Demographic Dividend or Demographic Nightmare
Currently, India is home to 20 percent of the population of the world amounting to 1300 million people. It is anticipated that by 2024, India’s population will surpass China and by 2050 , shall have highest number of people (over a billion) in the working age population in Asia- Pacific. This puts India at a special advantage to reap “demographic dividend” which is the benefit in terms of economic growth accruing to any nation due to changes in the age structure. However, the country is experiencing a stagnation in employment creation due to increasing use of capital intensive technology replacing human with capital and a lack of skilled labour to efficiently perform jobs given the new wave of industry 4.0. So there is a possibility of this demographic dividend turning into a demographic nightmare, if this huge human resource is not productive employed. The author conclusion is that solution to the problem lies enhancing the quality of the workforce by promoting Information Technology, development of infrastructure as well as investments in health and education. The low labour force participation of women is an opportunity which can be harnessed by taking right policy actions such as creation of non- farm jobs in the rural sector. Also, exports require the much needed attention for the country to become globally competitive and tackle unemployment. Acknowledging the important role of Defence and MSME sectors in making our economy globally competitive, adequate support should be provided to these sectors.