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Special Content

Issue no 41, 08-14 January 2022

Youth: The Nation-builders of Today

Every year since 1985, the Government of India observes 12th January, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda as National Youth Day. To quote from the Government of India's communication, "it was felt that the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.

" Swami Vivekananda's message was simple yet powerful. He conveyed his ideas directly to the people, especially to the youth. His message broke through the shackles of caste and creed and spoke of a language of universal brotherhood. What he said captures the great importance of his ideas and ideals among the youth in our country today. He personified the eternal energy of the youth and their restless quest for truth.

India is one of the youngest countries and it is India's youth who are the biggest ambassadors of the country's talent and potential. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has always encouraged the youth of the nation to follow Swami Vivekananda's leadership advice. At the valedictory function of the 2021 National Youth Parliament Festival, the Prime Minister stressed that it was Swami Vivekananda who recognised confident, clear-hearted, fearless and courageous youth as the foundation of the nation. The Prime Minister presented the mantras of Swami Vivekananda for youth-for physical fitness 'Muscles of Iron and Nerves of Steel'; for personality development 'Believe in Yourself'; and for leadership and teamwork 'Believe in All'.

Taking forward Swami's contribution in developing individuals and institutions, the government has taken several initiatives to harness the Yuva Shakti of our country. A few are listed below:

National Youth Parliament Festival

The objective of National Youth Parliament Festival is to hear the voice of youth between 18 and less than 25 years of age, who will join various careers in coming years, including public services. National Youth Parliament Festival (NYPF) is based on the idea given by the Prime Minister in his Mann Ki Baat Address on 31st December 2017. Taking inspiration from the idea of the Prime Minister, the first NYPF 2019 was organised from 12 January to 27 February 2019 at District, State & National level with the theme "Be the Voice of New India and Find solutions and Contribute to Policy''.

Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

In order to improve India's performance at Olympics and Paralympics, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) started the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in September 2014. It is a flagship program of the Ministry which is an attempt to provide assistance to India's top athletes and add a premium to the preparations so that they can win medals in the Olympics. The idea of the Scheme is to also keep an eye on the future and fund a Developmental Group of Athletes who are medal prospects for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles Games in 2028. Supports under TOPS include foreign training, international competition, equipment and coaching camp.

National Education Policy

The National Education Policy 2020 provides flexible and innovative learning formats to the students. The policy aims to create better individuals by prioritizing aspirations, skills, understanding and choice of the youth. "We are trying to create an ecosystem in the country, the absence of which often compels the youth to look towards foreign shores", the Prime Minister said. He underlined better education and entrepreneurial opportunities being made available to the youth of the country.

National Youth Festival

Organised since 1995, by the Department of Youth Affairs. The objective is to bring youth of the country together to showcase their talents and provide them an arena, by creating a mini-India, where youth interact in formal and informal settings and exchange their social and cultural uniqueness. It is also to promote national Integration, spirit of communal harmony, brotherhood, courage and adventure. The basic aim is to propagate the spirit, essence and concept of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat with the partnership of youth and the masses of India. The National Youth Festival is celebrated every year from 12th to 16th January.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

The scheme was launched in 2015 to encourage and promote skill development in the country by providing free short duration skill training and incentivizing this by providing monetary rewards to youth for skill certification. The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industryrelevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. The training is provided according to the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) with Soft Skills, Entrepreneurship, Financial and Digital Literacy, as part of the curriculum. PMKVY envisages to encourage training in special areas and premises of Government bodies, corporates/industry bodies and training in special job roles not defined under the available Qualification Packs (QPs)/ National Occupational Standards (NOSs).

Cultural Heritage Youth Leadership Programme (CHYLP)

The scheme was envisaged to enrich the awareness of Indian culture and heritage amongst the youth in order to promote, understand and develop fondness for India's rich cultural heritage, with a view to develop appropriate leadership qualities amongst youth. The focus of the programme was to be on less privileged children residing in backward areas by interacting with them in vernacular languages for their better understanding. Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), an autonomous organization working under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, organizes workshops for the scheme. This scheme will form the basis for encouraging leadership qualities among the youth as propagators of cultural awareness.

Fit India Movement

Fit India Movement was launched in 2019 by the Honourable Prime Minister with a view to make fitness an integral part of our daily lives. The mission of the Movement is to bring about behavioural changes and move towards a more physically active lifestyle. Towards achieving this mission, Fit India proposes to undertake various initiatives and conduct events to: promote fitness as easy, fun and free; spread awareness on fitness and various physical activities that promote fitness through focused campaigns; encourage indigenous sports; make fitness reach every school, college/ university, panchayat/ village; create a platform for citizens of India to share information, drive awareness and encourage sharing of personal fitness stories.

YUVA- Prime Minister's Scheme for Mentoring Young Authors

YUVA is an Author Mentorship programme launched in May 2021 to train young and budding authors (below 30 years of age) in order to promote reading, writing and book culture in the country, and project India and Indian writings globally. YUVA is a part of India@75 Project (Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav) to bring to the fore the perspectives of the young generation of writers on themes like Unsung Heroes, Freedom Fighters, Unknown and Forgotten Places and their role in National Movement, and other related themes in an innovative and creative manner. This scheme will thus help to develop a stream of writers who can write on a spectrum of subjects to promote Indian heritage, culture and knowledge system. The books prepared under this scheme will be published by National Book Trust, India; and will also be translated into other Indian languages ensuring the exchange of culture and literature. YUVA will go a long way in laying the foundation of the future leaders of the creative world.


(Compiled by Anuja Bhardwajan and Annesha Banerjee)