Passage for Exercise-27

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below:

    Today, India looks like it is on course to join the league of developed nations. It is beginning to establish a reputation not just as the technology nerve centre and back. office to the world, but also as its production centre. India's secularism and democracy serve as a role model to other developing countries. Fhere is great pride in an India that easily integrates with a global economy, yet maintains a unique cultural identity. But what is breathtaking is India's youth. For despite being an ancient civilization that traces itself to the very dawn of human habitation, India is among the youngest countries in the world. More than half the country is under 25 years of age and more than a third is under 15 years of age.”

    Brought up in the shadow of the rise of India's service industry boom, this group feels it can be at least as good if not better than anyone else in the world. This confidence has them demonstrating a great propensity to consume, throwing away ageing ideas of asceticism and thrift. Even those who do not have enough to consume today feel that they have the capability and opportunity to do so..

   The economic activity created by this combination of a growing labour pool and rising consumption demand is enough to propel: India to double-digit economic growth for decades, One just has to look at the impact that the baby boomers in the US had over decades of economic activity, as measured by equity and housing prices. This opportunity also represents the greatest threat to India's future. If the youth of India are not properly educated and if there are not enough jobs created, India will have forever lost its opportunity. There are danger signs in abundance.

    Fifty-three per cent of students in primary schools drop out, one-third of children in class V cannot read, three quarters of schools do not have a functioning toilet, female literacy is only 45 per cent-and 80 million children in the age group of 6-14 do not even attend school.

    India's IT and BPO industries are engines of job creation, but they still account for only 0.2 per cent of India's employment. The country has no choice but to dramatically industrialize and inflame its domestic economy. According to a forecast by the Boston Consulting Group, more than half of India's unemployed within the next decade could be its educated youth. We cannot allow that to happen.

    Employment creation needs an abundant supply of capital. Controls on foreign investment, oran advantage of have resulted in China getting five years. The growing interest in India by global private Equity firms augurs well as they represent pools of patient and smart capital, but they too face many ‘bureaucratic hurdles.

    When it comes to domestic capital availability, budget deficits adding up to 10 per cent of the national GDP impede capital availability for investment and infrastructure.

    Raising infrastructure spending, coupled with rapid privatization, may not only create employment but also address the growing gaps in infrastructure. China has eight times the highway miles and has increased roads significantly in the past few years while India has only inched along. Freight costs at Indian ports are almost double the worldwide average, just to give two examples.

    Moreover, like the Lilliputians that kept gaint Gulliver toed down, there are some 30,000 statutes in India, of which only a portion are even operational, and these keep the employment creation engine tied down. Since there are no sunset provisions in any laws, the regulatory morass only grows: every year.

    In the meantime, we as citizens of the world and descendants of India have to make a difference. We have to ensure that India and its youth attain that potential, both through our business pursuits and the support of educational charities, on-the-ground proporients of participative democracy as well as other deserving organizations and initiatives.

    I believe that hope can triumph and that this can be India's century-not one that will happen as surely as the sun will rise each day but one that many willing hands need to create together.


(a) Answer the following questions briefly:
(i) What makes the author think India is on the verge of joining the select band of developed nations?
(ii) Despite the fact that India is one of the oldest civilizations why does the author say it is young?
(iii) The author feels that if certain problems are not arrested, India would lose its opportunity.Why would India lose this opportunity?
(iv) What hinders employment growth?
(v) Who/what in the passage is referred to as the ‘Lilliputians’?
(vi) How can we ensure that India and its youth attain their full potential?
(b) Pick out words from the passage that mean :
Sudden rise, growth.

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