United Nations, April 2: India has called for giving impetus to "production by the masses," saying predominantly agrarian nations like it should generate mass manufacturing and foster industrialisation to create jobs for the youth.
"Employment creation and decent work are prerequisites for developing countries to harness their demographic dividend," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji said.
Mukerji said any development has to result in jobs and "what we need is not just more production, but mass production and production by masses."
"In predominantly agrarian societies like India, it is important to generate mass manufacturing and foster industrialisation in order to be able to generate the jobs needed by our young generation," he said at a session on 'achieving sustainable development through employment creation and decent work for all' at the Economic and Social Council on Wednesday.
Mukerji said that if sustainable development is about a balanced achievement of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental stewardship, then employment generation must fit-in right at the centre of it.
"Without it, arguably all the three objectives must remain unattainable," he said adding that employment is the "bedrock" of social inclusion.
Mukerji cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has said that all-round development must be employment-generating and employment must be enabled by skills.
He listed the initiatives taken by India to develop the country as a destination for world-class manufacturing and for skill development.
Mukerji told the meeting that India's policy aims to boost the share of manufacturing in the country's Gross Domestic Product from 16 pc to 25 pc by 2022 and to create 100 million additional jobs by 2022 in the sector.
In order to reap the demographic dividend, India's youth has to be both educated and employable for the jobs of the 21st century, he said adding that currently less than 5 per cent of India's potential workforce gets formal skill training to be employable and stay employable.
Mukerji emphasised the importance India attached to the issue of employment creation and decent work, both in the national policy context as well as in the context of norm setting for international cooperation.
He also welcomed the focus in the Sustainable Development Goals to the issue of employment creation in the form of a standalone goal on economic growth and full and productive employment for all.
"Our objective in the Post-2015 Development Agenda should be put in place and engender systemic reforms geared to enable and support ambitious national action to skill and empower youth through employment opportunities as a means to attain sustainable development," he said.