India figures at a lowly 103 rank in World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Human Capital Index for 2017 which has been topped by Norway. India also ranks among the lowest in the world when it comes to the employment gender gap, but has been rated at a more respectable 65th spot with regard to the development of skills needed for the future in the list of 130 countries surveyed in the report.
The list compiled by Geneva-based WEF takes into account the knowledge and skills people possess that enable them to create value in the global economic system to measure the 'human capital' rank of a country. India was ranked 105th on the list last year, while Finland which was on top has been pushed to the second place this year.
WEF said India is ranked lower than its BRICS peers, with Russian Federation placed as high as 16th place, followed by China at 34th, Brazil at 77th and South Africa at 87th place. Among the South Asian countries also, India was ranked lower than Sri Lanka and Nepal, although higher than neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The report depicts the picture of a socio-economic dualism in India where, on the one hand, the primary education level among large mass of people is low and on the other is a modern India well equipped with skills for the future. The report states that India has been held back by a number of factors, including low primary education attainment among 25 -54 year olds where it is ranked at 110.
Citing examples, WEF said India ranks 118 for labour force participation among the key 35-54 year old demographic, suggesting far too many Indians are engaged in informal or subsistence employment. However, at the same time there is a modern India rising.
When it comes to development of skills needed for the future, the country fares strongly, ranking 65 out of 130, it said adding the country also performed well in the know-how parameter that measures the use of specialised skills at work. India faces a number of challenges but looks to be moving in the right direction, the WEF report also points out.
The report measures 130 countries against four key areas of human capital development; Capacity (determined by past investment in formal education), Deployment (accumulation of skills through work), Development (continued upskilling and reskilling of existing workers) and Know-how (specialised skillsuse at work).
According to the report, 62 per cent of human capital has now been developed globally. The Fourth Industrial Revolution does not just disrupt employment, it creates a shortfall of newly required skills.
Therefore, we are facing a global talent crisis, said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. He also said that we need a new mind-set and a true revolution to adapt our educational systems to the education needed for the future work force.