The UPA government is looking at creating 25 million new jobs and two million additional seats in higher education in the 12th plan (2012-17) to leverage India’s demographic dividend.
Creating more jobs is key to foster economic growth of 8.5 % to 9 % in 12th plan as India’s working population (15-64 age group) is expected to increase from 781 million in 2010 to 916 million in 2020. The 2011 census also stated that India has youngest population among big economies with half of country’s people being younger than 25 years in 2010 as compared to 35 years for China and 45 for United States.
Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia has set this ambitious target of 25 million new jobs outside agriculture for the 12th plan likely to be finalized by early September at a meeting charged by PM Singh.
“It (creating 25 million jobs) is not a difficult task,” said Dr TS Papola, former director of Institute for Studies in Industrial Development and member of a plan panel’s working group on employment. For that, he said, the government will have to focus on growth in service and manufacturing sectors as employment in agriculture was falling. “We have ability to create 8-10 million jobs every year”.
The plan panel believes that the key for creating new jobs would be “substantial” improvement and expansion in higher education. “We are looking at addition of two million additional seats in higher education, double of what was achieved in the 11th (2007-12) plan,” a senior panel functionary told HT, adding that there would be financial incentive for colleges and universities meet quality parameters.
The panel also wants to provide different skill training to 80 million youth in the 12th plan under the framework of the proposed National Skill Development Authority. Dilip Chenoy, managing director of National Skill Development Corporation said collaboration with private sector on training to employed and unemployed youth has started in several states including Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. “It is work in progress in five key sectors,” he said.
The 12th plan once approved by PM headed Planning Commission in September would be discussed with chief ministers at the National Development Council meeting slated for this October.