India has to initiate 'structural reforms' in the educational system if it wants to reap the benefits of its 'demographic dividend,' National Knowledge Commission (NKC) Chairman Sam Pitroda said here on Thursday. The demographic dividend denotes a rise in economic growth due to an increasing share of working people in population. Speaking to reporters after a seminar on on 'Roadmap for Reform: NKC Recommendations', Pitroda said if reforms were not initiated to meet the challenges of the knowledge economy, demographic dividend would become a 'demographic nightmare.'
According to him, reforms were necessary in five core areas – access to knowledge, concepts, creation, applications and services. 'Today education has become indispensable to the country's ambitions in the knowledge economy and therefore there is a need to develop a new knowledge paradigm, simultaneously addressing concerns of disparity and inclusion,' said Pitroda. The seminar was was jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and NKC as part of the commission's outreach programme. On the occasion, Pitroda released NKC's 'Report to the Nation', a compilation of the over 300 recommendations it has made to the government.