, over the next 20 years the labour force in the industrialised world will decline by 4%, in China by 5%, while in India it will increase by 32%. This demographic asset can be used as competitive advantage by India.

This trend is significant because what matters in the long run is not merely the size of the population, but its age structure. By 2020, around 64% of our population will be of working age, between 15 and 59 years of age. We can only do so if we educate and train these people to take advantage of the opportunities the 21st century offers us.

OWSA: What is your opinion about the emerging new courses in the Indian Education System?

Tharoor: These courses are producing graduates who are trained with a different thought process and work ethics. If this human capital is used as workforce it would act as a critical tool for the Indian Economy’s growth and prosperity.

As the complexion of India’s workforce grows younger, understanding and appreciating the upcoming generation for better engagement will be imperative for organisations for having sustainable growth and value creation for the economy.

OWSA: What do you have to say about role of social media forums in our society?

Tharoor: These forums have become an integral characteristic of this generation which works for change and to voice opinions against prevailing evils. This is evident in the case of December 16/12 Delhi gangrape case.

There is also an urgent need for all of us to identify one focus area of work which is beneficial to society and take responsibilities of our actions. Similarly, valuing the younger generation and learning to harness their talent is a very important part of the role of leaders of today.

Globalisation has played an important role in the generation of employment in India. This has also enabled in creation of a newer set of generation, who are technologically savvy, well informed and connected, I would probably call them “I” generation i.e. internet generation.

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