Why in news?
As India embarks on the path of self-reliance through Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, it has to nurture the skilled workforce. There is a need to upgrade the skills or upskill the youth to meet the employment needs of technology-driven 21st century.
- Atmanirbhar Bharat has twin objectives.
- Reviving different spheres of the economy in the short term.
- Insulating India from any future global economic downturn, by making it robust in the long run.
- The Abhiyan seeks to build capacities across sectors and promote local products.
- Further, it would focus on scaling up manufacturing, accelerating infrastructure development, attracting investments and promoting a consumption-led growth.
Youth: Strength of India
- About 65 per cent of India’s population is below 35 years and 50 per cent is below 25 years.
- With a huge, educated young population, India is uniquely poised to realise its demographic potential.
- The fact that Indians are heading several MNCs shows that there is no dearth of knowledge and talent in the country.
- However, we need to upgrade the skills or upskill the youth to meet the employment needs of technology-driven 21st century.
Opportunities and challenges
- Pandemic and is being seen by many as an opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and acquire new skills.
- The fourth industrial revolution has triggered a paradigm change in which digital technology drives the job market.
- Remote working with increasing adoption of digital technology might continue to be dominant mode of working for the near future.
- It is estimated that nearly 70 per cent of the world’s learners are affected by school closures due to pandemic across education levels.
- Artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, cloud computing and Internet of Things will be area of interest for companies.
- With people opting to online buying, companies will seek to adopt new online marketing strategies.
- Another important issue that needs to be addressed is ensuring equitable employment through higher participation of women in the workforce.
Way forward for Atmanirbhar Bharat
1) Local to global
- There have been some reassuring developments with an accent on “local to glocal”
- The production of several lakh PPE kits, a collaboration of automobile industries to produce ventilators, manufacture of more than 70 Made in India products by the DRDO are just a few examples of the capability of Indian scientists, IT professionals and technocrats.
2) Reducing import
- We must aim to gradually reduce imports in every sector from crude oil to heavy machinery.
- This reduction should be based on the locally available resources, talent, and skills of the human capital.
3) Globally competitive product
- While remaining vocal about local, we must aim at making Indian products to be globally competitive.
- We should try to stay ahead in the innovation-led knowledge economy.
- PSUs and the private sector should not only complement but collaborate wherever feasible.
- The private sector must massively step up investments R&D. PSUs too need to modernise in terms of technology.