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On Sunday, when Suryakumar Yadav hit that scintillating knock of 111 runs against News Zealand in the second T20I of the three-match series, he arguably became the finest T20 batter in the world. Suryakumar looked at his (perhaps) best, notching up the 3-digit figure in just 49 deliveries. He was on a song. In fact, the entire team was on a roll and took the shine off the Kiwis in style. It was a massive win. However, the whole purpose of this article is not JUST to hail and glorify this young Team India which made the win look so easy, but to remind the vast number of cricket fans in the country NOT to be murderous while criticising the FADING greats. We get better by the day and that is expected of us. What Suryakumar can do today was achieved by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli too. Greats will be greats forever. We just have to keep in mind that everyday we must set a benchmark for the nation to succeed.

The purpose of this article is to actually make professionals aware of the fact that they need to quit when the time is right. The true legends should not be made to look vanquished, struggling for form and fatigued. Once the hardearned respect is gone… it is gone forever. One needs to know when to quit. We all need to realise and age gracefully. There are various stages of life and we can all contribute to an institute, organisation and the country gainfully. We needn’t hold on or cling onto things like newborns. We need to know when to leave it. Indians in general have a habit of hanging on in perhaps every field from Bollywood to cricket to politics. We need to give young India their due. India’s 1.35-plus billion people make the nation the second most populous country in the entire world and with an average age of 29, it has one of the youngest populations globally. As this vast resource of young India joins the workforce, it could create a ‘demographic dividend’. Demographic dividend is clearly defined by the United Nations Population Fund as economic growth resulting from a shift in a population’s age structure, mainly when the working-age population is larger than the number of dependents. We also need to note that with the young India, India is in a vantage position. The overall rate of literacy among young India has increased, with approximately 90 per cent being able to read and write. Coupled with the enormous network of social media and internet penetration, this has created a digitally savvy population all across the nation. With access to the internet and the affordability of smartphones, young India is accessing online resources that encourage learning and acquisition of skills.

As per the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015, it was estimated that the average age of the population in India by 2020 would be 29 years as against 40 years in the US, 46 in Europe and 47 in Japan. India will account for 20 per cent of the worldwide increase in the working-age population over the next two decades from the year 2020. World Bank projections show that between 2020 and 2040, India’s population aged between 15 and 59 years is expected to increase by 134.6 million. That large number of potential workers is a big boon for India’s economic growth, but it is also a challenge for policymakers in order to create new and decent job opportunities.

Let’s delve into the future. The demographic dividend opportunity in India is the longest in the world which is accessible for around five long decades, starting from the year 2005 to 2055. Owing to the change in demographics and patterns, India is expected to emerge as one of the largest consumer economies in the world. The surge in young India will bring about several unique and interesting possibilities for the country’s future, in terms of social mobility, economic growth and even a more inclusive, wholesome and diverse cultural network.


ROBIN ROY  The writer is Senior Journalist and former Managing Editor, First India

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