Article: One big IF: Alarming trends about India's working population


One big IF: Alarming trends about India's working population

Editorial for March 2010 issue

Study after study has highlighted India’s favourable demographic trend when compared to other BRIC countries. As per a United Nations report, India’s working-age population is expected to shoot up by 240 million (24 crore) over the next two decades. This will impact not just economic output, but also consumption, investment and savings if this working age population is absorbed into the productive sphere.

  And that is one big IF.

  As we speak to various stakeholders – corporate leaders, educationists and policymakers, a few alarming trends emerge. First, employability of graduates from disciplines like engineering, commerce and management is very poor and this can be largely attributed to low-quality academic institutions controlled by people with political influence. Second, there is a huge shortage of professionals in disciplines like medicine, biotech and hi-tech research. And finally, there is a massive projected shortfall of skilled non-graduate professionals in retailing, hospitality, BFSI, healthcare and construction.

  The idea of surplus capital and insufficient labour is an alien one in the Indian context. Yet, there is growing evidence of a deep-rooted problem of institutional apathy, outdated curriculum and poor planning at a central level, which, if not rectified, could undermine the core competence of this blooming economy.

  Our cover story digs deeper to understand what is wrong and what can be done to address this situation. We collect views from industry leaders, educationalists, policy-makers and from research to unravel the reasons and to look for solutions to the large talent shortage confronting us.

  In this issue, we also bring interesting insights into managing diversity in the workplace (Aparna Sharma), making ESOPs work (Harshu Ghate) and survey results from Kenexa Research Institute on how leadership teams affect employee satisfaction. Rajeshwar Upadhyaya dazzles with his thoughts on the connection between the Indian ethos and our acceptance of mediocrity.

  With every issue, we look to bring you insights into some of the most pertinent people and organization related topics of the day. We hope our efforts to deliver diverse concepts and ideas from a wide spectrum of thought leaders will contribute to your development and your organization’s success.

Ester Martinez


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Topics: C-Suite

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