New Delhi, Dec 12 (UNI) Indian authorities were today asked to create jobs at an ''exponential'' speed to employ the nation's rapidly growing labour force.
''Ensure that this demographic boon does not become a bane,'' Minister of State for Human Resource Development D Purandareswari underscored at an International Conclave on Skills.
She said India's demographic dividend-- labour force growing much more rapidly than the overall population-- is ''well known'' but ''we need to ensure that this demographic boon does not become a bane.
''This means that the pace of job creation or self-employment opportunities must increase at an exponential speed,'' she told the conclave focused on Building People - Building India.
''The subject... is... timely because India, by all accounts, is fast emerging on the world stage as an economically powerful and a technologically vibrant nation firmly fixed on its way to global power.'' She cited a projection by the United States National Intelligence Council-- a strategic group of intelligence and academic experts-- ''that India and China will be the economic heavyweights of the 21st century.'' The NIC, a division of America's Central Intelligence Agency, in its 2005 report Shaping The Global Future said that ''barring a few upheavals in these countries, the rise of these two powers is a virtual certainty.'' She said this ''bold and confident prediction comes in the wake of several other similar reports that also dwell on the inevitability of the rise of India and China.'' She said the talk of India attaining the status of, or aspiring to be, an economic superpower is ''not a mere daydream.'' A ''stark aspect of the global power shift,'' she said, ''is the shift of manufacturing, from the West to Asia, in industry after industry.'' She said Asia today contributed nearly two-thirds of world fibre production-- the same as North America and Europe did in 1980.
''Judging by India's own fast growth, it is possible that by the middle of this century, India's share of global GDP will be the same as its population, making it the world's second largest economy.
''The journey towards becoming an economic superpower is actually the outcome of conscious choices and efforts that we have made in the sphere of economic and social policies, especially during the past decade.
''Some of the signposts in the journey are quite spectacular.
''We have become the world's largest producer and consumer of a variety of industrial and agricultural products.
''Many Indian companies are winning international recognition for manufacturing excellence, and in information technology, India has become a brand to reckon with.
''Most global corporations have established their presence in India, either for manufacturing or for research and development.
''The next few years would see billions of dollars being committed to India in the form of foreign investment.'' A recent multilateral Report on World Investment Prospects for 2007-2009 showed India has emerged as the second hottest Foreign Direct Investment destination-- next only to China but ahead of Russia, USA and Brazil.
She said the pace of job creation or self-employment opportunities must increase at an exponential speed.
With a nine per cent growth rate and a phenomenal growth in the manufacturing and Information Technology and IT Enabled Services sectors, there has been a growing demand for skilled manpower in India, she said.
She said four areas which can contribute tremendously to job creation are textiles, agriculture-- including agro-processing,-- construction and retail.
She said this called for unshackling all constraints in these four sectors. Manufacturing in the next decade is expected to create 25 million jobs and IT and ITES, over four million jobs in a few years.