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Leveraging Demographic Dividend to tackle India’s Unemployment Conundrum

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To envisage the development of India as a nation which leads the world in economic growth, innovation, and sustainable development, while preserving its rich cultural heritage and natural resources,we need to think of the major issues that need to be tackled , as the nation prepares itself for a new government at the centre.

India is making significant progress on the path of becoming a developed economy with improved fiscal status and infrastructure development in the past one decade. India has seen remarkable progress in the GDP growth rate and enhanced its scores on the Human Development Index. However, despite all these achievements, India is grappling with a severe unemployment crisis.

The unemployment rate in India stood at 4.8% in 2020-21, inhabiting about 31 million unemployed people in the country. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the problem leading to a disruption in the economy and heavy job losses.

In the last decade, the government has launched several initiatives to address unemployment, including the Make in India, Startup India, and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana programs. While these initiatives have had some impact, a lot more needs to be done to ensure that the policies in hand are effectively implemented and these policies could benefit all the socio-economic groups.

For that, we will initiate certain policy recommendations for the government to take cognizance of. Firstly, we need to create more employment opportunities within our country, and ensure that a considerable part of the employment is not transient in nature, to ensure that the people are engaged in employment throughout the year in meaningful employment. For that the government also needs to identify sectors which have huge potential in employment generation like the Digital sector, IT, white collar jobs etc.

Secondly, to enhance the employability of the people, the government should also invest in the training and skill development of the workers and people who aspire to work in skilled and semi skilled jobs. On the other hand, the government should support young entrepreneurs to not only start their own enterprises but also mentor them in upscaling their startups and generate employment on their own, creating a circular economy and downward filtration of knowledge, skills and employment.
Finally, research and innovation should be promoted in the industrial sector and skill development and vocational skills should be compulsorily integrated into the curriculum to foster the spirit of work ethics among the people.

The agricultural sector needs to be innovated and upgraded as per new developments and investments should be made on precision farming, irrigation, and mechanization, to increase productivity and efficiency. Agricultural clusters should be developed to allow smooth accessibility of farmers and farm products to the market, enhancing the commercial value of agriculture.

Agro-industries should be promoted in a major way, which not only can increase the productivity of agriculture, but can generate lucrative employment in the agriculture sector.
Awareness programs on agriculture, skill development centres for modern day farming and agricultural research should be given impetus to foster innovations in agriculture and development of a skilled agricultural workforce.

By implementing these recommendations, India can leverage its demographic dividend, unlock the potential of the agricultural sector, and create a more sustainable and inclusive economic growth model.

Authors

HEMANGI SINHA

PROJECT HEAD, WIF

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