Social Scientist. v 2, no. 22 (May 1974) p. 55.

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Manpower Planning in India

PLANNING is deliberate action based on objective situations to achieve calculated ends. The major elements of economic planning of a nation are its physical and human resources and it is the inter play between the two that is deliberately planned. So planning the use ofhuman resources is as important as that of the physical resources; also, when resources are limited planning has to be organised on a scientific basis. While India's physical resources are obviously limited, our planners did not come up against scarcity of human resources which, to them, warranted any planning. With a huge army of unemployed and under employed manpower anything like a labour plan was considered superfluous. So there was no comprehensive manpower programme in the Indian plans; in its place, we had merely a few projections of employment potential. However, in certain specific areas, manpower resources were considered inadequate and deliberate measures taken to fill the gaps. Engineers,, technicians, scientists, doctors, veterinary and agricultural experts, are some of the professional occupations in which a certain amount of manpower planning was adopted in the past. This note deals specifically with aspects of planning for engineers, both graduates and diploma-holders.

The first part of this note contains an account and an assessment of the manpower planning techniques applied in the last four Five-Year Plans. The second part is devoted to an alternative approach to manpower planning and employment.


Engineers are the products of social investment in education and training. This is why unemployment and underemployment among them gets wide publicity and becomes a matter of public concern. (Though unemployment among the unskilled should also be viewed from the same stand point, because it is society that supports them, it is seldom viewed in that way). /

Unemployment among engineers is nothing new. During the decade 1955-1965, six to seven per cent of the engineers were out of work, as shown in Table I.

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