The Conrad Sangma Cabinet approved the Meghalaya Youth Policy 2021.

The policy is a framework that envisages towards achieving the government’s vision to create pathways for Meghalaya’s youth in achieving their fullest potential and becoming engaged, skilled, creative, responsible and empowered members of the local and global community.

The policy, which was approved in a meeting of the Meghalaya Cabinet, held under the chairmanship of chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday, will be notified by the government soon.

Drafted by the sports and youth affairs department, the Meghalaya government, the policy is in sync with the government’s vision for the state to transform Meghalaya to be amongst the top 10 states in 10 years in GSDP per capita and SDG ranking.

The policy aims to address major issues and concerns of the youth based on nine identified key thrust areas that includes Education, health & well-being, counselling & mentoring, employment skill development & entrepreneurship, sports, cultural & creative industries, engagement & leadership, inclusion and environmental consciousness.

“The policy is very much action oriented, it has planned implementation of 45 programs, that would be measured by 54 performance monitoring indicators,” the CMO said.

“These performance indicators have been mapped to 10 departments and is planned to measured quarterly, bi-annually and annually,” it added.

Informing about the policy, the chief minister Conrad Sangma said, “Our country is passing through a demographic transition with young populace becoming the dominant segment of the society. Youth constitute a major portion of the society with the enormous potential to contribute to state’s GDP.”

“We are happy to announce Meghalaya’s Youth Policy 2021 that provides a systematic framework for youth engagement and provides equal opportunities to all young men and women for their socio-economic development, and in turn contribute in enhancing the per capita income of the state and in achieving the sustainable development goals of the state,” the CM said.

The implementation and success of the policy is based on various performance indicators under each thrust area that includes infrastructure creation and upgradation, human resource development, awareness campaigns implemented and other parameters.

The structure of this policy is based on result-oriented approach that will be driven by various departments and will be evaluated in a time-bound manner quarterly, biannually and annually.

Sports and youth affairs Banteidor Lyngdoh said, “Meghalaya Youth Policy 2021 is our endeavor to provide a concrete and progressive framework, that addresses the current issues, challenges and concern of our youth towards their growth and development. We have framed this policy with an objective to provide holistic approach to engaging youth in development activities, thus in-turn channelizing their energy positively. The policy has 9 thrust areas which specific programs under each areas.”

The policy includes planned interventions covering lifecycle of a youth that includes early childhood interventions implemented through various plans and policies like Early Childhood Education Mission, Meghalaya School Improvement Plan, health programs like FIT India, sports infrastructure upgradation, setup academies of excellence in the area of arts and culture, and recognition of key achievements in sports, arts and culture.

As per the latest estimates, Meghalaya has a population of approx. 38.29 lakh people, of which over 74% percent i.e. 28.48 lakhs are under the age of 35 years.

While the primary focus remains on youth (belonging to ages of 15- 29 years), critical issues and programs relating to the age group of 5-14 years will also be emphasized and made part of the overall youth development framework.

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