The Truth about India’s Young Population, and how it can be a boon or a bane?

Today, over 35% of our population is below the age of 20. By 2020, it is expected that 325 million people in India will reach working age, which will be the largest in the world. This will come at a time when the rest of the developed world will be faced with an ageing population. It is estimated that by 2020, US will be short of 17 million people of working age, China by 10 million, Japan by 9 million and Russia by 6 million. At the same time, India will have a surplus of 47 million working people. Even when compared to developing countries, Brazil’s working population is set to grow by 12%, China’s by 1%, Russia’s will decline by 18%, while ours will grow by 30%. This is the reason Goldman Sachs predicted that only India can maintain a 5% growth rate until 2050.

But are our youth unemployable?
Economic growth require not just a large working population, but people who are trained and skilled to work in different industries. Many industries have remarked that people coming out of colleges and universities in India are not employable and they have to give them skills training before they start their work. This adds strain on the industry. Our adult illiteracy levels are also a big concern, which stands at 39%. 25 million children are out of school in India, out of a total of 100 million out of school children in the world. We need to work on our policies to make sure those who are still in school and colleges get the best education and be ready for their opportunity when it arrives.

Youngistan - Will it mean a boon or a bane for us?

Youngistan - Will it mean a boon or a bane for us?

Demands of this population
With a huge working population will also come a huge consumption boom, as it has happened in China. China accounts for 20% of world’s consumption of aluminum, 35% of the global demand of steel and coal, and 45% of the worldwide cement purchase. The future demands of China and India’s population will put a lot of burden to the resources of these two countries. How these two countries manage resources like water, cultivable land, oil and energy needs will be critical. The demands on the environment cannot be overlooked either. If we follow the same model as followed by American and European development, environmental deterioration will end up destroying the whole planet. Global Warming is already a big problem. The challenge for India will not only be economic growth, but also make it sustainable and bearable for the environment.

Taking care of our population
Our infrastructure today is no way capable of taking proper care of our ever increasing population. Human development must go hand in hand with population growth. More than 25% of our urban population lives without sanitation and 24% lives without access to tap water. We need 66,000 primary schools and 3000 new health centres every year to cater to our population growth. Food production also has to be increased by 3% every year to meet their needs.

We can’t ignore the ill-effects of population growth
India cannot afford to ignore what will happen with unsustainable economic and population growth. We need to use our technological skills and replace our age-old systems with innovations to reduce the resource burden. We need innovative and sustainable solutions in energy, transportation, sanitation, manufacturing, and agriculture. We are a nation of great talent, and we stand before times which might be our big opportunity to take the leap in the world order but we also face significant challenges. If we take all this into consideration NOW, and frame policies and act responsibly, I am sure we are capable of transforming this huge young population into a boon rather than a bane.

5 examples to show how our environment influence our behaviour?

Our behaviour is the most important thing. The way we interact with others, react to situations and go through our daily chores eventually makes us the person we are. Be it our work life or personal life, our surroundings shape our thoughts and our actions originate from our thoughts. Our actions / behaviour actually shape the way people think about us, or whether we succeed or fail. For example, having lived in both Bangalore and Delhi, I can say the weather does have a big effect on me. It is much easy to get angry / shout at one and all in the sultry hot delhi weather. Even if you are not angry, it is very easy to lose your temper on the slightest provocation. But if you are greeted by a cool breeze whenever you get out (as in Bangalore), you tend to become happy even if you were in a bad mood earlier. The point is, our surroundings, whether natural or chosen, tend to have an effect on our personality and our day to day behaviour.

I am listing 5 examples how we can choose to surround ourselves with different things and how can it bring out our best or worst –

1. Want to be creative, surround yourself with art РIf you are in a job where you are required to come up with creative ideas or just want to improve your creativity, surround yourself with art. Keep in touch with what is happening in the art world, and look out for creative advertisements, paintings, or any other form of art. Slowly, you will start appreciating work of other creative people and get your mind working. You will desire to do something on the same lines, and this will get you started. And continuously following up on different forms of art can give you ideas which you can apply in your area of interest.

2. If you live near or visit places where you will find fast food restaurants or advertisements about fast food, you will end up craving for that burger or french fries. Burger and French Fries do taste good (though not healthy) so our mouth will start lickering and our subconscious mind will want us to have it. And if you are hungry at that time, the craving might get to you and you might end up eating fast food instead of doing what you should be. I am thinking of going to a MacDonald today as I am writing this piece, and I need to move on to the next point before I head to grab my fries. (Unfortunately, a MacD joint is just across the street where I live)

3. Expose yourself to metrics about your work or business or performance and you’ll work to improve them. Metrics, and depicting them by graphs and other forms of pictorial representation give us a sense of how we are doing and how we should be doing. If we keep track of such metrics, we will work on improving them. It is the same reason schools and colleges have marks or grades so that people know what to measure and how to improve on those metrics. Collecting metrics is a qualitative way of improving stuff that is otherwise difficult to measure, and hence easy to ignore. If you want to improve something, find a way to measure it and surround yourself with info about it and you will see yourself working to improve it.

4. If you see a lot of negative emotions in your daily life, you will tend to react to situations with a negative bend of mind. If you see people getting angry at each other, you might end up justifying their actions and find reasons to get angry yourself. If you fear something, then thinking about it or being in a vicinity which reminds you of your fear, you will tend up acting more reluctantly on matters you would have been confident otherwise. So if you tend to be around people experiencing negative emotions like frustation, worry, anger, disappointment, be aware that they can spread to you very easily.

5. If you ineract with people making smart decisions, you will also take interest in it and learn from them. You will slowly and surely be able to understand how to handle different situations and how to go about in your decision making process. Your thought process will start reflecting the people who you spend time with. You will understand why they took a certain decision and will try to learn from it.
Eventually, it is a choice of how we choose our surroundings. If you want a change in yourself, then just spend time with people / situations where you see that change. This holds true for both negative and positive thoughts.