According to a report released by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) in China at its Annual Meeting of New Champions (or ‘Summer Davos’ summit) on Tuesday, India has secured the 105th position on a worldwide Human Capital Index. The aim of this index is to measure the ability of countries to nurture, develop and deploy talent for economic growth. Finland was first, Japan and Sweden stood 4th and 5th respectively followed by New Zealand, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada and Belgium in top 10.
The index took into account a total of 130 countries. India ranked much lower than China which occupies the 71st position. Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka were also placed higher than India in the index. Pakistan’s rank is 118th. Others below India include Nepal, Myanmar, Haiti, Malawi and Burundi. Mauritania, Yemen, Chad, Nigeria and Mali are placed in the bottom-five as they had optimized only 50% of their human capital.
India’s position was 100th last year when a total of 124 countries were included in the index, thus indicating that it had slid down by 5 positions. This was the lowest position among BRICS countries – Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa ranked 28th, 71st, 8th and 88th respectively.
Reasons for India’s low position on the index:
According to WEF, our country has optimized merely 57% of its human capital endowment. This enabled it to top in the bottom quartile of the index.
The youth literacy rate of the country is 90% which is 103rd in the world. This has happened despite improvements in the country’s educational attainment across different age groups. The rank is much lower than many other leading emerging markets.
“India also ranks poorly on labour force participation, due in part to one of the world’s largest employment gender gaps (121st).”
The report had positives to talk about India, too – its ranking improved on parameters like its educational qualification (9th), staff training (46th) and ease of finding skilled employees (45th). It has the largest share in the global distribution of tertiary degree holders at nearly 78 million. It is the second largest after China in terms of global distribution of recent graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM subjects) – about 2.5 million.
Global survey by WEF:
Only an average of 65% of global talent is being optimized through education, skills development and deployment during people’s lifetimes. Finland, Norway and Switzerland utilize 85% of their human resources while Japan holds the first position in terms of deploying people above 55 years of age.
“Today’s transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, combined with a crisis of governance, creates an urgent need for the world’s educators and employers to fundamentally rethink human capital through dialogue and partnerships,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF. “The adaptation of educational institutions, labour market policy and workplaces are crucial to growth, equality and social stability.”
The Logical Indian requests the government to take the findings of the report seriously and implement reform and policy measures that will improve work participation of citizens and drive economic growth by it. We also congratulate the present and past government for the good work they have done that have resulted in favorable statistics wrt tertiary education among others. Let us build on the good work and set right the things where we have fared poorly.