The proportion of working-age population in India is likely to increase from around 58 per cent in 2001 to more than 64 per cent by 2021, with a large number of young persons in the 20-35 age group, according to the pre-Budget Economic Survey 2013-14.
India with a large and young population has a great demographic advantage.
The average age of the 125-billion strong Indian population will be 29 years in 2020, even younger than China and the US.
There will be a significant addition of about 63.5 million new entrants between 2011 and 2016, with a large number of young persons in the 20-35 age group.
"This is a great opportunity for India. Taking advantage of such an opportunity is contingent upon progress on the human development front," the survey said, adding India has to provide quality education and develop the skills of its large young population to fully reap the benefits of the demographic dividend.
"As a percentage of GDP, expenditure on education has gone up from 2.9 per cent in 2008-09 to 3.3 per cent in 2013-14.
“There is need not only to increase it further, but also address quality issues," the survey said, adding skill development is vital not only for taking advantage of the demographic dividend, but also for more inclusive growth.
To bridge the demand-supply mismatch of skilled persons, the National Skill Development Corporation has approved 158 proposals till March 2014.
The overall commitment to 129 training proposals and 29 sector skill councils stands at Rs 2215.89 crore (Rs 22.15 billion).
A total of 19,54,300 people have received job-oriented skills training through NSDC skilling partners since 2010, of which 60 per cent have been placed in different sectors.
The survey further said the overall employment in December 2013 over the same month a year ago increased by 4.19 lakh, while during the December quarter of 2013 overall employment increased by 0.83 lakh, as per the 20th quarterly survey report on Employment in India October to December 2013.
On unemployment, the survey said that though the rate may be lower than what is prevailing now in developed economies, the number of unemployed is significant in absolute terms.