Department of Economics,
University of Allahabad.
The growth of the population and its bearing on a nation’s growth constitute a two-way phenomenon. The population growth adds to the growth and development of a nation through the supply of a workforce but at the same time, it also adds to the number of dependent individuals in the economy. India has the opportunity to reap the so-called ‘demographic dividend’ (an increase in the ratio of the population aged 15-64 years to that aged 0-15 years and above 65 years) till 2040, after which the population would start ageing. This benefit can materialise only if this huge potential of the working age population is channelised in the right direction, that is, if the labour force can be gainfully employed. The challenge is to transfer the surplus labour from agriculture to industry, thereby increasing productivity in both the sectors, and also to minimise the informal sector employment in order to maintain the quality of work in all sectors. This challenge itself represents a dual aspect because both sides, that is, the supply of and the demand for labour, need to be focused upon. On the supply side, a huge skill gap has to be bridged while on the demand side, there is need for skill matching and the creation of opportunities. Against this background, this paper seeks to explore the realities and opportunities that the Indian economy is confronted with today.
Keywords: Demographic Dividend, Demographic Transition, Employment, Education, Skill mismatch.