Following is the text of speech of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda Sonowal at BRICS International Youth Forum here today:
“It is a great honor to be present at this BRICS International Youth Forum being organized for the first time. Youth have always been the power house of new innovations, aspirations and social change in any society. They constitute the most energetic and vibrant segment of the society. India is one of the youngest countries in the world with its over 500 million youth population between the age group of 13 to 35 years and shall remain so till at least 2050 due to its demographic advantage. However it remains one of the biggest challenges before the country to utilise this resource and channelize it gainfully in affirmative action.
There is therefore a need for youth involvement and participation in the socio-economic, cultural and political environment of a country, in its development programmes, as well as activities based on the youth’s specific needs, desires and aspirations. This demographic advantage as a young nation has a lot of hidden potential for India.
BRICS International Youth Forum (BIYF) was established to discuss the prospects of youth cooperation in the political, economic, humanitarian and cultural cooperation between the BRICS countries. Realities of the modern world encourage BRICS countries to establish an ongoing dialogue between communities at all levels and effective exchange of views and experiences. This is due to the fact that the severity of problems requires international coordination and consolidation of joint actions within BRICS nations and needs the search for new mechanisms of cooperation and integration. There is a need for decisive action and broad involvement of young people, which are key factor, enabling urgent address of the most pressing challenges at global level.
I am glad that this is the first event to initiate people to people dialogue between BRICS countries focussing on young entrepreneurs & youth leaders. Corporate India has tasted phenomenal domestic and global success in recent years. Indian CEOs and entrepreneurs know that high domestic growth and a rising international profile is attainable. BRICS International Youth Forum is all set to add that positive tailwind to Corporate India`s sail and global goodwill enhanced by our honourable Prime Minister in recent times. ‘Human Capital’ is the strength of member countries. The Role of youth in shaping innovative economics is a primary focus area of development to make them decision makers of the society. Next Generation Programs need many round table discussions, exchanges, training sessions and workshops.
The BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialised countries, but they are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs; all five are G-20 members. As of 2014, the five BRICS countries represent almost 3 billion people which is 40% of the world population. As of 2014, the BRICS nations represented 18 percent of the world economy.
I am hopeful that this initiative will help in making an effective roadmap for the upcoming visit of our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji to Russian Federation in July 2015 for the 7th International BRICS Summit.
I assure the Forum that my Ministry will provide all necessary support for many more such initiatives in the future to strengthen our ties with BRICS nations through Youth Festivals, Youth-exchange programs, workshops etc.”