Translating India’s National Youth Policy 2014 into ActionMay 16, 2016
India’s National Youth Policy 2014 (NYP 2014) encompasses a clear strategy to empower young people and thereby empower the nation itself. To facilitate the implementation of this policy, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Volunteers (UNV) have come together under the project ‘Strengthening Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (NSS)’. Among other objectives, this project also envisages the development of Action Plans on four key thematic areas of the NYP 2014 – Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction, Social Inclusion, Gender Justice and Equality, and Social Entrepreneurship.
In order to deliberate strategies to enhance youth development and volunteering as well as the four action plans, the first Expert Group Committee Meeting was held in New Delhi on 16 May 2016. Chaired by Rajeev Gupta, Hon’ble Secretary Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, the meeting brought together over 50 experts from government sector, civil society, private sector and the UN. The discussions were enhanced by the presence of Lalit Gupta (Hon’ble Joint Secretary Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India and National Project Director, ‘Strengthening NYKS and NSS’), Marina Walter (Deputy Country Director, UNDP), Dilawar Singh (Director General, NYKS), and Girish Tuteja (Director, NSS).
The presentations of the action plans focused on various recommendations in the four thematic areas with a view to support the effective implementation of the NYP by 2019. After the presentations, participants expressed their appreciation for the different recommendations and provided the following valuable suggestions -:
- Need for inter-linkages between all four plans;
- Categorizing recommendations based on what can be taken up immediately or in the short-term, those for the long-term and those that may require further policy action;
- Youth development is not just the agenda for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports but also of other stakeholders. Therefore the strategies should also identify the roles of different stakeholders in the implementation of the plans;
- Since there are 29 districts where the project “Strengthening NYKS and NSS” has presence, certain recommendations may be piloted in these districts.
Secretary, Youth Affairs concluded the session by underlining the importance of building linkages and addressing these issues beginning at a district level through a District Advisory Committee on Youth Programmes and in coordination with the District Collector. While appreciating the suggestions and inputs, he emphasized that value education and patriotism are also important aspects for youth in India. The meeting concluded with commitment to ensure continuity for this dialogue forum and consensus to work towards the finalization of the four Action Plans.