PDC 2: Rising Unemployment and Economic Woes: Is India Missing its Demographic Dividend?

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Peninsula Discussion Club – Past Event

PDC 2: Rising Unemployment and Economic Woes: Is India missing Demographic Dividend?

Date: 02 November 2019

Speaker: Professor Jothi Sivagnanam PhD, HOD, Dept of Economics, University of Madras

India has stepped into its demographic dividend and the bulging youth population can possibly be a gift or curse for development. Recent concern over rising unemployment in India has been discussed from various dimensions. ‘Jobless Growth’ in India is evoking debates among economists and policymakers on how to capitalize on the human capital resource. The second discussion of TPF was an attempt to comprehend the looming crisis and identify factors that cause unemployment. Speaker of session, Professor Jothi Sivagnanam highlighted that demonetisation and the poor implementation of GST as the two major blunders that have disrupted the economy to a great extent. This is now causing high rates of unemployment. Poor quality in higher education and reluctance of state to correct the skill mismatch was discussed in detail. India’s growth as a global economic power, and its ability to dominate global markets can only be achieved if it focuses on development of high quality skills in its huge young population. The state has to prioritize developing skills at international standards in order to compete with established players. Participants pointed out the problems of archaic and rigid labour laws that stymie productivity and efficiency. It was pointed out that export oriented policies are vital to generate employment and high skills. In the realm of the fourth industrial revolution, the debate has to move past growth versus development due to the interdependence various sectors of the economy. The professor and one of the participants brought out the importance of balancing industrialization with education and social engineering. For example, Gujarat portrays a pro-business growth model, however, failed to succeed in its welfare policies, and hence, has serious inequalities and social problems. On the other hand Kerala, being socialistic in nature focused on development and failed to create a conducive zone for business development. With states having different characteristics and history, problem of unemployment cannot be treated as a universal problem. There is a substantial increase in the educated unemployment and vulnerability in informal sector. States need to address this by designing better quality education to meet the industry standards and regulate the labour laws. Given this backdrop, other specific issues were discussed during the meet.

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PDC Past Event : 02 Nov 2019

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