Think tank demands dialogue

Youth Agenda

Think tank demands dialogue

The vision of Youth For Policy and Dialogue (YPD), India’s first think tank of young people is to create a society which will seek the opinions of other youngsters. The policies drafted today, will shape the society of tomorrow and youth will be the biggest benefactors of these changes. It is crucial thus, to make the youth diligent actors in the policy-framing process.

According to YPD founded in October 2010, the government, civil society and multi-nationals are realising the importance of making youth a part of their policy making strategy. However, the youth is only able to make a marginal contribution in the whole process and there is not much scope for it to create a deeper dent with ideas, thoughts and actions.

Bhanu Joshi, the founder of the group shares some insights. “If you see globally, the youth is part of policy-making initiatives. All nations have youth wings but unfortunately India doesn’t have one. Youth is not recognised anywhere in any policy making. Here, the youth jumps into direct action - like protest marches. They will not sit and talk about an issue. Like, everyone wanted capital punishment for the rapists, even I wanted the same. But when we sat down with legal experts and other senior people, we came to understand the multiple consequences of hanging a rapist.”

The inherent philosophy of the organisation lies in dual aspects of dialogue and public policy. “We develop policy by involving young people in policy evaluation, creation and innovation. In doing so, we create a platform for the young to express their views, ideas and perspectives on issues plaguing this country. Under the dialogue initiative, we will organise summits, conferences and conventions focusing on core areas,” adds Bhanu.

The core group which has now been finally recognised by the Government of India for the upcoming Y20 consists of Bhanu Joshi, Abhishek Bhardwaj, Chaahat Khattar, Shashank Shekhar Rai, Srishti Gupta, Aditi Gandhi, Rishish Dubey, Joyeta Goswami and Abhinav Harlalka - all below 25.

India is in the middle of a transition. According to reports the number of young
Indians was about 780 million in 2008 and will grow to 950 million by 2026. But beyond these numbers is a reality that haunts India – the challenge of an uneducated, largely unskilled population.

We maybe one of the youngest nations in the world but are governed by people who are septagenerians. Sixty per cent of the population is youth but unfortunately there is no inter-action between the government and the youth for future policy making. Another disadvantage that the youth face is that they don’t know the system, the govenment or how both work.

Additionally, the thoughts and aspirations are not processed in our country. So there is a disconnect from both sides.

“Nowadays ‘facebook movements’ seem to be ruling the mindset. Communities are made on FB for everything and anything that goes wrong. It could be a pot-holed road, a murder or any issue. Nobody is thinking. Direct action has its effects but we need to do everything in a civil and democratic manner, understand nuances of issues before jumping the gun. Policies are made on streets but are made after research and dialogue. So, the govenment should bring more forums to speak to the youth for development of the country.”

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