ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A New Development Model for the New Economy

The new economy needs a development model that is people-centric, not production-driven. Emphasis, therefore, must be on the development of human capital. But, public education and health are not enough to break out of the middle-economy track. The world’s most pressing problems, from climate change to the future of work are all manifestations of inequality. The role of government is to not only be a more effective provider of learning and health, but also to be an agent for greater access to opportunity and changing patterns of ownership at all levels.

What is the best development model? Is it the new mercantilism of making locally and selling globally? Or is it the new interventionism of bending trade rules and national security preferences to promote local tech firms? As Trumpism reigns and internationalism retreats, both ideas are in the ascendency. Perhaps, a better alternative is to start from one of the few certainties that today’s jobs will be unrecognisable in 50 years’ time and future jobs may not be existing today. Consequently, what is needed is a people-centric development model, not production-centred development.

A people-centric development model recognises that a country can only gain wealth sustainably by increasing the amount its citizens can charge the world’s consumers for their skills, talent and service. Education is at the heart of this development, but it is learning in the widest sense. Beyond formal schooling, education in this sense embraces skills training, on-the-job experience, exposure, travel and lifelong learning. It is education that is not only sensitive to new trends but also, future-proofed by empowering citizens with the ability to adapt as demand changes. Darwin’s law of evolution that is often misstated as the survival of the fittest, is actually survival of the most adaptable. Giraffes are not the fastest and fittest but they survived because they could reach their food. Adaptability is reactive. Our approach to learning must naturally feed innovation. We must have a national system of innovation that dovetails with our national educational system.

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Updated On : 12th Jul, 2019
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