Jobs: Population tests India growth dream
Kumar is one of the millions of young Indians who make up a population bulge that experts say will see India hit 1.6 billion people in less than 20 years, overtaking China as the world's most populated country. Over the next three to four decades India will become remarkably young, with more than half its population under 25.
India's politicians like to boast that the swelling youth population is a powerful rising tide that will propel the country into a global economic power while other Asian nations such as Japan grapple with graying majorities. They can point to China where a population spurt contributed to rising prosperity as a vast army of young people migrated from the countryside to the manufacturing heartlands in its south and east. But in India it just might become a waste of human potential on a monumental scale, another missed opportunity in a country perennially failing to deliver on its promise.
The burgeoning youth population "will be a dividend if we empower our young,'' Kapil Sibal, minister for human resource development, said recently. "It will be a disaster if we fail.''
Young job seekers such as Kumar flock to some 900 state-run job centers across the country, where they vie for a limited number of entry-level
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