Population panel to focus on youth

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  • Published 6.10.09

Ranchi, Oct. 6: Population Foundation of India (PFI) is now concerned over the dismal number of questions that were raised by Parliament members regarding youth issues in the 2008 budget session of Lok Sabha.

Out of the total number of questions raised in Parliament, one per cent of them were related to youth issues points out a study conducted by Parliamentary Research Services’ (PRS) legislative research unit.

In Lok and Rajya Sabhas, combined, some 10,856 questions were raised in all, of which 119 were related to youth — a dismal figure considering that India has one of the largest populations of youths in the world.

The matter was brought to the fore at the workshop titled “Tracking the work of elected representatives” at a city hotel.

There were seven debates held in Parliament — three in Lok Sabha and four in Rajya Sabha — related to youth issues in the budget session.

PSR analyst C. Roy asked if the MPs were “really asking relevant questions”. “They need to direct focus to specifics that affect our youth,” he added.

The average number of questions asked by MPs of Jharkhand (157 questions) was close to the national average (169) in the 14th Lok Sabha between 2004-2009.

“But, the number does not tell us the ‘type’ of question that was being raised. We need to draw the MPs’ attention to subjects that are priority,” said Roy.

Satya Ranjan Mishra, the project manager of the PFI-Delhi, said that in the budget session there were five MPs who raised four questions (together) related to youth.

“Our focus as a forum is on family planning and population development issues. If we really consider the issues, the role of youths is important, as they are the future decision-maker of the country. If the country’s population is to be stabilised further, decisions must be taken that involve the youths and give them life skill education,” Mishra added.

After receiving that specific life-skill training (education, vocational training and awareness of rights) a young man or woman can be asked to take decisions to either have one or more child. “If a youth decides to have more than one child, he or she must be equipped to provide food, education and basic facilities to them. The PFI is focusing on the youth in order to stabilise the country’s future,” he added.