UNEMPLOYED INDIA THE LOST DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND
At the turn of the first decade of this century, there was much hope and optimism about India’s demographic dividend. With approximately 65% of the population under the age of 35, it held the promise of reaping the riches of having a massive young workforce to power the economy. Instead of capitalising on the benefits of having a young population, the India of 2022 is grappling with a massive unemployment problem. A series of unfortunate events — some due to bizarre policy decisions and some unforeseen — has brought the country to a juncture where the lack of jobs has driven the youth into despair and pessimism.
In our cover story, we dig deep into data to understand how and why we reached where we stand today. The Indian economy was already reeling under the ill effects of demonetisation and a badly conceived Goods and Services Tax regime, when the Covid-19 pandemic ripped the country’s economic fabric. As a result, in December 2021, the employment rate stood close to eight percent with inflation touching seven percent even as the economy has been grappling with post-Covid-19 strain. This doesn’t bode well for the job market in the foreseeable future.
Another area of concern is the environment. The latest forest survey report paints a rosy picture with the overall forest cover increasing by 1,540 sq km. But a closer look at the data reveals a contrasting narrative…