| Kathmandu and Lalitpur, February 26-28th 2014 |
The Delhi Office of the South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University, together with our partners from the Social Science Baha (SSB), Colombo University, and the SAARC Office of the Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) New Delhi have co-organised a Joint Regional Conference on “Inclusive Youth Policies in South Asia”. The Conference was held from February, 27 - 28th 2014, at Godavari Resort (Lalitpur), and the official opening took place at the Hotel de l’Annapurna in Kathmandu (February 26th). It was a follow up event of similar Regional Conferences on “Governing Youth in South Asia” (Kathmandu, September 2013) and “Youth in South Asia” (Colombo, March 2012). About 45 participants had been invited from across the region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan, along with numerous participants from Nepal).
The main aim of this Conference was to bring together scholars, policy makers, development partners, and Youth Organisations from across South Asia who can contribute to strengthen-ing the crucial links between research on issues that are of core relevance for youth and youth policies. Whereas research on youth is of high relevance world wide, we would argue that to carry out such research on youth in South Asia is of pivotal importance, given the numerical and socio-political significance of youth. By facilitating a dialogue with these different experts and interest groups, the Conference intended to set up a forum for research and policy debates, and contribute to fine tune and strengthen inclusive youth policies.
This year’s Conference was inaugurated by a Key Note Address from Prof. Siri Hettige, Colombo University on “Governance and Youth Policies in South Asia”. The function, held at Hotel de l’Annapurna, Kathmandu, had a large audience of about 140 persons, and was followed by a lively Question and Answer session. The conference itself was held at Godavari Village Resort on 27th and 28th, with about 50-60- participants. Panels focused on Youth as Active as Citizens for Inclusive Democracy, Youth Policies in South Asia – A Critical (Re-) Assessment, Youth and Their Right to Education and Health, as well as on Youth Surveys. During the panel on “Youth as Active Partners for Development”, youth activists from across the region could share their concerns and experiences, and speakers were from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
The group of participants (February 27th)
Prof. Siri Hettige, Colombo University during his Key Note Address, with Marcel Schepp (KAS, New Delhi), Prof. Nirmal Man Tuladhar (SSB) and Dr. Elvira Graner (SAI/HCSA, New Delhi)
Q&A session after the Keynote Address, at Hotel de l’Annapurna
Panel on “Inclusive Youth Policies,” with Venkatesh Srinivasan (UNFPA, New Delhi), chair Ram Bd. Chhetri (Tribhuvan Univ., Kathmandu), Rinzin Wangmo (Min, of Education, Bhutan) and Fatema Samina Yasmin (Dhaka Univ., Bangladesh)