Economist Kaushik Basu has pointed out two key factors that would be crucial for a country like India to emerge as an economic power. He says that first and foremost is to focus on developing creative education and health sectors, while the second is to move away from hyper-nationalism.
The former Chief Economist of the World Bank says that labour-intensive jobs will be increasingly taken over by machines and computers and as such people will be left to fill posts that require creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Children from a young age must be taught to think and find solutions for different kinds of problems. He gave the example of South Korea, saying the country’s creative education is among the best in the world. Investment in creative education is a must for the progress of any country. Health sector and expertise in this industry will always be in demand. He said, “Those who nurture creative education will be on the forefront. Health sector, because a large part of the GDP is going to be health and the scope for growth, is huge. These two sectors are going to play a big role.”
As for hyper-nationalism, Basu says that this was the downfall of Argentina, which was moving neck-to-neck with the US in 1920. However, the South American country focused on hyper-nationalism and decided to close its border and within the next decade was tumbling down rapidly. It was also very prevalent in the US and could have pushed the country way back, lest some wise men had not put their foot down. Basu says that India must take advantage of globalization with technology-driven cheap labour that can give a competitive edge to a nation.
Basu was speaking at the eighth Pravin Visaria Memorial Public Lecture, which was hosted by Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) on Thursday. The topic of his speech was ‘The changing nature of the global economy and labour markets: What may the future hold’.