New Delhi : Neglected and even misused by successive Congress governments at the Centre, the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, which is dedicated to the skill development of the youth, is set to undergo a major process of reforms and revival by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
In collaboration with several ministries such as the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, and Ministry of Culture, the NYKS, one of the prominent symbols of Nehru’s legacy, is getting positioned for the task of nation building. It is also being linked to various programmes being run by the mentioned ministries.
According to sources, the Prime Minister wants the NYKS to perform the role of nation-building envisioned by Jawaharlal Nehru. It was only last year that the Ministry of Culture had asked NYKS to use its manpower and resources to realize the dream of a “Clean India Mission”, a flagship programme initiated by the PM.
“Recently, the incumbent government has introduced many changes in the functioning, structure and core value of the NYKS, which will reform the institution and bring it back on track,” said Dinesh Singh, vice chairperson of NYKS. “With this, the NYKS is again moving towards Nehru’s core value of ‘service to the nation’, as the bureaucrats were tasked to channelize the youth for the functioning of various events like the Clean India Mission, National Clean Ganga Mission, Yoga Day, and Run for Unity programme,” Singh said.
“The NYKS recently received a huge shot in the arm when the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation tasked it with raising 20,000 Swachhta Doots (envoys of cleanliness) to create awareness on water pollution in 2,336 villages across 29 districts in six states,” Singh added.
The new changes in the functioning of NYKS include a hike in the monthly pay to National Youth Volunteers (NYVs) from Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000 and a hike in the spending for the training of youth volunteers from Rs 150 per day to Rs 300 per day. Also, the age of the youth has been revised from 19-40 years to 15-35 years and NYKS’ jurisdiction has been extended to educational institutions as well.
“Despite being an autonomous body of Government of India, the NYKS was misused by successive Congress governments and their leaders and was used as a subsidiary of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), the youth wing of the then ruling party,” said V.D. Sharma, former vice-chairperson of NYKS.
“As per rule, the youths in NYKS should be between 18 and 40 years of age. In 2014, around 90% National Youth Volunteers were between 40 and 65 years of age as appointing new youth participants had more or less stopped. The current government has green lighted new appointments,” Sharma added. Established by Government of India through an Act of Parliament as an autonomous body in the late 1980s, with the objective of providing avenues to the rural youth to take part in the process of nation building, the NYKS gradually turned into a hub of Congress workers and almost became defunct.
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