Distinction between Human Capital and Resource and Manpower
Health and education are normally considered as human capital. Health includes both physical health and fitness. Education includes formal, non-formal, in-service and travel-related experiences of life. Formal education has several objectives such as knowledge, skills, attitude and appreciation, application as well as values of life.
In contrast, ‘manpower’ normally refers only to the ‘skill’ component of education. Manpower is the equivalent of machine-power. Machine-power increases the speed and efficiency of human endeavours. If a man can walk 5 kms in an hour, a two- wheeler or a four-wheeler can carry him within 10 to 12 minutes. Higher the machine power, or horse-power (hp) of the machine, higher will be its pulling capacity. Manpower is the equivalent of horsepower. Manpower refers to the skill component of human beings. It increases the efficiency of their functioning. An economy with superior manpower stock as well as flow can grow faster when other resources are guaranteed. The term ‘human resources’ is a comprehensive term which not only includes human capital – health and education component of a person – but also comprises a person’s mind-set, world-view, value-frame, intelligence, emotional stability and other personality attributes. There is a controversy regarding the use of the phrase human resource development (HRD) or human capital. Is human being a resource or a capital to be employed for the realisation of national goals such as economic growth and prosperity. If s/he is a resource, then what/who are the ends of growth? Is human being means or an end? It is to lower the dignity and worth of human personality in thinking of her/him as a resource/capital for investments. Democracy is essentially a highly individualized political mind-set and human being should always be treated as an end in himself/ herself. However, s/he has the potential for knowing, thinking, acquiring skills, apply things learnt for self-development, etc. It is this particular characteristic of human beings that distinguishes between human capital and physical capital. There are a
number of differences between the physical capital and human capital.
Table : Comparison Between Physical Capital and Human Capital