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HRD: An important part of long-term planning

Published on 6th Apr, Edition 14, 2015

 

Pakistan’s human resource community is far behind in their awareness of global requirements and the development of modern technologies to deal with them. It is hard to compete in this modern world economy without having expertise and qualified and well-skilled manpower.

Human Resource Development (HRD) plays an important part in the long-term planning for economic development. Many developed and developing countries have put greater importance on Human Resource Development and have experienced substantial progress and development in all specific areas.

Pakistan was ranked 54 out of 60 economies in the Global Talent Index (GTI) prepared by Economist Intelligence Unit for 2015 with India occupying the 35th spot — 19 places above Pakistan. Experts cite country’s poor compulsory and university education for the dismal score. Pakistan’s score in GTI 2015 was 30.8 with improvement of 3.8 points over its score in GTI 2011. This increase in score has helped Pakistan climb up two positions from 54 to 56.

In compulsory education, Pakistan obtained a paltry 5.9 percent compared with 81.3 percent by the US, 66.9 percent by China and 30.5 percent by India. Similarly in university education Pakistan’s score was low at 6.7 percent while it’s was 82 percent in US, 32.1 percent in China and 15.7 percent in India.

In quality of labor force Pakistan scored 34.4 percent, India 64.2 percent, China 41.2 percent and the United States 89.6 percent. In ‘talent environment,’ Pakistan’s score was 45.8 percent, India 50.4 percent, China 59.7 percent and the US 100 percent. In ‘openness,’ Pakistan’s score of 51.1 percent was much better than US score of 34.1 percent and India’s score of 34.7 percent.

Posting of rapid human capital growth

Pakistan experienced rapid economic and human capital growth in years 2000 to 2008. Domestic savings rate reached 18 percent of the GDP and foreign direct investment (FDI) hit a record level of $5.4 billion in 2007-8.

Domestic and foreign investments nearly tripled the size of the economy from $60 billion in 1999 to $170 billion in 2007, according to IMF. Exports nearly tripled from about $7 billion in 1999-2000 to $22 billion in 2007-2008, adding millions of more jobs. Pakistan was lifted from a poor, low-income country with per capita income of just $500 in 1999 to a middle-income country with per capita income exceeding $1000 in 2007.

Further to the economic development Pakistan’s HDI grew an average rate of 2.7 percent per year from 2000 to 2007, and then its pace slowed to 0.7 percent per year in 2008 to 2012 under elected politicians, according to the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”.

Overall, Pakistan’s human development score rose by 18.9 percent and increased just 3.4 percent since 2008. The news on the human development front got even worse in the last three years, with HDI growth slowing down as low as 0.59 percent — a meager average annual increase of under 0.20 percent.

The policies accelerated economic growth, helped create 13 million new jobs, reduced poverty in half and halved the country’s total debt burden in the period from 2000 to 2007, the government also ensured significant investment and focus on education and health care. The annual budget for higher education increased from only Rs500 million in 2000 to Rs28 billion in 2008, to lay the foundations of the development of a strong knowledge economy. R&D spending jumped from 0.1 percent of GDP in 1999 to 0.7 percent of GDP in 2007. In 2011, a Pakistani government commission on education found that public funding for education has been cut from 2.5 percent of GDP in 2007 to just 1.5 percent.

Requirement of proper policies

“There is a strong causal link between human development and economic growth”, stated the Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark at the conclusion of the event held recently. “Few countries have sustained economic growth without investments in human capital. Yes you can have sporadic growth which Pakistan witnessed during the last government, but that only lasts for a while”. He called for greater investment in girls’ education and for improved trade with neighbors like India.

Currently Pakistan’s policies are clearly not working and human development cannot happen when 25 percent of our budget goes to defense while less than two per cent is spent on education and 1 percent on health. Pakistanis need to pay their taxes and demand better governance with a clear emphasis on human development. Otherwise, warned the Ambassador, the country will only “fall further behind”.

There is need of development of Human Resources in both urban and underdeveloped areas of Pakistan. In this regard, the first priority should be given to standardized universal education, with special emphasis to defeating living disparities in educational and training facilities, and achievements between males and females.

 

So long as there are no well trained Human Resources, there can be no desirable socio-economic development in the country. There is a need of concentration on human development by adopting a short, as well as long term plans.

For this scientific education, ceaseless training, skills development, team building, community mobilization, cognizance and development, organizational development, and modernizing Human Resources planning and policies are required.

Time now demand that educational institutions should be established and managed for the development of Human Resources at the community, district, provincial and national levels. The entire education system should prepare students with a focus on practical knowledge. A practical industry-oriented vocational education and training strategy should be developed for the labor class.

Involvement of community

It is now time for Pakistan to make greater efforts for community involvement for Pakistan economic development.

We must ensure the role of women in the development phase, including support for gender-specific initiatives.

We must have constant training in professional management areas. We must try to improve the knowledge, skills and perspectives senior administrators in managerial leadership.

After so many years Pakistan has come to realize the importance of having a fully functional Human Resource Development department in every organization.

Previously the human resource department was considered as the administration department responsible for small tasks. However, now the functions and responsibilities of the Human Resource department became even clear to the multinational organizations in Pakistan.

Human Resource Development is all-important for industry. Industrialization demands skilled labor at every stage of production. An expert engineer needs his team of skill supervisors, technicians, operators, computer experts and others to carry out a production process.

More and more companies irrespective of foreign and local companies are now looking for Human Resource Managers to handle their human assets and their issues. Human Resources courses are taught in different Institute realizing the market demands. Different organizations have different knowledge about Human Resource. In some organizations Human Resource personnel faced stiff resistance from old employees and from top management also.

Time to set an example

Pakistan is blessed with high quality of industrious and productive workers, but unfortunately they are much less demanding than their counterparts in the developed world. Pakistani nation is devoted, hard working and has always stood up to expectations. In this regard Human Resource can be the most important contributor to the economic success of Pakistan. A lot of guidance and effective assistance is required to increase their capabilities.

A daring and highly imaginative thinking must go into giving such training facilities, capacities and programs in both the private and public sector. The time has come for an incorporated effort to ensure that business and industry leaders will have the management with cultural skills which are required to compete on a universal basis. Pakistan must learn from the success of the emerging economies of the South region, which have used their growing economic strength to lift human development.

The senior retired personnel talent should not be wasted but their talent should be utilized to the fullest extent according to their qualification and experience. This practice has been noticed in Australia, Canada and USA where for a short period training is provided to senior persons to take a respectable paid job in different organizations.

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