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The Challenges of India

The demographic growth of India is proceeding at an impressive pace. In a few decades it could overtake China and become the most populous country in the world. What is worrying is the job offer which does not seem to increase in proportion to the demographic increase. Over the next ten years, 60 million young people will enter the labour market and another 30 million will leave the countryside to look for jobs in the cities. Potentially, the number of employees could thus reach 534 million in 2030.

There are challenges that can make you waver. But they must still be accepted. The McKinsey Global Institute recently outlined one and concerns India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his eventual successors are faced with the need to create the conditions for the country to produce 90 million new jobs by 2030. Today, 474 million are employed in the formal economy, 205 million in agriculture and 269 million in the non-agricultural sectors. Over the next ten years, 60 million young people will enter the labor market and another 30 million will leave the countryside to look for jobs in the cities. Potentially, the number of employees could thus reach 534 million in 2030. The McKinsey research institute also estimates that, in the decade, 55 million women could officially enter the workforce and thus bring the total employed to 589 million.

To create this amount of jobs, India’s economy will have to grow between eight and 8.5 percent a year for the entire decade – that’s double 4.2 percent in fiscal 2020. such a challenge? Given the global crisis induced by Covid-19, the institute’s analysis focuses on what can happen after 2023. Net employment growth is expected to be 1.5% per year, a level similar to that obtained from India between 2000 and 2012 (but in the following years there was no growth in employment). Since 1992, when economic liberalizations began to bear fruit, GDP growth has averaged 6.8% per year. And from 2005 to 2019, 270 million people emerged from extreme poverty.

Potentially, therefore, the business can be tackled. It won’t be easy though. Even before the pandemic, the economy was slowing down, with the share of exports in relation to GDP dropped from 25 to 19% between 2013 and 2019 and participation in the labor market decreased from 58 in 2005 to 49%. For present and future governments, it will be about creating the conditions for millions of people to be pushed into new jobs. The McKinsey Institute puts forward a series of modernization proposals to achieve the goals. Although little is said about India in Europe and Italy, it is essential for the world that the country of over 1.3 billion inhabitants and that, according to the UN, in 2027 will surpass China by population, overcome the challenges of work and of poverty.

By Domenico Greco

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