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Sports Ministry asks IOA to submit comprehensive proposal for Asian Games bid
The Government is in the process of setting up a National Youth Advisory Council represented by young leaders from various sectors along with other stakeholders, to advise the Government on youth related issues, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Sarbananda Sonowal said at an event organised by industry body Assocham in New Delhi today.

"This will provide an institutional mechanism for actively involving youth in the governance process," said Sonowal while inaugurating a conclave titled 'Young India@2030: Preparing the nation,' organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

He further informed that the Sports Ministry has asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to submit a detailed proposal to the Government regarding the bid for hosting the 2019 Asian Games. "We have requested the IOA to submit comprehensive proposal to the Ministry," said Sonowal on the sidelines of the ASSOCHAM conclave.

Highlighting the focus of the Central Government on youth-led development, Sonowal said, "It is extremely important to actively involve the youth in political and governance process, formulation of policies and programs as also in monitoring their implementation."

In his address at the ASSOCHAM conclave, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sports, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship emphasized upon the need to perk up the educational infrastructure in the country.

"Educational infrastructure would need to be expanded on a massive scale, so that each young Indian has access to educational facilities, the quality of education also needs considerable improvement to bring it up to global standards," said the Minister.

"We need to provide high quality education to the youth and to equip them with necessary skill-set to enable them to earn their livelihood and contribute to development process of the country," the minister added.

Stressing upon the need to bolster skill development infrastructure in India, Sonowal said, "Skills base of India is quite low as compared to other developed economies as just about 10 per cent of workers in the age group of 15-59 have received vocational training and only 2.5 per cent of these have received formal vocational training."

"It is therefore necessary to enhance skill development infrastructure in a manner that all those who enter the labour force acquire relevant skills before-hand which would require major scaling up of current infrastructure."

With a view to motivate the youth to become entrepreneurs, the Minister said, "We need to create right conditions and provide all necessary support for promotion of business enterprises in the country."

Promotion of healthy lifestyle and sports amid youth through proper healthcare facilities is another priority of the Government for the youth, he added.

In his address at the ASSOCHAM conclave, Rajeev Gupta, Secretary, Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry said, "The department has proposed to set up a National Youth Development Fund (NYDF) to create a vehicle for taking innovative initiatives for the youth."

"The fund is proposed to be set up with initial contributions from the Government, but we expect that corporate will contribute to this fund from their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) allocations," added Gupta.

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