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Inclusive Growth the Biggest Challenge in India: Kamal Nath Print E-mail
Written by Vijay   
Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Skills Development Key to Achieve Inclusive Growth

New Delhi: Achieving inclusive growth is the biggest challenge in a country like India, according to Mr. Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. Speaking at the 24th India Economic Summit jointly organized by the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here today, Mr. Nath said in a democratic country like India, bringing 600 million people living in rural India into the mainstream is the biggest concern. He said the challenge is to take the benefits of growth to all sections of society and to all parts of the country. He also encouraged Indian industry to setup their operations in underdeveloped states of the country to address the challenge of inclusive growth.

The best way to achieve inclusive growth is through developing peoples’ skills, said Mr. Nath. He also dwelled upon the increased tendency over the last few years for people to migrate to other areas and the challenges posed by this. He complimented CII in its skills development initiatives in rural India, saying it is the best model to follow and should be replicated across the country. CII has set up a skills development centre and is also working in Mr. Nath’s district in Chindwara towards training people.

Mr. Jeffrey Joerres, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Manpower, USA said that a multifaceted approach towards education and skills development is necessary to achieve inclusive growth. He said the challenge of skills shortage can be addressed through public-private partnerships. Private skills training programmes are often better as they first assess the needs of the individual.

Mr. R. Seshasayee, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, India talked of reforming the education sector. He said that unlike in the past, individuals today need to have certain initial skills in order to enter the job market. He said migration is on the rise in recent years because India’s agriculture sector is not able to absorb excess labour. However, he said migration should be in an orderly fashion so that it does not put constraints on urban infrastructure.

Mr. K V Kamath, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ICICI Bank and President CII talked of huge opportunities that exist in moving people up the social hierarchy. He said that rural India can be a change agent. He also talked of CII’s skills development centre and said it will play an important role in achieving inclusive development.

Mr. Rajendra S Pawar, Chairman, NIIT Group, India talked about NIIT’s successful model of training people in rural areas. He said that for any private sector skills development programme to be successful it must be viable and it should involve the future employer as a stakeholder in the training. He also said that as technology improves in future, it would be possible to take jobs to people.

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