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Investments in Skilling, Education and bridging the Gender Gap to help India leverage opportunities and boost growth: Dr Arvind Virmani
May 24, 2023

Investments in Skilling, Education and bridging the Gender Gap to help India leverage opportunities and boost growth: Dr Arvind Virmani


Dr Arvind Virmani, Member, NITI Aayog shared that a big development the world will witness in the next 30 years in demographic change. He was speaking at the session Tracking India’s growth in a volatile world: Outlook for the Indian economy in FY24 at the CII Annual Session 2023, being held on 24-25 May in New Delhi.

According to him, this change will have a comparative advantage in favour of India. To tap the opportunity of this change India will have to work on developing the basic education and job skills to move from labour intensive economy to mid skilled and then to high skilled labour. Leveraging opportunities through e-learning, e training can support in faster skilling.  The second change would be in tapping opportunity in supply chains especially where the low skilled segment could be absorbed. Gender is another opportunity, and closing the gap will give a huge boost to the economy. Steps like promoting work from home facilities etc. can help bringing the women into the workforce faster.

On the threats to growth, Dr Virmani spoke about the threat from the northern border for which defence manufacturing should be promoted in a big way and the second is the oil prices which could be tackled by moving to renewables.

Dr Rakesh Mohan, President and Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Social and Economic Progress and Member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister shared that to bring in higher growth we have to have single minded focus on reviving exports. As slowdown is predicted in the global trade for next few years, we will need to work harder to boost exports. Some of the actions that would support exports would be – promoting labour intensive manufacturing, bringing down tariffs to the ASEAN Level, better exchange rate management, focus on east as more than 50 percent of global GDP and trade growth will come from countries to our east.

Mr Vir S Advani, Chairman, CII International and Trade Policy Council and Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Blue Star Limited sharing his views for sustaining growth in FY24 and also longer term emphasised that private sector will have to play a major role in contributing to growth by complementing the Government in many areas. According to him while we have made some progress in manufacturing competitiveness there are some areas that need to be addressed to emerge as world leader.  He opined that investments in R&D and innovation will be critical in developing differentiated products for global markets and private sector must step up its investments in R&D, identify products and markets, market promotion and brand building, investing in skilling and educating our youth. Industry must take the responsibility in enhancing the employability of youth.

Mr Abheek Barua, Chief Economist and Senior Executive Vice President, HDFC Bank speaking on the relation between the financial system and growth shared that while credit is the fuel for growth it also has to be inclusive to promote sustained growth over the longer term. However, the challenge before lending is the credit worthiness. He opined that scale is important for financial institutions and leveraging financial technology and active collaboration of stakeholders for creating innovative credit filters can help in assessing creditworthiness. He emphasised that solving all these challenges will require support from various facets of economy like education, health etc that help in raising credit worthiness.

Dr Naushad Forbes, Past President, CII and Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall Private Limited moderating the session shared that while India has been the fastest growing major economy registering 6-7 percent growth rate but we have to raise our potential growth to 7- 9 precent in the medium term to address the growth requirement.


24 May 2023

New Delhi 

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