By Jayanth Parchuri
In a first, the Indian School of Business (ISB) is organizing “Policy Conclave – Road to 2019” focusing on issues that really matter to the youth of the country in the context of the upcoming general elections.
The demographic dividend of India is dubbed to be one of the strongest pillars for growth and the crucial lever that propels the nation towards being the next superpower. But, today the youth is faced with tremendous challenges. Without resolving these fundamental challenges such as unemployment, we cannot fully as a nation leverage the demographic dividend and potential of our country. Let us look at some numbers here, youth represents a large voter base, with 51.8% of the population under the age of 35 and the voting age bucket (age 18 to 35 years) representing 31.3%. Also, according to the OECD Economic Survey – 2017, more than 25% of Indian youth are neither employed, students nor in training. This stark reality needs to change through sustained and strategic backing of policy reforms aimed at this segment. Thus, both numerically and qualitatively it is high time political parties start catering to this segment of population imbibing their aspirations and focusing on issues that truly matter to them.
ISB and its flagship program is a representation of some of the best young minds in the country and we believe that more than ever, now is the better time and opportunity to discuss the issues relating to the youth of this nation and drive the narrative of elections focusing around some of the fundamental issues faced by this segment. The idea of this policy conclave is to discuss with experts and leaders cutting across party lines, bureaucracy and youth activists, the various challenges faced by the youth – Unemployment, Representation, Environment, Caste, Rural-Urban divide, Freedom of expression 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.
Tag-lined “Dialogue For Progress”, this conclave will bring in different perspectives together discussing the issues of youth. As part of the conclave the organizers plan to crowdsource the opinions of youth on the issues they feel should be addressed as part of 2019 election manifestos. These issues will be debated and discussed at the conclave and will be shared with the major political parties with the objective of making the issues of youth a part of the narratives for the upcoming general elections.
The conclave is scheduled for 22nd February 2019 in Hyderabad and 9th March 2019 in Mohali.
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Jayanth Parchuri is the president of Public Policy Club, ISB.