The Department of Sociology and Social Work, in collaboration with the Centre for Social Policy and Research (CSPR) and Kerela Forum on United Nations Academic Impact (KFUNAI), organized a Student Round Table on the Draft National Youth Policy (NYP) on the 16 of September 2022.
The Round Table discussion consisted of 6 panellists from variegated backgrounds who led the discourse along various dimensions of the Youth Policy and their requirements in the contemporary world. The Panel was moderated by Ms Supriya Bedi, currently the vice-chair for KFUNAI. The discussion was split into two rounds, with the first round engaging the panellists in conversations along the five priority areas as defined by the policy draft- education; employment & entrepreneurship: youth leadership & development; health, fitness & sports (including a focus on mental well-being); and social justice.
The first round of the discussion started with our first panellist Anshu Pal (3 B. Ed., Research Intern at CSPR), speaking about Environmentalism not as a mere response movement to Global environment crises but also as an employment opportunity and entrepreneurship prospect. He also mentioned apprenticeship as a possible means of increasing youth skills and employment. A gap between the education metrics and employability was highlighted during the discourse, which was then discussed by our next panellist - Aarav Vaidya (3 EPS). Aarav could highlight specific critical theories of economics like the ‘Big Push’ and relate them to the current education and employability scenario. He also brought on points pertaining to the impact of privatization on education and social justice, which acted as a segue for our next panel member - Mohinoor Singh Batra’s (B.A. EPS) discussion on the Juvenile justice system in India and how it fails to rehabilitate and forgive those who come in its fold with exceptionally high rates of child delinquents joining illegal means of livelihood after coming back from reform homes. Our next panellist Daniel M Abraham (Research Scholar, Department of Psychology), shed light on the usually ignored aspect of mental health well-being among the youth with particular focus on the impact of covid on the same. The discourse emphasized the social dimension of psychological well-being as well as how the current practice ignores the impact of environment and social aspects in all but theory. Ira Tokekar (MSW HR)) took up the discussion from here to talk about Physical Health and Sports. Ira’s discussion was a detailed discourse on PCOS and PCOD and their economic, social and medical dimension. The last but not the least member of the Panel Ankit Bhadra (M.Sc. Sustainable Development), spoke about Youth leadership and, through a story narration from the life of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, brought out key aspects of leadership and also means and possible mechanisms to enhance the same among the Indian youth populace.
The second round of discussion consisted of follow-up comments and focused discourses along with the previous round’s discussions. This was followed by a question and answer round by the audience, with which the Round Table Discussion was brought to an end.