5 Dec : The Fourteenth National Youth Festival will be held at Amritsar, Punjab from 12th -16th January, 2009. About 4000 young persons from all States and UTs are expected to participate in the Youth Festival. National Youth Festival is organized every year from January 12th to 16th. January 12th being the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda is observed as National Youth Day. It would be for the first time that the National Youth Festival would be held in Punjab.
A meeting of the National Steering Committee set up under the Chairmanship of Dr. M. S. Gill, Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, will be held here on 10th December to finalize the arrangements and the theme of the ensuing Festival. Ms. Ambika Soni, Minister for Tourism and Culture and Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab will be the co-chairpersons. Sh. P. K . Bansal, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance & Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Ashwini Kumar, Minister of State for Industry at the Centre, Shri Navjot Singh Sidhu, M.P.Amritsar and Shri Ratan Singh Ajnala, MP, Taran Taran are other Members of the National Steering Committee. Other than these, Minister-in-Charge of Youth Services and Sports, Animal Husbandary and Social Welfare, Govt. of Punjab and senior officers of the Central and State Governments are also Members of the National Steering Committee.
The Government of India has already released an amount of Rs 150 lakh to the Punjab Government for organizing the Youth Festival. The Department of Youth Affairs, Govt. of India has requested each State/UT Government to send a contingent of 100 participants in the festival for competing in designated events and also for participating in other activities. Youth delegates from the SAARC and neighboring countries have also been invited to participate in the festival.
The Festival will be inaugurated on 12th January, 2009 in which the National Youth Awards, and Awards to the Outstanding Youth Clubs will be given. The closing ceremony of the Youth Festival is scheduled on 16th Jan.,2009.
There will be competitive events in 16 individual items and two group items. In addition to this a young Artists Camp, Yuva Kriti and an Adventure Festival will be organized by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan that functions under the aegis of the Department of Youth Affairs, Govt. of India. The National Service Scheme will organize a National Youth Convention and a lecture series ‘Suvichar’ during the festival.
The First National Youth Festival was successfully held at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh in the year 1995. The venues where these Festivals were subsequently successfully held are Kolkata (West Bengal) in 1996, Ahmedabad(Gujrat) in 1997 ,Chennai(Tamil Nadu) in 1998 ,Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) in 1999, Gandhinagar (Gujarat) in 2000 ,Hissar (Haryana) in 2002 ,Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) in 2003 ,Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) in 2004 ,Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) in 2005 ,Patna(Bihar) in 2006 , Pune (Maharashtra) in 2007 and Chennai (Tamil Nadu)in 2008.