Issues

‘Reform education sector to reap demographic dividend’

Underprivileged schoolchildren staging a protest against private educational institutions for denial of admissions, demanding implementation of Right to Education Bill at Punjab University in Chandigarh on January 20, 2011. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

Underprivileged schoolchildren staging a protest against private educational institutions for denial of admissions, demanding implementation of Right to Education Bill at Punjab University in Chandigarh on January 20, 2011. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

The pre-budget Economic Survey on Friday called for more reforms and bold decisions in education sector, including smooth implementation of the Right to Education Act, to make the most of India’s young population for economic growth.

“Reaping the demographic dividend needs a vision, a long-term plan, and bold decisions,” the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament said today.

It said that given the advantage of a young population, the realisation of the demographic dividend is another factor that calls for reforms in the education and health sector.

The RTE Act “must face no implementation deficit for it to work towards realising the demographic dividend,” it said.

The RTE Act makes it mandatory for every child in the 6-14 age groups to get at least eight years of elementary education.

The pre-budget document also said that reforms are needed for universities and in higher education and the demand-supply mismatch in the job-market needs to be corrected.

While recognising that mobilisation of funds for higher education is a challenge for the government, the Survey suggested that the gap could possibly be met by tailor-made public-private partnership mode.

On the National Skill Development Mission, it said that much more is required both in terms of achievements and speed.

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), set up in July 2008, has been mandated to achieve the target of creation of skilled workforce of 150 million people by 2022.

By the end of December 2010, 28 states and union territories had set up Skill Development Mission.

India has the advantage of demographic dividend, with over 50 per cent of its population below 25 years of age, whereas many advanced economies, including Japan, are facing the problem of an ageing workforce.

On the UPA government’s flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), it said though it is has been instrumental in creating job opportunities, more needs to be done.

“Further improvements in the schemes like shifting to permanent asset building...better monitoring and extension of MGNREGS to urban areas can yield better results,” it added.

The Survey further noted that creating proper balance between climate issues and maintaining growth is another challenge for the government.

“Careful planning and customised policies are needed to ensure that the green growth strategies do not result in a slow growth strategy,” it said.

The Survey also called for reforms in the health sector as demand for the services is likely to rise considerably in the future as a result of better level of education, income and urbanisation.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 27, 2022 11:27:30 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/issues/lsquoReform-education-sector-to-reap-demographic-dividendrsquo/article15458365.ece