New York: India has been placed at a low 103 rank, the lowest among BRICS economies, on the WEF's Global Human Capital Index, which has been topped by Norway.
India also ranks "among the lowest in the world" when it comes to the employment gender gap, but has fared well when it comes to development of skills needed for the future with a rank of 65 out of total 130 countries surveyed.
The list compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) takes into account "the knowledge and skills people possess that enable them to create value in the global economic system" to measure the 'human capital' rank of a country.
India was ranked 105th on this list last year, while Finland was on the top which has pushed by Norway to second place this year.
The WEF said India is ranked lower than its BRICS peers, with Russian Federation placed as high as 16th place, followed by China at 34th, Brazil at 77th and South Africa at 87th place.
Among the South Asian countries also, India was ranked lower than Sri Lanka and Nepal, although higher than neighboring Bangladesh and Pakistan.
"India is held back by a number of factors, including low educational attainment (primary education attainment among 25 -54 year olds is 110th for example) and low deployment of its human capital, meaning the skills available are not getting put to good use", WEF said.
Giving examples, WEF said India ranks 118 for labor force participation among the key 35-54 year old demographic, suggesting far too many Indians are engaged in informal or subsistent employment.
"However there is a modern India rising. When it comes to development of skills needed for the future, the country fares strongly, ranking 65 out of 130," it said adding the country also performed well in the know-how parameter that measures the use of specialized skills at work.
"India faces a number of challenges but looks to be moving in the right direction," WEF noted.
The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Finland and Switzerland in the second and third place respectively.
Other countries in the top 10 include, the United States (4th), Denmark (5th), Germany (6th), New Zealand (7th), Sweden (8th), Slovenia (9th) and Austria (10th).
The report measures 130 countries against four key areas of human capital development; Capacity (determined by past investment in formal education), Deployment (accumulation of skills through work), Development (continued upskilling and reskilling of existing workers) and Know-how (specialized skills-use at work).
According to the report, 62 percent of human capital has now been developed globally.
"The Fourth Industrial Revolution does not just disrupt employment, it creates a shortfall of newly required skills. Therefore, we are facing a global talent crisis," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, World Economic Forum.
Schwab further noted that "we need a new mind-set and a true revolution to adapt our educational systems to the education needed for the future work force.