Jeans Code for Low Skill Manufacturing

Industrial development is indispensible to industrial growth.  Lee Kuan Yew proved to the world the power of manufacturing sector to boost the economic growth by unparalleled success of Singapore. PM Modi is also set to push Indian manufacturing sector to new highs. The new government has made “Make in India” its flagship policy. India is blessed with an abundance of unskilled or low skilled labour. India thus harbours huge potential to develop making use of jeans code of low-skilled manufacturing.  Many successful economies of today have relied on this model of growth to fuel their economy in initial stages. East Asian countries like China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are some examples where countries resorted to aggressive low-skilled manufacturing in sectors like textiles, clothing etc. to stir growth.  It was Lee Kuan Yew who had challenged the Indian development model. Exploring  history annals, it is repeated occurrence that countries have resorted to three escape routes to escape from under-development viz. Geology, geography and jeans (code for low skilled manufacturing. West Asia, Botswana and Chile exemplify the exploitation of natural resources to achieve success. Likewise Barbados, Mauritius and Caribbean are examples of nations which have exploited their geographic resources to attain high rates of growth.

The big question whether manufacturing really can stem growth can be answered if it is able to satisfy the following clauses:

High productivity

The massive unskilled workforce in India is looking for various employment opportunities. They have a huge potential and with proper governmental push, technical support and right living conditions can spur productivity.

Natural expansion

Dynamic productivity will demand proper convergence of resources to boost faster productivity growth in lower production areas. This should however be based on natural industrialisation and not pre-mature industrialisation


The growth if aligned with the natural comparative advantage is sustainable and inclusive. Indian advantage lies in the huge available workforce. Thus to equally divide benefits amongst different segments of labour force, there should be a match between skill requirement and skill endowment. In India, the convergence should be based on low-skilled labour to include more individuals in it.


The factor which is spurring growth should be export oriented as domestic markets can hardly fuel rapid economic growth. Trade and exports can lead to unconstrained demand which is essential for sector expansion.


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