India no longer enjoys the advantage of demographic dividend as it's saddled with crores of youngsters with low skills unsuited to the economy, claimed a human resources and education expert.
The chairman of Manipal Global Education, T V Mohandas Pai, claimed that the country already has ten crore people in the 21-35 age-group with bad skills, unsuited for the economy.
"There is no democraphic dividend," he told PTI.
"Because of the failure of the UPA era (2004-14), we will add another 10 crore by 2025...total 20 crore in the 21-45 age group with low skills, low education."
An information technology industry veteran who had served as head of human resources and chief financial officer at software major Infosys Ltd, Pai lamented the "lack of educational reforms" during the 10-year UPA regime.
It takes time for educational reforms to impact, he said.
"Reform now will take ten years to impact by which (time) this (the current) generation will be lost. The key is: How to ensure they do not (lose out)."
Pai was sharing his thoughts on a recent report by the research wing of the country's largest lender SBI.
This report said India has only one decade to change its status into a developed country and will need to focus on education, failing which the much-hailed 'demographic dividend' will turn into a disadvantage.
If India is not able to get its act together, it will never be able to go into the developed group of nations, it said.
The report said, "India has perhaps now only a limited window of a decade to get into the developed country tag, or stay perpetually in emerging group of economies."
Pai said there was a need to improve the quality of education, stopping controlling education, and opening up of the sector with transparent norms and enforcing quality standards in higher education.
Image used only for representational purpose. Photograph: Reuters.