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Skill development? India badly slips in human capital ranking from 78th to 105th position in three years: WEF

By Our Representative
Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “emphasis” on skill development in an effort to infuse talent among the youth, the latest “Human Capital Report 2016”, prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF), one of the most prestigious non-government bodies promoting global industry participation, has found that India has slipped from the 78th position in 2013 to a poor 105th position.
Ranking India 100th last year, the WEF report has worked out Human Capital Index (HCI) by capturing what it calls “complexity of education, employment and workforce dynamics so that various stakeholders are able to make better-informed decisions.”
“The aim is to assess the outcome of past and present investments in human capital and offer insight into what a country’s talent base will look like in the future”, the report says, adding, “The index provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups.”
The three countries topping in HCI are Finland, Norway and Switzerland, which, according to the report, “effectively” developed and utilized about 85 per cent of their full human capital potential. It adds, among the new “risers” are Japan (4) and Canada (9), Germany (11) and Singapore (13), because of their “strong performances”, including high rates of high-skilled employment, low rates of young people not in employment, and high healthy life expectancy among their older populations.
In the South Asia region, the countries which rank higher than India are Sri Lanka 50th, Bhutan 91st, and Bangladesh 104th. On the other hand, Nepal ranks 108th and Pakistan 118th, worse than India. “The overall average score for the region is 59.92—behind the Middle East and North Africa and ahead of Sub-Saharan Africa”, the report says.
As against India’s 105th ranking, the report says, other BRICS countries, which are the main competitors of India, Brazil ranks 83rd, Russia 28th, China 71st and South Africa 88th. In all, the WEF has ranked 130 countries.
Pointing out that India’s ranking, 105th is “at the top of the bottom quartile of the index”, the report says, “Although the country’s educational attainment has improved markedly over the different age groups, its youth literacy rate is still only 90% (103rd globally), well behind the rates of other leading emerging markets.”
“India also ranks poorly on labour force participation, due in part to one of the world’s largest employment gender gaps (121st)”, the report says.
However, on a positive note, the report says, India receives “solid rankings on quality of education system (39th), staff training (46th) and ease of finding skilled employees (45th) indicators, suggesting a primary avenue for improvement for the country consists in expanding access to its numerous learning and employment opportunities.” 
The report notes, along with India, Bangladesh and Pakistan “are held back by insufficient educational enrollment rates and poor-quality primary schools. “All three countries’ educational performance is somewhat better at the tertiary level, despite rather low levels of skill diversity among their university graduates, indicating a strong specialization in a limited number of academic subjects”, it adds.
“All three countries also exhibit significant employment gender gaps, exacerbating the difficulty of finding skilled employees, which is ranked low in all countries except India, which ranks 45th on this indicator”, the report notes.

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