India’s Demography holds both Challenges and Opportunities: Dr. Rajat Kathuria

Published Date:   Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017

Speaking at India-EU Cooperation Dialogue on Migration and Mobility at New Delhi organized by ILO and collaborating institutes on 26th September 2017, Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) said that good quality data of a country is the need of the time for informed dialogue and decision. He showcased the India-EU complementarity by stating that EU is going to show decline in primary workforce while in India, the same is expected to increase. This serves as both challenge as well as opportunity for India. He mentioned that in South East Asian countries such as China, Japan and Korea; education, skill, vocational training etc. have preceded their take off for growth through manufacturing sector. India is also focused towards similar trend. In 2050, the total population of India is going to be the highest in the world, overtaking China. The global workforce from India will constitute 37%, which is a huge number and there lies immense scope for India.

Looking at the data on sector wise employment in EU, it can be seen that employment will increase in professional services such administrative services, ICT, social sector, finance, insurance etc. while the sector such as mining, agriculture, water treatment, manufacturing etc. might show a declining trend. Simultaneously, looking at the skill shortage in EU, there are few high skill and intermediate skill shortage which is expected to arise, which might be filled up by Indians. The high skill jobs include ICT, medical doctors, nurses, teachers etc. while the intermediate skill jobs include driver, welder, cook etc. The reason for decline in can be attributed to decrease in the supply of graduates, low enrollment of students in higher education, barrier to entry in STEM, low participation of women in STEM, rapid technological advancement etc. Achieving gender parity is seen as one of the means to increase GDP. Therefore, it is a desirable policy.

The challenges faced in the integration of migrants in the EU are mutual recognition arrangement of qualification for sending and receiving labour, lack of recognition for qualification, low level of employment of migrant workers, gap of educational attainment, exclusion of migrant etc. Few policy engagements by the government were mentioned by him where he discussed about Common Agenda for Migration and Mobility (CAMM), Mode 1, Mode 2, Mode 3, Mode 4 under CATS. He, further, discussed the trends of migration from BRICS to EU. India and China both have been of the biggest supplier of migrant workers from BRICS. Maximum number of such migrants migrates to UK, Germany and Italy whiles those who migrate from EU to India, maximum are from UK, followed by Germany, France, and Portugal. In order to manage migration from 3rs world countries to EU, there are few provisions adopted by the government which includes bringing occupation list when labour shortage occurs, employment need analysis, and quotas to restrict migration.

Bringing forth the scenario of student mobility, he mentions that US, Australia, UK, New Zealand, Canada, UAE and Germany have been few of the countries which students prefer for pursuing higher education. Therefore, EU has always been an attractive destination for the students from India. However, there are certain factors which affect student’s mobility to EU. Entry and admission, employment prospects, funding, visa etc. are few of them. Therefore, in order to strengthen collaboration among India and EU, these factors can be nurtured.

He concluded the remark by mentioning that apart from employment and education, there are other domain which provides immense scope of collaboration between India and EU. Energy is one such domain. Cyber security and data security can be another one. EU is still reluctant to grant India as data secure nation. These areas can be looked upon by the respective governments and can take actions to further strengthen dialogue and collaboration.

Report by Tasha Agarwal



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