Current Affairs

Learning loss will dent India’s GDP: ADB

In News:

  • India would see the highest decline in South Asia due to learning losses for the young.
  • This has been highlighted by a new working paper published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • Asian Development Bank
  • Asian Development Outlook
  • News Summary

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • ADB (founded in 1966) is an international development finance institution.
  • Its mission is to help its developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people.
  • Headquartered in Manila, ADB is owned and financed by its 68 members, of which 49 are from the region and 19 are from other parts of the globe.
  • The two largest shareholders of the Asian Development Bank are the United States and Japan.
  • ADB is an official United Nations Observer.

Asian Development Outlook (ADO)

  • The Asian Development Outlook is a series of annual economic reports on the developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank.
  • The ADO provides a comprehensive analysis of macroeconomic and development issues for the DMCs of ADB.
  • It analyzes economic and development issues in developing countries in Asia.
    • This includes forecasting the inflation and GDP growth rates of countries throughout the region, including China and India.

News Summary

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has published a working paper on ‘Potential Economic Impact of COVID-19 related School Closures’.

Key Highlights of the report

  • GDP of India would see the highest decline in South Asia
    • As per the paper, the gross domestic product (GDP) of India would see the highest decline in South Asia due to learning losses for the young.
      • India is among the countries with the longest school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • GDP decline: in numbers
    • Starting with a $10.5 billion dent in 2023, the country’s economy could take a nearly $99 billion hit by 2030.
    • This translates into a 3.19% reduction in GDP from the baseline growth trends.
  • India’s contribution in global GDP decline
    • India may account for over 10% of the global GDP decline of $943 billion estimated by the ADB on account of earning losses in 2030.
    • Jobs for skilled labour is expected to decline by 1%, and unskilled labour by 2% that year.
  • Rural areas are worst hit
    • India has notable enrolment in secondary education and among students in rural areas.
    • Pandemic-induced school closures have also been more extensive there and students on rural areas lack access to stable Internet connection needed to study online.
  • Learning and earning losses will be significant
    • Learning and earning losses are significant because a notable portion of the impacted population will migrate to the unskilled labour force.
    • A large part of India’s work force is constituted by unskilled labour — 408.4 million as per the ADB paper’s estimates, compared to 72.65 million skilled workers.
  • Number of students in India
    • India has the highest number of children enrolled in primary and secondary education among the Asian economies covered in the paper, at 255.74 million.
    • The number of students in tertiary education were second only to China at 36.39 million.
  • Most immediate challenge
    • As per the paper, the most immediate challenge is to help students recover “lost opportunities” by conducting assessments among impacted children.
  • Recommendations
    • The paper mooted greater investments in education and skills with a focus on narrowing the digital divide.
    • It is important to identify the learning gap and specific learning needs of individuals.
    • Effective learning programs should be devised to offer appropriate support such as tutoring or special classes and help them to bridge the learning gap.
    • It is important to keep school-age children in education as much as possible by providing financial support and incentives, while giving additional support for skills training to youth already out of school.
Tags: Current Affairs

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