Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today delivered the keynote address at the Harvard US-India Initiative (HUII) annual conference through virtual mode.
The HUII aims to engage students around the world in a dialogue about India’s most pressing political, social, economic, and environmental challenges, providing the youth an opportunity to hear from inspiring leaders and be a part of the discussion with them.
The Lt Governor while addressing the students and notable speakers from across the world, remarked that “youth carrying immense knowledge, wisdom and energy is going to build a new future, brick by brick”. He said the youth need not follow conventional wisdom or a crowd but “must realize who they are and what they want”.
“Be yourself. Your knowledge is about creating a new vision of life”, the Lt Governor asked the youth.
Quoting Chanakya, the Lt Governor said: “The world’s biggest power is youth.” And, India with more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 years and more than 65% below the age of 35 years “is not only a hope for the world, but also a crucial growth driver in the post-Covid scenario,” he added.
“I sincerely believe that India, with a huge young and talented population, friendly ecosystem and the trust we have managed to build that we can deliver on promises, has allowed the nation to emerge as a popular destination for global entrepreneurs and corporate,” the Lt Governor said.
India is ready to be the fulcrum of a new world order that is more just, humane, industrious, mutually beneficial and empowering, he maintained.
“I believe our evolution in student days passes through three most crucial stages-Action, Revolution and Reform. Youth Power shapes the society’s structure. With remarkable qualities like Spontaneity, Leadership, Adaptability and Capability, youth are blessed with the power to build character, raise moral strength and intellectual prowess for a better civilization.
“If today’s young generation worldwide has gripped the soul of the new civilization, it is because of their new ideas, new innovations and quest for doing something extraordinary.
“The youth is the most aware being on this planet, having potential to awaken humanity. It is this call that entrusts a bounden duty on youth to persuade errant youth lost in conflicts and other disruptive activities the world over to come back to mainstream marking another unrealized dimension of youth potential,” the Lt Governor said.
He said: “Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, a great educationist, reformer, politician and founder of the Banaras Hindu University, used to say ‘let righteous and dharma prevail, and all communities and societies progress’. He promoted a harmonious blend of oriental and modern education, which has now been adopted in India’s New National Education Policy,” the Lt Governor said.
Speaking on the “new dawn of developmental change” that Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing, the Lt Governor said: “The narrative has changed now. Development has replaced terror that our neighbor has been relentlessly exporting.”
From the very first day in office, “I have adopted a targeted approach to address the issues pertaining to poverty, health, nutrition, gender equality, quality education, skill development of youth, etc. and have ensured that benefits of government schemes reach the last mile. For equitable development, I gave the mantra of Jan Bhageedari- People’s Participation,” the Lt Governor said.
Outlining various interventions made by the Government towards the holistic development of J&K and empowering the people of the UT, the Lt Governor observed that District Development Council (DDC) elections in J&K have been conducted successfully and peacefully. “This has strengthened the grassroots democracy, finally establishing the three-tier Panchayati Raj system, which was implemented in other states almost 28 years ago.”
He said: “Last month, a new Industrial Scheme 2021 was unveiled that offers Rs 28,400 crore (3.89 billion USD) subsidy for attracting investment. J&K’s Service Sector is growing at a historic pace and much ahead of states like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. We are taking industries to the block level to remove the disparities. The scheme is expected to create 4.5 lakh jobs.
“With a view to help small and medium IT ventures in Jammu and Kashmir, we are strengthening our infrastructure and setting up new projects.
“Similarly, power projects worth more than Rs. 54,000 crore (7.4 billion USD) will take off in due course of time to make the Union Territory self-reliant in the energy sector. Making J&K power sufficient, we aspire to generate 3500 Megawatt in only four years to make Jammu Kashmir power surplus. It shows that no attempts were made during the last 73 years to generate opportunities for youth.”
Laying special emphasis on public participation in the developmental process, the Lt Governor said that no growth is possible without people’s participation. “For effective governance and delivery of public services, Jan Bhageedari is crucial and various policies, programmes and schemes can transform the villages if the government plays the role of a facilitator and people take up the job of planner and executor,” the Lt Governor said.
“In Health Care, universal health coverage scheme called Ayushman Bharat -SEHAT was launched recently to provide free of cost insurance cover up to Rs. 5 lakh per household per year in J&K without any socio-economic discrimination which is the first of its kind anywhere in the country,” he added.
“Multipronged strategies involving all necessary systemic interventions have been adopted. With schemes like ‘Mission Youth’ and ‘Mumkin’, dedicated focus was given on Livelihood Generation, Education, Skill development, Career Counseling and Financial Assistance providing the necessary handholding to the youth,” he maintained.
“My goal is to reach out and engage about 80% of the young population of Jammu and Kashmir within the next five years and make it possible for them to be an engine of growth for the overall socio-economic transformation of the UT,” the Lt Governor said.
“I would like to see each child of J&K prosper into a mature, successful and good human being. The potential of the youth is harnessed in a way that everyone contributes towards the prosperity of the UT. Together we will achieve the desired goal”, the Lt Governor said in his concluding remarks.
Later, an interactive session was held wherein the Lt Governor answered the queries of the participating students about the present developmental scenario of J&K.