Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Changing production

The metrics on which India performs worst are human capital and sustainable resources

The World Economic Forum’s first Country Readiness for Future of Production report contains few surprises as far as India is concerned. It ranks 30th when it comes to assessing how well positioned it is to deal with the evolution and change of manufacturing because of technological advances. A more granular look at the index, however, reiterates some key points.

The metrics on which India performs worst are human capital and sustainable resources. India’s poor performance in educating and skilling its workforce receives considerable attention in public discourse within the country. The latter issue has a lower profile. But the frequent lack of adherence to or enforcement of norms concerning the environment on the one hand, and the lack of environment clearances contributing heavily to stalled projects on the other—as Mint’s Sachin P. Mampatta has pointed out—show how far India still is from finding an appropriate balance here.

There is a great deal of alarmism around automation, not always warranted. But staving off dire predictions will require heavy lifting on these and other fronts.

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