India-ASEAN boost cooperation during Youth Dialogue 2020

India and ASEAN on June 10 enhanced the cooperation in constructively and effectively channelising the youthful energy, skill development, and education.

Created On: Jun 11, 2020 19:17 IST
India-ASEAN Youth Dialogue 2020
India-ASEAN Youth Dialogue 2020

The third India-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) youth dialogue took place in a virtual mode from June 8 to June 10, 2020. The dialogue between the two revolved around the fight against the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic.

India and ASEAN on June 10 enhanced the cooperation in constructively and effectively channelising the youthful energy, skill development, and education that have been identified as the central elements of the strategic partnership between the two sides.

Both India and ASEAN acknowledged that the re-establishment and revival of Nalanda University in Bihar in terms of learning is a big step in this direction. The University has been offering several scholarship programmes for the ASEAN students for various courses.

India-ASEAN cooperation in promoting education:

At the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India commemorative summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the launch of 1,000 PhD fellowships for ASEAN students at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IITs). This was an important step and one of the major achievements on the education front.

Apart from this, India has also provided more than 1000 scholarships to students from the ASEAN countries under the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MCG) and Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) frameworks.

An ASEAN-India University Network has also been on the anvil to forge collaborations between the educational institutes and Universities from the two sides.

India-ASEAN on the Efforts of Youth:

India also acknowledged and lauded the efforts of the youth who are playing a lead role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. During the dialogue, India stated that the current disruption caused by the pandemic comes not only with burdens and responsibilities but opportunities as well. These opportunities should be seized by the youth of India and ASEAN member countries.

The dialogue between the two also complemented other on-going youth-centric initiatives. More than 2500 ASEAN youths have been engaged under the student exchange programmes over the past decade, some of them are: Exchange Programmes for Young Farmers, Special courses for Young ASEAN Diplomats, Programmes for Young Parliamentarians and Media Exchange Programmes.

ASEAN and India have some of the largest youth populations in the world. India has the largest number of young people in the world, with about 65% of its population below the age of 35 years while more than 450 million people are in the age group of 15-35 years.

ASEAN region has also been witnessing the largest ever population of the young with about 213 million people currently in the age bracket of 15-34 years. The number has been poised to go further and peak at 220 million.

Relations between India-ASEAN:

ASEAN has been central to India’s ‘Act East’ Policy and the relationship between the two sides has been going well beyond its economic and cultural dimensions.

The previously held two India-ASEAN Youth summits held in 2017 and 2019 had provided a platform for the youth from ASEAN and India to come together and to hold meaningful and constructive dialogues.

About the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):

ASEAN is a regional intergovernmental organisation. It comprises of 10 countries in Southeast Asia and aims at promoting intergovernmental cooperation. The organisation also facilitates political, economic, military, educational, security, and socio-cultural integration among its members as well as in other countries in Asia.

ASEAN was created on August 8, 1967, when the foreign ministers of five countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore signed the ASEAN declaration. The ASEAN Secretariat is located at Jakarta, Indonesia.

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