H man Development in ndia         20.9
                 shortage of young population of                (a) Improving access to education
                 around 56 million by 2020, India                   considering the high dropout rates
                 will be the only country with a                    among senior
                 youth surplus of 47 million (Report                students;
                 on Education, Skill Development and            (b) Removing gender disparity especially
                 Labour Force (2013–14) Volume III,                 in the higher age group and in rural
                 Labour Bureau, 2014).                              areas;
         As per the Economic Survey 2014–15, the                (c) Improving quality of education,
     main issue to address then is not just providing               including pupil-teacher ratios and
     employment but increasing the employability                    provision of
     of the labour force in India. Employability is                 amenities in schools, especially in
     contingent upon knowledge and skills developed                 view of the declining learning levels.
     through quality education and training. Thus,
                                                           (ii) The lag in demographic transition between
     any solution to the problem lies in a well-
                                                                different states that necessitates state-
     designed education and training regime that sets
                                                                specific policies to optimally garner the
     out to meet these objectives. The problem of low
                                                                benefits of the demographic dividend.
     employability levels owing to poor quality of
                                                                Owing to substantial fertility decline in
     education is accentuated by the fact that fewer
     students opt for higher education in country. To           the south during the last two decades,
     garner the ‘demographic dividend’, the Survey              the south is ahead in the demographic
     suggested the following policy initiatives in this         transition compared to the north,
     regard:                                                    thereby the window is already wide open
                                                                in the south compared to the north. For
         (i) A declining 0–14 population will impact
                                                                instance, the projected average age of 29
             both elementary (5–14 age group) and
                                                                years in 2020 has already been surpassed
             higher education (15–29 age group).
                                                                in some states like Kerala (33 years), Goa
             Elementary education can be further
                                                                (32.3), Tamil Nadu (31.3), Himachal
             subdivided into primary (5–9 age group)
             and middle/upper primary (10–14 age                Pradesh (30.4), Punjab (29.9), Andhra
             group). The first stage of impact will be          Pradesh (29.3), and West Bengal (29.1).
             felt in declining enrolment in primary             This lag in demographic transition
             schools. As stated earlier, total enrolment        among states in India could turn out to
             in primary schools has fallen in 2013-             be a great blessing from the point of view
             14 while upper primary enrolment has               of coping with the problem of declining
             grown. The dependency ratio for India is           population. India is better placed in this
             expected to fall from 54 per cent in 2010          respect than most other countries. Thus,
             to 49 per cent in 2020. In this scenario,          two set of policy initiatives emerge for the
             given interstate disparities, states that are      states—
             already facing this situation need to adopt        (a) The states which are already well
             specific policy measures in the field of               into the demographic window
             education, wherein, instead of expanding               should actively pursue policies for
             the number of primary schools, focus                   employment generation to the already
             should be on—                                          bulging labour force.