India is passing through some interesting times. Today’s times appear tough amidst slowdown and recession. But things are slow. Not down. This phase will go. Nothing in life is permanent and so is the recessionary phase. We have a great opportunity to be a developed nation by 2030 and our we can rule the world without forming East India Company by 2040. We need not use the military route but believe in Economic supremacy through Human talent. In that sense I look at IT as India’s Talent.
Why not look at young minds as human capital. Look at IT, telecom, Biotech, healthsciences and you will understand the difference. Add to that Startup Entrepreneurship in India is blossoming and Indian entrepreneurs are not afraid of liberalization anymore. They are very confident and globally competitive and they are not only investing abroad, they are buying companies abroad. India’s claim to the title Silicon Valley of Asia will be followed by the diversification from IT to biotechnology, medical sciences and other emerging fields of technology, widening the field of India’s international competitiveness and generating a large number of employment opportunities for the educated youth. These developments, driven by the firm commitment of the government and a quantum expansion of vocational training programmes, will ensure jobs for all by 2030.
We need to realize some basic mindset change to make use of this opportunity as due to poor vision at the top demographic dividend can become demographic disaster.
We need to liberate higher education system from traditional approach and make it dynamic and agile with changing times. If we have to reap globalization benefits then we need to teach global languages and culture to all our children from school level on a war footing. This will require massive number of teachers, but this is where technologies like eLearning, virtual classroom, IT enabled education will come to our rescue. Once we communicate global job opportunity to our youth the need to learn English, Spanish, French etc will be understood. Look at what happened in Kerala. Almost one $ earning member per family has changed the face of the state. Why not similar thrust in other states also. If we have to reduce agrial jobs then where is the alternative stream.
Another change in mindset we need is to implement is Skills based vocational education rather than degree based classroom education. Computerization of education will dramatically improve the quality of instruction and the pace of learning, so that many students will complete the first twelve years of school curriculum in as little as eight. Computerized distance education will catch on in a big way and enable tens of thousands more students to opt for affordable higher education. Rising levels of education, employment and income will help us stabilize India’s internal security and social environment. A united and prosperous India will be far less vulnerable to external security threats.
I appeal all parents reading this article to realize the changes and rework on their strategies to bring up their children. Please don’t make them studious bookworms. Make sure they are all round, versatile and have common sense.
In a nutshell we need to work on a war footing to reap demographic dividend and make our youth as a strategic weapon.
Author is IT Entrepreneur, writer and Digital Literacy Activist.