“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
– Sophia Lauren, Hollywood Actress
First Day – Jan 10, 2010
On a pleasant winter morning, with the above adage in mind, the full forces were nature acknowledged the essence of the day ahead. The sun was gentle, the breeze was pleasant and the atmosphere serene. It was the first day of the third edition of the National Youth Conference organised by IIM Indore, commemorating the 148th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The conference heralds a conscious effort by the institute to recognize and develop the power of the Indian youth in the socio – economic development of the country. With the theme of ‘Leveraging the Demographic Dividend’, the conference was graced by some well known names in the field of business, societal development and governance. The conference commenced with an address by Swami Nirvikalpanandaji, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Dehradun. He demonstrated how the teachings of Swami Vivekananda are relevant even today, in this scientific age. He was very candid about the fact that our 40 million youngsters hold a lot of potential and was optimistic about India’s future. The second session was a panel discussion on Corruption in India, with eminent personalities from administration as well as a delegate from Transparency International. The panelists were Shri P S Bawa (IPS), Chairman, Transparency India, Shri Satish Sahney (IPS), Former Commissioner, Mumbai Police and Shri P G J Nampoothiri (IPS), Former DG, Gujarat Police. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Ganesh Kumar Nidugala of IIM Indore. The panellists concluded that to prevent moral depravity and instil a high sense of rectitude, education plays a very important role and thus RTE has been a good step in the attainment of this cause. In the words of Shri PS Bawa, this “Hydra-headed monster” could only be quelled if all the youth adopted to stand by their principles and used the RTI effectively and pressured the government to enact laws for reform. The first day of the conference ended with a talk by Prof. N Ravichandran, Director of IIM Indore who tried to inform the ‘youthful’ audience about what their responsibilities towards society were.
Second Day – Jan 11, 2010
The second day of the National Youth Conference commenced with a symposium for students on the topic ‘Employment Generation’. Students came up with ideas like – effective use of wastelands by setting up of power plants, setting up of small and medium enterprises (SME), incentivizing education and accelerated employment through agriculture. The second session was a Guest Talk by Shri M N Buch (IAS), (Chairman, National Centre for Human Settlements and Environment, Bhopal and Chairman Board of Governors, IIITM Gwalior). He spoke vehemently about issues concerning governance in India, drawing from his more than 25 years experience in Indian administration. He cited examples where he had made suggestions for good governance, concluding that it was essential for every individual to use the authority granted to him or her by the constitution to govern and exercise one’s authority, instead of abdicating their responsibilities. In the afternoon a lecture on the interrelationship between health, physical education and sports was conducted by Shri A K Pandya. He spoke about the need of propagation of sporting in the rural areas and cited China’s example in this regard.
Third Day – Jan 11, 2010
The final day marking the tenth anniversary of Wikipedia.com was celebrated in a big way and generated an enthusiastic response from the student community from all over Indore. The final day’s proceedings commenced with a session on Wikipedia. The event was in the format of a panel discussion involving Prof. Srinivas Gunta, Prof. Ms. Abha Chatterjee, and Prof. Sanjog Ray. The event focused on the benefits of Wikipedia as a source of free and easy information and at the same discussed at length about the challenges regarding content and authenticity that are confronting this initiative. The panel members tried to motivate the students to become editors of the website which will benefit the society as a whole. The documentary – “Truth in numbers? [Everything, According to Wikipedia]” was also screened. The documentary depicted how Wikipedia emerged as a winner in today’s world where the main focus of businesses has been profits.
This was followed by a session on “Lessons in Entrepreneurship” by Mr. Sanjeev Bikhchandani, who is the Co-founder & CEO, Info Edge (India) Ltd, online classifieds company behind portals like Naukri.com, Jeevansathi.com and 99acres.com. He is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and was a finalist for “Ernst and Young – Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2005. He explained the nature of risks associated with entrepreneurship, which were, according to him, more social and personal than professional, and underlined the importance of execution of any idea or endeavour and the role of dedication, conviction and persistence. This was followed by a symposium on Gender Equality chaired by Ms. Nisha Nair. The third edition of National Youth Conference was concluded by a lecture by Mr. Abhilash Khandekar, MP State Chief, Dainik Bhaskar. In his address on “The Role of Journalism in Improving Governance in Society”, he spoke about the role of media in the current scenario and its responsibility to develop a better nation. He mentioned that media is considered to be the fourth pillar of the constitution and hence plays an important role in our society. The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Prof. Ganesh Nidugala.
– Sumit Kumar (Class of 2012)