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ROAD TO ‘19 - YOUTH
The demographic dividend of India is dubbed to be one of the strongest pillars for growth and driving the nation towards being the next superpower. But, today the youth is faced with tremendous challenges. Fundamental challenges like unemployment in this ever-changing world. The youth represents a large voter base, with 51.8% of the population under the age of 35, with voters (age 18 to 35 years) being 31.3%. ISB and its flagship program is a representation of the best young minds in the country and we believe now is better than ever before to discuss the issues relating to the Youth of this nation and put the youth and the nation on the path of progress. The idea of this conclave is to discuss with experts and leaders, the various challenges faced by the youth – Unemployment, Representation, Environment, Caste, Rural-Urban divide and more. Through these discussions, we hope to come up with tangible outputs that we believe the leaders of the country should consider and bring to fruition.
Unemployment
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges for the youth today is employment or the lack thereof. With changing definition of jobs and what a job stands for there is a lot that needs to be done to in this regard. In the upcoming elections, all sides of the political spectrum will be looking to attract the youth vote with spurs of promises. The idea is to discuss the breadth of this issue and what to make of the recent poll promises and how to tackle this challenge and channel the youth’s energy towards the progress of the nation.
Urban – Rural divide
Better opportunities in the cities have led to large scale urban migration and pose unprecedented challenges not only on the cities but also the future of the country. With Agriculture getting less and less attractive, there are serious challenges related to the nation’s future food security. The youth have a pivotal role to play in this issue.
In this topic, we plan to discuss 2 aspects of this issue. First on the rapid urbanization and how to equip the cities to tackle such a problem and secondly what role can policymakers play in establishing a balance in this urban and rural divide.
Reservation – Sex, Religion & Caste
India, given its diversity, has been ‘socially engineered’ for political ends. Though this is discussed in hushed tones, the divisions in the social fabric of the country are becoming more prominent by the day. In the utopian perspective, we would want all things to be equal, irrespective of any attributes of humans. But given the potential of political gains to be made from these divisions, we believe it is imperative to discuss, what are the causes and how can the youth of the nation take forwards our democratic principles in their essence of equality.
Environment
Climate Change is no more an issue of the future, which emerging economies have a crucial part to play in. Finding solutions to problems of business and society should be looked at from the lenses of both economic and environmental sustainability. The youth of the country have a pivotal role to play in the same and these progressive questions need discussion to bring out various perspectives of their challenges
Foreign Policy and diplomatic challenges
The youth of the country today have more international aspirations – aspirations in terms of studying, working and travelling beyond the national borders with an estimated 17 million Indians living on foreign soil in 2017 up from 7 million in 1990. Over the years the demographic distribution of people travelling abroad have been changing and so have the reasons for which people are going abroad. This makes foreign policy an important aspect for the youth of the country. Complex questions like India obtaining a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and becoming a part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. With changing policies of nations worldwide, with a more inward perspective gaining a foothold in some countries, a discussion on the challenges and opportunities it presents is essential in a Dialogue for Progress.
Politics and Policy Making
Policymaking is an important driver to put the country on a progressive path. Implementation of the policy is even more important and in-fact the tougher part. Often, policy implementation is laid hostage to Political will.
It is time India introspects on the political will and understand if there is any framework that fits in the nuances of political will in policy making that is both good to the policy brief and expedite the political will to implement the policies. We also need to understand why certain policies are given higher preference than others in the sectors of agriculture, defence, education, employment etc. It is essential to have this perspective in our conversations as we believe new age policymaking will require innovative approaches and solutions. Thus, it is an important nuance in the Dialogue for Progress.