The Social Science Baha (SSB), the Delhi Office of South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation New Delhi (KAS) have co-organised a Joint Regional Conference on “Governing Youth in South Asia” in Kathmandu. It was held on September, 22 - 24th 2013 at Hotel Shankar, Lazimpat with participants from across the region and Europe.
The Opening Ceremony took place on September 22, coinciding with the federal elections in Germany. In spite of other duties, His Excellency Frank Meyke, the German Ambassador to Nepal, had accepted the invitation as Chief Guest, along with the Hon. Minster for Education, Madhav Prasad Poudel, and the Secretary for Youth and Sports, Hari Prasad Nepal. The keynote speech was delivered by Prof. Andy Furlong, Glasgow University, on “Youth Policy and Youth Research. Future trends”.
The Conference aimed at bringing together scholars from South Asia and Europe with policy makers and development partners from the region. It was attended by more than 60 participants from South Asia (other than the Maldives), and scholars from Europe and Nepal, along with policy makers and representatives from Youth Organisations from Nepal. Over the two days of the conference, the participants critically addressed and discussed youth policies and studies on youth of South Asian countries.
Following our Call for Papers we had more than fifty submissions, and we invited 24 persons for presentations, from the fields of political science, sociology, economics, geography, and anthropology. The six thematic panels were chaired by colleagues from our partners (SSB) and partner universities, such as Tribhuvan University and Colombo University, as well as from the universities of Heidelberg and Oxford, making it a successful event of European and South Asian cooperation. Besides the panels, a Panel Discussion was held on “Youth and their Roles of Strengthening Civil Society”, with representatives from Nepalese Youth Organisations, and from Pakistan’s British Council, the UNFPA Bhutan Office, as well as from the Bhutan Youth Development Fund.
This event was a follow up of last year’s Joint Regional Conference, hosted by Colombo University, and the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) of BRAC University, Dhaka. A follow-up event is planned for next year in August.