14 June:Dr. Avnish Jolly:The valedictory function of the 5-day Regional Workshop on the theme of ‘Youth and Local Self-Governance ‘ organised jointly by the Department of Youth Affairs, Government of India and the Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre concluded today,14 June 2008 in the premises of the centre at Sector 12, Chandigarh.
Mr. Raj K. Mishra, Regional Director, CYP Asia Centre welcomed the Chief Guest, Prof. B.S Ghuman followed by an apt presentation of a set of recommendations based on the annotations, discussions and the field visits to two of the villages in Kurukshetra district of Haryana and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh by the delegates from 7 Commonwealth Asian countries, namely, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
Prof. B.S. Ghuman, Dean, Social Sciences, Panjab University, stressed capacity building and the role of private capital as the pivotal factors in making Local Self Governance successful. He lamented the fact that LSG is far from satisfactory barring few states like Kerala. He highlighted the trickle down theory based on the Russian model adopted by the politician in India after independence which did not work efficiently. The most evident stumbling blocks as referred by Prof. Ghuman were lack of political will in transferring the functional power, inadequate source of funds with LSGs, planning and finance and reluctance of the state governments.
Sharing her experience Ms. Yen Ong Peng, delegate from Singapore highlighted the point that despite the country based differences and the respective phases of their development we do come across similar problems like those of waste and energy management.
The other areas of focus were:
The potential development areas in which youth/disadvantaged section can contribute more productively in the functioning of institutions of local self governance, including planning and implementation of programmes and projects.
Need for the establishment of mechanism or organisational infrastructure to enhance meaningful and contributory participation of the youth.
Criteria and standards needed to be set out for evaluating the effectiveness of youth participation.
Capacity building measures or programmes required to prepare youth for more productive contribution.
Establishment of a network of community-based organisations at the local level for convergence of efforts to strengthen the functioning of institutions of local self governance.
Establishment of a network to enhance interaction and collaboration between youth groups operating in different geographical areas but having the common objective of strengthening local self-governance. The function was formally declared closed by the Chief Guest after distribution of certificates and mementoes to the participants.
Mr. Aminul Islam Khan, Programme Manager, CYP, Asia Centre extended vote of thanks to the gathering.