TOI coaxes youth to take on parliamentarians in debate

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 10, 2013
In the latest campaign of Times of India, youth will take on the parliamentarians in a debate on economy, foreign policy and politics.

Extending its I Lead India campaign, The Times of India (TOI) has launched the fourth leg of the initiative titled Youth Parliament, which is a platform inviting youth to debate the economic, foreign policy and politics of the country with some of the finest parliamentarians.

Rahul Kansal

"TOI's idea here is to make an impact on the change agenda for the country," states Rahul Kansal, executive president, The Times Group. He adds that in a young country like India, it's not right that all policy making is in the hands of people in their 60s and 70s. Youth Parliament comes from the belief that it's time for the under-30s to take centre stage, time for their ideas and world view to drive thought and action in the country.

The pan-India news publication is inviting online entries ( from youngsters aged between 18-24 years in the first phase. Interested participants have to provide personal details, proof of academic qualifications and debating skills, along with a three-minute video on one of the topics mentioned in the advertisement.

In the second phase, the designated jury will scrutinise all the entries and to shortlist 45 candidates for a group discussion. The group discussion will lead to a final selection of 12 candidates, who will then be mentored.

These candidates will take on the parliamentarians in a round table debate on October 3 that will be aired on Times Now. The main agendas for discussion will be 'Politics: The political class of India has failed to meet the aspirations of India's youth'; 'Economy: Governance is the reason for India's economic slowdown'; and 'Foreign Affairs: India's foreign policy is not in line with our global aspirations'.

The debate will be moderated by Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief, Times Now; Bodhisatva Ganguli, deputy executive editor, Economic Times; Maroof Raza, security affairs analyst, Times Now; and Shankar Raghuraman, senior editor, Times of India.

"One of the most critical roles of a newspaper is nation-building," states Kansal while explaining the reason behind the initiative.

He adds that TOI has been the front-runner in doing so through its various campaigns like Teach India, I Lead India and Aman ki Asha. Youth Parliament will seek to inject the youth's point of view on matters important to the nation's future.

The Youth Parliament campaign began on September 4 and will culminate on October 3. It is mostly driven through the digital platform and will be supported with print ads across all the TOI editions, along with the final debate on television. The creatives for the campaign have been designed by Taproot Mumbai.

TOI in the past has taken up several campaigns. The I Lead India campaign began in July, 2013 and aims to make youth as the agent of change in the society. The initiative was designed to celebrate 175 years of the newspaper. Maruti Suzuki is the partner on board for the campaign.

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