These statements from NASSC president Kiran Karnik are fascinating. We'll leave aside for the time being that he has picked two of the OECD countries with the least manpower problems looming - the US and the UK both have fertility not too far from the 2.1 replacement level (thanks largely to immigration). We can also leave aside the fact that we do not know what exaclty the consequences of demographic ageing are going to be (although the Japanese experience doesn't look too positive), the key question is that India's population - thanks largely to a steady reduction in fertility, is about to turn into its most precious asset. This moment is termed by the UN 'the demographic window of opportunity' and it is one of the reasons I am so optimistic about India's future. What can and should be the relations between India and the OECD at the man-and-woman power level I will leave for future posts. Meantime Reuben has a useful post on a Bhagwati essay about the Indian economy and international migration.
The major economies around the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom, will fall short of human resources by 2020 and they would turn to India to 'import' human power from the country, according to National Association of Software and Service Companies president Kiran Karnik."The high population in India, which was thought to be its bane will, in turn, become its boon," said Karnik, who was speaking a seminar jointly organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and National Institute of Industrial Engineering in Mumbai on Friday.
The country's population, which had been a reason for ridicule, would come to its rescue, he said, adding, 'body shopping' would become a preferred trend, resulting in a win-win situation to the importer and India. Talking about manufacturing in India, he said: "The future is bright for 'Made in India' brand," and added that designs would be more in demand than software and programming skills. The Nasscom president also said that 'India Inside' or 'Conceived in India' "would drive the country's growth." Elaborating on India Inside, Karnik said that even though the brand names would point to companies other than India, the product would be thought of, conceived and designed in India.
Earlier, inaugurating the seminar, titled 'An Indian Evolution, A Global Revolution?' Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi said India needs to focus on three capabilities -- innovation, volume generation and globalisation -- to emerge as the leading nation by 2020. He also called for a strong fiscal policy, power reforms and a special emphasis on provisions for institutional finance, apart from thrust on infrastructure and roping in foreign direct investment. "We also need directions from educationists and policy leaders," Joshi said, and cited the example of Bharat heavy Electricals Ltd, which has carved a name for itself in the international market.