By Adarsh Badri:
India is currently the fastest growing economy in the world with an annual growth rate of 7.5%. India has been called a ‘developing nation’ for very long time. The economic reforms of 1991 sought to achieve an improved share in global trade by upgrading the economy through liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. 25 years later, it would be safe to say that we’ve come really far, we’ve economically developed by leaps and bounds, but there’s a lot that still needs to be done.
Unemployment and inflation are two of the most pressing economic issues in India. The market has seen prices surge for agricultural commodities. The prices of crude oil also have been rising throughout the year. The imbalance between demand and supply is the reason behind the rising prices. However, inflation has fallen drastically in the last decade, but it’s time to decontrol gasoline prices, cut back on subsidies and find a way to reduce energy consumption.
Among other things, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be kept below the actual prices to prevent farmers from frequently shifting from one crop to another. Labour market reforms are essential to creating jobs for the youth. India must focus on social overhead capital and invest in production analysis.
India is a ‘young’ country as approximately half of the population is below the age of 26. A massive chunk of India’s educated population is unemployed.
Employability has been a great challenge. Employability is the ability of a person to get employed. Being unemployable means that a job-seeker does not hold the required soft skills and qualities that a specific job demands, in spite of being technically proficient. The issue of employability exists in both blue and white collar jobs. The education system has been indirectly contributing to this problem.
The education system in India needs to encourage students to take vocational training courses. We could develop in an exponential manner if we can make use of the demographic dividend – the advantage of having a large, young workforce. Creating jobs must be on top of the decision-makers’ priority list.
We need to focus on social equity as well. We have to curb poverty levels. Strengthening the industrial sector could help create a lot of jobs. Political will is the most important for any of these changes to happen.