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India Inc - demographic nightmare or demographic dividends?

India is poised at a moment in history when a much brighter future for its entire people is within its reach. India’s population is huge at 1.25 billion. It’s fast expanding rate, will soon make India’s population equal to 17% of the total world population and integrate rapidly into the global economy. With 356 million 15-24 year-olds, India has the world's largest youth population despite having a smaller population than China as per the UN report from November 2014.  With 54 per cent of India's population being 25 or below, India can reap the demographic dividend through right skilling. Unfortunately, currently less than 5 per cent of our potential workforce gets formal skill training to be employable. In a report last year, the Finance Ministry said that if that growing workforce does not develop skills soon, the country could instead face "a demographic nightmare". As per Bank of America report 2013,...
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Developing Skills in a Developing World

This post originally appeared on FSG's youth and education blog. India is a country of contrasts created by rapid growth, where slums rub shoulders with  luxury hotels, where there's a dearth of skilled workers to fill up rapidly growing job openings. Despite having more post-secondary institutions - and people graduating from there - than ever before, Indian businesses are unable to find qualified workers. This threatens the nation's ability to continue its high annual economic growth, and limits the number of people who can rise out of poverty by gaining stable employment. Recognising the magnitude of the problem, the Government of India in 2008 set a target of imparting teaching skills to 500 million people by year 2022. Yet experts are questioning whether the government alone has the resources to solve the problem, suggesting India may need a budget provision of over ten times that of what was set aside in...
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Hope for a Skilled India… Finally!

I recently attended a round table discussion on skill training in India at the British High Commission in Delhi. S Ramadorai, Chairman of the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), hosted the discussion along with the UK India Business Council (UKIBC).  I left the British High Commission that evening very content--I am not sure if it was because we had a good discussion or because the beer was nice and cold. Either way, after a long time I was finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel for skilling of India. Over the past few years, that blasted tunnel kept getting longer and the only people who seemed to have made significant money from skill training in India were consultants and conference organisers. And after many years, I see three critical components falling into place--corporate focus, training vouchers and certifications. Let's take a look...
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