06 Apr 2018 05:24am IST
The greatest and the most precious asset of a country is its people, as it is they who can exploit all other resources. The people form the greatest wealth of a nation. If we look back into the history of civilizations, the main reason behind the economic revolution achieved by some countries, badly battered, ravaged and ruined during the Second World War, it is its people. Germany and Japan were virtually shattered and in shambles. It was the indomitable spirit of their people that they achieved, remarkable progress because of the optimum utilisation of manpower. Human resource development means identifying and developing the capabilities inherent in every citizen to its full extent.
In Goa, there have been discussions and debates, arguments and counter arguments going on regarding the use of its land resources, natural resource like mines, beaches etc. Unfortunately all discussions and debates on development is just merely land based. Be it mining, the Regional plans, or the PDA. All these discussions are tainted with an element of personal interest and centered on land use. Any kind of land use other than for agriculture is in reality a ‘land misuse’. One thing any such land use prevents the land from any other use in future, secondly any land use creates unnecessary pressure on land, which could result in flooding, water (drainage logging) and many other like consequences. Thirdly and most dangerously, there is an artificial inflation of land value which benefit just a few members of the society, creating wealth imbalances and social tensions, unemployment and poverty.
In any planning, the first priority should be human resource development, a task that must engage the attention of those in charge of developments. The plan should be to provide the requisite facilities for a purposeful training of the available manpower, so that its creative abilities are cultivated and it is equipped with the skills needed to perform a productive role and contribute to the maximum prosperity of the maximum number of people in the State.
Education and technical training need to play their crucial role and weave a path of creativity so that common people can tread on it to accomplish their goals.The political rhetoric about job creations without the available human resources, becomes spineless and purpose less agenda.
Success of any development programme will depend on how seriously the people who are at the helm of affairs, have the vision in harnessing the most important precious gift of nature, that is its people. As per the statistics published by the Directorate of Education, presently, there are about a lakh or more children enrolled in primary education, who a decade from now will be ready for employment . In the absence of proper human resource planning not only that there won’t be any jobs for them but even the few jobs available, will not be fit to be employed in the absence of appropriate education and skill training.
Human resource is an important factor of economic development. Adam Smith had stated that ‘the prosperity of a country is determined by the skill, efficiency and attitude of the labour used by that country’. Many countries have been able to develop themselves due to, the capacity and skill of their human resources. Countries like Japan, Singapore, Germany and Hong Kong are illustrations of mobilising their human resource to achieve economic miracle. Proper planning and utilization of Human resource can eliminate economic backwardness and poverty.
The development of human resources, increases the knowledge of natural resources. New production technique, market and opportunities of the economic activities. The human resources also help in the proper utilisation of capital. These all lead to the increase in production, employment opportunities and levels of living of people. The utilisation of human resources will also compensates the deficiency of natural resources. There is a close relationship between population and economic development. The more developed is the human resource of a country the more developed is that country as a whole.
Fundamental changes in Goa’s development strategy would be necessary to move beyond a narrow commodity based economy, to one that is more secure and sustainable which can pull in increasing proportion of potential workforce into employment in high value jobs.
In 1776 Adam Smith cautioned that ‘mining was the worst means to increase the capital of a nation’. This has come true for many countries and States which depend on mining.
Goa needs to be competitive in the global knowledge economy. The vision should be a multi-faceted strategy that charts the State’s future, and consolidate the states strength of peaceful people, communal harmony with sound governance and an institutional regime with stable financial discipline and create conditions for high quality growth.
There has to be an understanding as to what needs to be done to fundamentally transform the structure of Goa’s economy, to develop integrated knowledge and innovation capabilities of the human resource in the State. There is need for the emergence of a new thinking as to the relevance and importance of human resources above all other resources available in the State.
Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Netherlands, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The dramatic build up of human resources endowments by these countries have dramatically improved their living standards, both in terms of economic prosperity and personal well being. Their development has been promoted by a combination of quality education systems and high quality jobs.
The fundamental question is, whether Goa can emulate these success stories and develop its human resource capacity to leverage its natural resources endowments and make a success transition towards development and prosperity of its people.
(The writer is a Professor of Law and former Dean, Faculty of Law, Goa University.)