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Santosh Mehrotra

China's Skill Development System

Lessons for India

The sustained rates of China's economic and industrial growth, along with the country's ability to become the world's factory, can be attributed, at least in part, to its educational reforms. China was able to realise the potential benefits of its demographic dividend by prudent reforms in technical, vocational education and training system. Policymakers in India are grappling with a similar set of constraints and it is crucial to undertake critical reforms in our skill development ecosystem to be able to realise the demographic dividend that is available till about 2040. The Chinese system, its major features, the periodic reforms undertaken, its financing, and the participation of industry, are discussed here. Further, the similarities and distinctions with the Indian system are highlighted along with key lessons from the Chinese experience.

The Reformed ‘Planning Commission’

The Way Forward

The government must recognise that one source of China’s strategic economic growth is an institution with strategic planning capacities, the National Development and Reform Commission. The success of China with the NDRC tells us that fiscal decentralisation, accountability mechanisms, experimentation, learning, and openness to expertise form the core of any institution that seeks to provide vision and strategic economic planning. Further, strategic planning institutions in Asian economies, like India’s Planning Commission, have helped deal with various regional and global economic crises; a lesson we must keep in mind.

Explaining Employment Trends in the Indian Economy: 1993-94 to 2011-12

This paper explores employment trends in India since the mid-1990s based on study of various rounds of National Sample Survey unit level data. The major findings are of a structural transformation with an absolute fall in agricultural employment and a rise in non-agricultural employment, increasing participation in education, decline in child labour, mechanisation of agriculture and rising living standards in rural areas due to a growth in real wages which led to a decline in workforce, most of which was of women leaving the workforce. A fall in demand for manufacturing exports and increasing capital intensity also resulted in a decline in manufacturing employment during 2004-05 - 2009-10. The paper estimates that approximately 17 million jobs per annum need to be created in non-agriculture during 2012-17. Based on these estimates, the paper makes policy suggestions to increase non-agricultural employment in India.

International Experience with National Training Funds

Lessons for India

This article presents an argument for a national training fund in the country. With the growing need for skill development and single financing mechanism by the government, an alternative source of funds for training is required. It explains why firm-level training without a consolidated fund has been unsuccessful. Through examples from across the globe, this article demonstrates how the problem has been addressed in various forums, and suggests the way the schemes can be extended to the informal sector. It concludes by suggesting the combination of schemes that could be applied in India, and how money can be raised for the same.

Turnaround in India's Employment Story

Silver Lining amidst Joblessness and Informalisation?

Creation of decent jobs outside agriculture is one of the biggest challenges that confront policymakers trying to achieve "faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth". The Indian economy grew at unprecedented rates during the Tenth (2002-07) and Eleventh (2007-12) Five-Year Plan periods, but it has been characterised by jobless growth and informalisation of jobs in the organised sector between 2004-05 and 2009-10. However, findings from the latest employment and unemployment survey of the National Sample Survey Office (2011-12) seem to suggest a reversal of joblessness with a significant increase in non-agricultural employment. The paper tries to assess the employment intensity of output growth through an examination of employment elasticity, and potential for employment generation during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

Estimating India's Skill Gap on a Realistic Basis for 2022

The window of opportunity called the demographic dividend is available to India only till 2040. Realising the demographic dividend brings to the fore the very serious challenge of skilling our labour force. But before devising the skill development strategy for these coming years, a task of great importance is to estimate the magnitude of the challenge and to assess the skill gap. This paper tries to estimate the skilling requirements, sector-wise, under different scenarios to arrive at a realistic and desirable target. No matter which scenario one ends up believing, the challenge of skill development - both in quantitative and qualitative terms - is enormous and requires a careful policy stance.

Creating Employment in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan

This paper analyses employment trends and addresses the problem of creating decent and productive employment in the non-agricultural sector during the first decade of the 21st century. Its primary interest is to examine the transition from informal employment in the unorganised sector towards formal employment in the non-agricultural organised sector. There has been a slight structural shift in employment away from agriculture towards the non-manufacturing sector. An interesting dimension about this transformation is the rising employment in enterprises employing 20 or more workers and a decline in employment in enterprises employing less than six workers. The second half of the decade (characterised by high growth rates) witnessed a decline in employment in the manufacturing sector, while there was stagnation in services sector employment. With the rise in participation in education (in particular female education), it is most likely that a larger number of educated youth, especially women, will be joining the labour force in future years, and given the fact that the highest open unemployment rate is among educated youth, this calls for more proactive policies towards employment creation in organised manufacturing and services sectors.

India's Human Development in the 2000s

The India Human Development Report 2011 undertakes a disaggregated analysis of a large set of indicators and is unhesitating in its criticism of our failures in human development outcomes even while recognising that there is empirical evidence of achievement in many dimensions. The main fi ndings of the report point out that the states are converging on important indicators of human functioning and that the indicators among the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and Muslims are converging with the national average. But low absolute values of various social indicators among these groups continue and the pace of convergence can improve only if these low levels are addressed.

Multiple Dimensions of Human Development and Interpretations of Change: A Response

Multiple Dimensions of Human Development and Interpretations of Change: A Response Santosh Mehrotra, Ankita Gandhi In

How to Identify the Poor? A Proposal

The Census of 2002 to identify the poor in rural areas of India was the third in a quinquennial series. However, it has been appropriately criticised. This paper elaborates on the criticisms, and proposes an alternative set of criteria and methodology for conducting the next (now overdue) census of the rural population to identify the poor