Research Team: Deb Kusum Das Amrita Goldar, Sajal Jain, Viraj Sawant, Neha Gupta, Prateek Kukreja and Kumar Abhishek
Commencement: March 2017
Funded by: IDFC Foundation
A third of India’s population still lives in extreme poverty – possibly the highest incidence outside sub-Saharan Africa – and many people still lack access to basic services and opportunities such as sanitation, healthcare, and quality schooling. Improving the living standards of the Indian population will not only require acceleration in the growth rate but also an improvement in the economy’s competitiveness in order to put growth on a more stable footing. However, despite an improvement in India’s performance in key drivers of competitiveness over the last decade, significant challenges, stemming from factors such as a narrow manufacturing base, the predominance of agriculture as a source of employment, fiscal constraints, infrastructural deficiencies and low digital connectivity, remain. Addressing these challenges is imperative given the enormous gains to be made from improving competitiveness. In particular, this will help rebalance the economy and move the country up the value chain so as to ensure more solid and stable growth; this, in turn, could result in more employment opportunities for the country’s rapidly growing population. Over the course of this project, three studies will be undertaken to provide key insights on how to improve the competitiveness of the Indian economy. These studies will look at the issue of global competitiveness through the lens of job and livelihood creation. Work on two studies has commenced.