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Human Development, Per Capita Income Differentials and English as Source of Demographic Dividends Among the Youth in India

Abusaleh Shariff and Asrar Alam ()

Journal of Development Policy and Practice, 2021, vol. 6, issue 1, 57-77

Abstract: India has a large youthful population; this ‘young nation’ is both a national and international resource that facilitates global value added. Such gains would accrue only when the youth are adequately educated, skilled and occupied in gainful employment. India, however, is staring at a missed opportunity that favours harnessing demographic dividends offered by demographic transition. Keeping the tradition of high levels of diversity of labour force in India, this article examines the youthful demographic parameters according to socio-religious communities (SRCs). The economic momentum needed to reach a US$5 trillion (GDP) economy can only occur when the youth of India is educated, skilled and employed. A rather rare data set is analysed to explore the importance of English language education in augmenting demographic dividends. Traditionally, disadvantageous groups, especially Muslims and Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SCs/STs), are the youngest in India, yet their share in workforce is lowest when compared to other groups. This article reviews few human development dimensions like the rate of poverty change in the recent past and traces the path of educational transition and human development according to SRCs. A further analysis suggests that irrespective of any SRC identity, knowledge and fluency in English are some of the most dominant discriminatory factors in India in terms of the ability to earn higher incomes.

Keywords: Human development; demographic dividend; socio-religious communities; employment; poverty; English language (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/2455133321998807

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