India has the second largest start-up ecosystem in the world and the median age of founders of these enterprises is only 31 years, a youth delegate from India said at the UN.
India’s young population is scripting remarkable success stories, said youth delegate Seema Pujani at an interactive round-table on ‘Looking to the Future: A dialogue on the High-level Political Forum (SDG) Summit’ during the ECOSOC Youth Forum here on April 9.
India today has the second largest start-up ecosystem in the world, she said.
“With a median age of about 29 years, India is one of the youngest countries in the world. As a substantial segment of the Indian electorate, the youth stand to influence policymaking in the country.
“The median age of founders of these enterprises is only 31 years. Youth in India are also behind forging new alliances and partnerships across the government, civil society, business and academia which are critical for achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Pujani said.
Young Indians are overcoming challenges and shining bright in all walks of life, she said.
“Be they athletes like Dipa Karmakar and Hima Das or countless young entrepreneurs, artists, authors, engineers, doctors, lawyers and civil servants, India’s young population is scripting remarkable success stories and making confident strides into the future,” the youth delegate said.
Pujani pointed out that youth empowerment and inclusive social development are at the heart of flagship programmes of the Indian government that seek to target gender equality, increased access to financial services, digital connectivity, skill development and higher education, universal health coverage, sanitation and housing for all.
India is also among one of the first countries to launch a comprehensive programme for its 250 million adolescent population, focusing on reproductive and menstrual health, she said, adding that so far, close to 7300 Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics have been established and around six million adolescents availed services in a year in the country.
Pujani stressed that even as individual countries make their own efforts, international political commitment and resource mobilisation towards capacity building and technology transfer in the areas of education, health and employment generation would have to be forthcoming.
“This is an integral part of 2030 Agenda. We hope that collectively we can make the right choices in realising full potential of today’s youth and ensuring sustainable future for all,” she said.
On combating climate change, she said that in India, the aim is to achieve development in a sustainable manner by harnessing renewable energy and efficient use of resources.
Despite the country’s huge developmental challenges and limited availability of energy, it is taking leadership in this area including international initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance, Pujani said.
“Our domestic efforts in expanding solar power have already brought down unit costs substantially to make it competitive. Young people in India are taking leadership role in environmental conservation, especially in the area of waste management,” she said, adding that global action based on equity is crucial to combat climate change and achieve sustainable development envisaged in 2030 Agenda.