‘More youth participation needed in India’s decision making’


New Delhi: India’s youth demographic is high and therefore their involvement in policy making and decision making process is crucial, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan said Wednesday.

Support TwoCircles

Khan was speaking at a round table discussion held in observance of International Youth Day at the United Nations (UN) country headquarters here at Lodhi Road.

“The country’s youth demographic is high. Hence their involvement in policy making and the decision making process is crucial. They need to be empowered further. This is why the National Youth Policy was formulated and our parliamentary forum on youth also works for this,” Khan said.

“India’s youth that accounts for over 50 percent of the population is an advantage for us when compared to the rest of the world – but this can become a disadvantage if their energy and capacity is not channelised properly.”

At the discussion organised jointly by the UN Information Centre (UNIC) and NGO India World Foundation, several senior journalists, social activists and young parliamentarians and professionals participated.

Ajay Jha, a senior journalist who participated in the discussion observed: “The youth despite being the highest demographic is neglected in a majority of the country’s legislations and policies. Around 300 million youth have no access to basic civic amenities in the country.”

UNIC director Shalini Diwan said: “The number of young parliamentarians and state legislators has increased significantly in the recent elections. We have as many as 26 MPs in the 25-35 years age group.”

“The question we need to ask ourselves is whether the imagination, energy, idealism and enthusiasm of the youth is being channelled towards a common sustainable future – or are we on the edge of wasting this marvellous opportunity with more unemployment worsened by global recession turning the youth into disillusionment, crime and worst of all, terrorism?”

She also shared UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon’s theme for this year’s observance as “Sustainability: Our challenge, Our Future”.

“Addressing climate change is crucial. Therefore, when the leaders of the world discuss a climate change treaty at the Copenhagen Summit in December, young people have to raise their voice to urge them to endorse the UN secretary-general’s call for the summit to ‘seal the deal’,” Diwan said.