February 25, 2024

HPAS/Allied Mains 2022 Answer Writing Challenge Day 25: Model Answer

Question: Explain the significance of Demographic Dividend for India?(8 marks, 120 words)

Answer: 

Introduction:

According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), demographic dividend means, “the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older)”.

BODY

Demographic Dividend in India

  • Since 2018, India’s working-age population (people between 15 and 64 years of age) has grown larger than the dependant population — children aged 14 or below as well as people above 65 years of age.
  • This bulge in the working-age population is going to last till 2055, or 37 years from its beginning.

In UNFPA’s study, it was found that three sets of states would have their windows of demographic dividend available at different periods.

  • The first set of states are in southern and western parts of India. These include Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Punjab and West Bengal. For these states, the window of demographic dividend opportunity has either closed or is about to in the next 5 years.
  • The second set of states has a window of the demographic dividend that will remain open for another 10 to 15 years. These states include Karnataka, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Uttarakhand and Haryana.

In UNFPA’s study, it was found that three sets of states would have their windows of demographic dividend available at different periods.

  • The third set of states includes the high-fertility states in the hinterland of India. These include Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The window of demographic dividend opportunity is yet to open in these states. They may have it even in the 2050s or 2060s.

Advantages of demographic dividend in India:

  1. Increase and improvement in economic growth: Higher increase in population leads to increase in economic growth.
  2. Increased work force: The factors promoting economic growth are increased labour force including women.
  3. Changes in fiscal space: The increased fiscal space created by the demographic dividend to divert resources from spending on children to investing in physical and human infrastructure, increase in savings rate, as the working age also happens to be the prime period for saving.
  4. Rapid growth in infrastructure and urbanization: This enables a large number of populations to seek better opportunities and hence, move to towards as a better workforce. This leads to overall rapid growth

CONCLUSION

  • No country can achieve its potential and meet the challenges of the 21st century without the full participation of working population, both women and men.
  • High-quality education is one of the strongest ways for countries to reduce poverty, achieve gender equality, and create more jobs.
  • Building human capital translates into higher rates of economic growth and job creation.
  • Demographic dividend without investments in human capital will be a wasted development opportunity, and it will further widen economic and social gaps, instead of narrowing them.
  • Thus, the policies that we adopt, and their effective implementation will ensure that our demographic dividend, a time-limited opportunity, becomes a boon for India.
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