Archive for ‘Youth’


China, Cambodia to boost youth ties: officials


Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Hun Many, president of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 6, 2018. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Hun Many, president of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia on Thursday, pledging to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on youth.

Wang spoke highly of the friendship between China and Cambodia over the past six decades since the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Noting that China supports Cambodia in safeguarding national sovereignty and independence, and choosing the development path suited to itself, Wang expressed China’s appreciation for Cambodia’s support on issues concerning China’s core interests.

Wang also said he hoped young people from both countries would continue the China-Cambodia friendship.

“As the young generation of Cambodia, we will continue the Cambodian-Chinese friendship and strengthen the exchange and cooperation between the two countries’ youths,” Hun Many said.


We’re not gonna take it | The Economist

DELHI found itself under siege last month. Young men blocked roads and canals that feed people and water into the city. They looted, set fires and dragged women out of cars to rape them. The protesters, from a relatively privileged group of land-owning peasants called Jats, were agitating to be included in India’s list of “other backward classes”, which guarantees university places and government jobs.

Faced with dry taps, Narendra Modi’s government was eventually forced to concede to the demand.

This is the fury to which Somini Sengupta refers in the subtitle of her sharply observed study of India’s young, “The End of Karma: Hope and Fury Among India’s Young”. The median age in India is 27. Every month between 2011 and 2030, nearly 1m Indians will turn 18. Those coming of age this month were born well after the country started opening up its markets in 1991; they have spent their formative years in a world of optimism and rapid economic growth. But Ms Sengupta calls India “a democracy that makes promises it has no intention of keeping”. Advertisement

By 2030 the majority of Indians will be of working age. This could be what economists call a “demographic dividend”, creating a high worker-to-dependent ratio—or it could be a time bomb. India is producing nowhere near enough jobs for the tens of millions of young people joining the workforce every year.

The argument running through Ms Sengupta’s book, made of seven richly detailed portraits of young Indians, is both simple and beguiling. For centuries Indians born into wretched circumstances have accepted their lot as karma—punishment for misdeeds in past lives. This belief explains the persistence of the caste system, and the remarkable fact that a country that is home to one in three of the world’s poor has not come apart at the seams. But young people no longer accept karma, argues Ms Sengupta. Ideas of aspiration and free will have entered the Indian consciousness. Young Indians today demand the right to shape their own futures. If fury is in ample supply, so is hope.

Yet at every step the young are thwarted. It starts in the womb. A traditional preference for boys means that India has one of the most skewed sex ratios in the world: 1.13 boys for every girl, second only to China. (The ratio in America is 1.05.) One in three children under five is underweight. Nearly two-thirds of food meant for early-childhood feeding programmes is pilfered. A rare bright spot is education: in 2013, 96% of primary-school-age children were enrolled. But here, too, India fails its young. By the age of ten, only 60% of students can complete work at the level of a five-year-old. More than half cannot subtract.

Source: We’re not gonna take it | The Economist


* Is a Youth Revolution Brewing in India?

NY Times: “Among the world’s major countries, India has the youngest population, and the oldest leaders. A startling four-decade gap between the median age of India’s people and that of its government officials most recently reared its head with a heavy-handed and widely-maligned crackdown on free speech on the Internet.

A protester jumped over a police barricade during a demonstration near the prime minister's residence, led by India Against Corruption member Arvind Kejriwal, in New Delhi, Aug. 26, 2012.

History shows us that generations with an exceptionally high youth ratio create political movements that shake up their systems and leave a profound impact on history. America’s baby boomers – the 79 million people born between 1946 and 1964 – led the charge in the civil rights movement and the sexual revolution.

In China, out of the stormy Cultural Revolution emerged the country’s current crop of leaders, who have taken it to remarkable heights of prosperity and power. More recently, in the Arab Spring there is evidence of a strong correlation between the ratio of the population under 25 and the urge to overthrow unresponsive governments.

Whether India will follow the same path may become apparent in the very near future.

There are some signs that the beginnings of India’s own youth revolt are stirring – the “India Against Corruption” protests, which swept Delhi on Sunday, involved a about a thousand protesters, mostly young men, who broke through barricades meant to protect their elder politicians’ homes and battled with the police.

The India Against Corruption political movement unleashes youth disenchantment against the establishment, using new means of communication like Twitter and Facebook as its fuel. Still, it is headed by an iconic 75-year-old Gandhian – call it shades of a youth movement, with the structure of a traditional Indian family.

India now has around 600 million people who are younger than 25, and nearly 70 percent of its 1.2 billion population is under 40. It is an unprecedented demographic condition in the history of modern India, and in absolute numbers it is unprecedented anywhere in the world. It also comes at a time when much of the developed world and China have aging populations.

The country’s median age of 25 is in sharp contrast to the average age of its cabinet ministers, 65, which is a far bigger gap than in any other country – Brazil and China are next with age gaps just under 30 years. In the United States the gap is 23 years, and in Germany it is less than 10.

Beyond the Internet crackdown, there are other disturbing signs that the age and thought gap between the majority of India’s citizens and their aging leaders is stifling India’s teeming youth.

We see this at play when the chairwoman of the National Commission for Women tells women to “be careful about how you dress,” after a young woman was sexually assaulted in public by a group of men in Guwahati.

We see it when a police officer wielding a hockey stick cracks down on Mumbai’s buzzing night life, and is defended by the state’s home minister. We see it in the inability to overhaul the country’s jaded bureaucracy that stifles fresh ideas.

Most tellingly, perhaps, we see it in the lack of political will to open up key sectors of the economy like retail to foreign competition, under the populist pretense of protecting existing jobs. This protectionism is far removed from the economic realities of the past two decades – India has been one of the clear winners of globalization. But as one writer put it, “The decision-makers in the Indian political class are still stuck in the mental framework of the 1970s, which is when they were blooded in politics.””

via Is a Youth Revolution Brewing in India? –

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