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In this article , we shall study about the concept of human resource development. We shall also study about educational development in India since 1951, and the concept of human capital.
The term 'Human Resource Development' (HRD) is used with different meanings in different contexts. According to F.H. Harbison, human resources are 'the energies, skills, talent and knowledge of people which are, or which potentially can or should be applied to the production of goods or the rendering of useful services'.
In Human Resource Management, HRD is defined as 'organized learning activities arranged within an organization in order to improve performance and / or personal growth for the purpose of improving the job, the individual and/or organization'. According to this definition, HRD includes the areas of training and development, career development and organization development. But in this chapter, we are using HRD in a broad way to mean human capital development.
The most important indicators of HRD can be generally classified into (1) those which measure a country's stock of human capital, and (2) those which measure the additions to this stock. This is the rate of human capital formation over a specified period. The stock of human capital indicates the level of HRD in a country, whereas the rate of human capital formation indicates its rate of improvement.
When we speak of human capital, what we mean is that an individual by investing in the following categories can improve his capabilities. They are (1) health facilities and services (2) on - the - job training (including apprenticeship), (3) formal education, (4) study programmes for adults (e.g., Non-formal education) and extension programmes in agriculture and (5) migration of individuals and families in search of jobs.
In the past, economists believed that the rate of economic growth of nations could be increased only by increasing investment in physical capital. But since 1960s they have realized that investment in human capital is as important as investment in physical capital. Of all the factors that increase human capital, education is considered very important. We have now a separate branch known as economics of education. Its birth was announced by Schultz in 1960 in his survey on Human Capital Theory. Though economists like Adam Smith and Marshall expressed opinions on the value of education, it is only since the last five decades, economists have started applying the tools of economics to study the economic importance of education.
Sometimes, it is asked whether education is consumption or investment. We may note that it is no longer a major topic of controversy. It is generally agreed that education is both consumption and investment. Nowadays, economists treat it mostly as investment.
Harbison and Myers have given the following as human resource indicators. They are :
Number of teachers (first and second levels) per 10,000 population ;
Engineers and scientists per 10,000 population ;
Physicians and dentists per 10,000 population.
Pupils enrolled at first - level (primary) education as a percentage of the estimated population aged five to fourteen inclusive ;
The adjusted school enrolment ratios for first and second levels combined.
Pupils enrolled at second level (secondary) education, as a percentage of the estimated population aged fifteen to nineteen inclusivex. And
Enrolment in third - level (higher education) as a percentage of the age group twenty to twenty four.
The first three indicators are used for measuring the stock of human resources and the last four are measures of additions to the stock.
The following two indicators tell us about the orientation of higher education :
The percentage of students enrolled in scientific and technical faculties in a recent year ; and
The percentage of students enrolled in the faculties of humanities, fine arts and law in the same year.
Harbison and Myers constructed a simple composite index of HRD by taking the arithmetic total of (1) enrolment at second level of education as a percentage of the age group fifteen to nineteen, adjusted for length of schooling, and (2) enrolment at the third level of education as a percentage of the age group, multiplied by a weight of 5. (They have given more weightage to higher education than second - level education).
Based on the composite index of HRD, they classified countries into
2) partially developed,
3) semi- advanced
and 4) advanced.
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