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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Daily News and Analysis, September 13, 2017
 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a patriotic speech on Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort, New Delhi, saying, “…the 1st of January 2018 will be no ordinary year. Those born in the 21st century will turn 18 in January. I welcome you all to your adulthood. You will play a crucial role in shaping a grand India.”

PM Modi has now been in office for three years: And things are changing. We feel his momentum. He has speeded up his legislature and instigated many initiatives to open up opportunities for the nation’s poor — such as their digital registration in the Aadhaar scheme which, via the Digital India reforms, now includes an ability to distribute welfare measures directly and correctly to the needy so they can open bank accounts. He has a new accord with Japan to supply nuclear electricity capacity to boost his Green Energy initiative that aspires for over 60 per cent renewables by 2027. Thus, India now holds the second most attractive global energy investment spot ahead of the US. The India-Japan Vision 2025 for the Indo-Pacific Region will counterbalance the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

At the 9th Horasis India meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland in June 2017, many Indian business leaders suggested their country could surpass a growth rate of 10 per cent per year by easing of just a few restrictions. The World Bank projects 7.5 per cent growth in 2018 rising to 7.7 per cent in 2019. PM Modi’s new nationwide GST ought to support growth in domestic demand and help create a business environment more inclined to private investment.

This is the age of the demographic dividend in India that will have more than 50 per cent of its population below the age of 25 in 2020. However, about 63 million young people aged between 20 and 35 have entered the workforce in the last five years and many of them are unhappy. Some 40 per cent complain of excessive workload with office politics being a hindrance. Worryingly, only 9 per cent said they have the skills needed to perform better, and only 5 per cent said they have the persuasive skills needed for betterment. However, they seem too passive. Whatever one thinks of the demographic dividend, it will be nothing without good education delivering a workforce able to reach for the stars.

What then, is the state of education in India? With 700 universities and more than 35,000 affiliated colleges enrolling over 20 million students, Indian higher education is a large and complex system yielding some 9 million graduates per year. However, in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, we find India does not appear until IIT(Delhi) entry at #172. Even so, India’s education is ranked 24th in the world by QS Higher Education Systems. Looking upstream, the Indian Annual Education report of 2016 states only 48 per cent of Class 5 children can read a text meant for Class 2. This means every other student is unable to read something meant for someone three classes below.

Referring again to the Horasis Interlaken meeting, the Swiss and German education mode of co-promoting a technical and academic stream of studies was praised. It was recognised that not all Indian students are suited to an academic approach, but there is a dearth of support for skills-based learning. Clearly, the Indian diaspora has made a great impact on global firms both as managers and innovators, and the government as well as business leaders expect the demographic dividend to provide the future workforce to make India great. By raising Indian standards, better-educated graduates will be able to ratchet up India’s performance, and more able technicians will add their support to future growth.

Strenuous efforts have been made to include all children in schooling through the UN Millennium Development Goals, but the quality of education was not given equally high priority contributing to a global learning crisis. PM Modi is streamlining the Indian education sector by removing overlapping and redundant bureaucracies and the low quality is being addressed through the deployment of better qualified and better-motivated teachers, especially to rural areas. For older children remediation can be achieved by the adoption of computer-mediated learning so they may enter the workforce able to read, write and understand the mathematics of daily life. Through better education, we see India’s economic competitiveness will increase and its economic divide will reduce.

The Indian government is initiating widespread developments to enhance infrastructure with new transport systems, homes, factories and smart cities. The changes have taken a while to be initiated, with many blaming its noisy democracy for the delays. This is changing quickly under the guidance of PM Modi who is looking for all his people to blend in.

 

The author is Chairman and Founder of Horasis, a global visions community. Views expressed are personal.

 


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