Report: Young Thinkers' Conference - Chandigarh 2018

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Report: Young Thinkers' Conference - Chandigarh 2018

The conference, was inaugurated by Shri V. P. Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab & Administrator, UT Chandigarh. It was structured as a panel discussion, each covering a thematic topic and moderated by a senior journalist.

Young Thinkers’ Conference is the flagship foreign and security policy conference of the British High Commission in India. It brings together the best and brightest experts and young thinkers to discuss a range of issues. Building on the success of the two previous editions in Chandigarh, the British Deputy High Commission, Chandigarh and Indian School of Business (ISB) hosted the Young Thinkers’ Conference (YTC) at the Mohali campus.

The conference, was inaugurated by Shri V. P. Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab & Administrator, UT Chandigarh. It was structured as a panel discussion, each covering a thematic topic and moderated by a senior journalist. The themes for this year’s conference were:

Panel 1: Climate Change & Energy Security: How to shape India's Sustainable Development?

Panel 2: Youth & Politics: What difference can they make?

Panel 3: The Truth behind Fake News and how best to tackle it?

The Panel discussion on Climate Change and Energy Security was in tune with the outcome of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate report; according to which the first and only effective course, albeit a deeply unpopular one, would be to stop using any fossil fuels. The Panel also encouraged private sectors and non-state actors to take a more pro-active role in sensitizing the public to adopting sustainable ways of living.

The second Panel’s talks revolved around the role of youth in politics and what kind of a difference could they make. This seemed to be the most lively discussion, most understandably because the audience was also from the younger age bracket of 18 to 24 years. Gul Panag, an actor and entrepreneur, opined that the only hindrance for the youth in India to take an active role in politics is the ‘society that places a premium on age and experience’. The panel urged that India must encash upon having the largest youth population in the world and being the world’s largest democracy.

The second panel was followed by a talk by Dr. Dhruva Jaishankar, Brookings India Fellow. He spoke on Why International Affairs Matters More in the 21st Century. He highlighted how foreign policies were important for the new generation since every aspect of today’s world was affected by global events which shape and are being shaped by foreign policy decisions.

The last panel was on a very important aspect in today’s digital world. Chaired by Nirupama Subramanian, Resident Editor of The Indian Express, the panelists discussed ways to tackle fake news that seemed to face no borders in an age of social media like WhatsApp and Facebook.

The Young Thinkers’ Conference concluded with votes of thanks proposed by Andrew Ayre, the British Deputy High Commissioner Chandigarh and DNV Kumara Guru, Director of External Relations & HR, ISB. As the crowd dispersed, it was with a feeling that the YTC once again fulfilled its purpose of acting as a living bridge between India and the UK.

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