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One Day Seminar on Social Democracy as a Mechanism to Foster Youth Cooperative Action in Politics

Organized by Center for Consolidation of Democracy (CCD), Jawalakhel, Lalitpur.

19 August 2013, Lalitpur

The Center for consolidation of Democracy (CCD) in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nepal (FES) held a one day seminar on Social Democracy as a Mechanism to Foster Youth Cooperative Action in Politics on 19 August in Lalitpur.

At the programme, Prof. Dr. Yagya Prasad Adhikari of Tribhuvan University presented a working paper titled 'Social Democracy, Party Politics and Youth Involvement in Nepal' and Advocate Gopal Krishna Ghimire presented another paper titled 'Social democracy, legal provision and youth involvement in Nepal'. During the program speakers and participants talked on the topics of social democracy, existing youth policy, political parties and its practices in Nepal.

During the opening session Prof. Dr. Yagya Prasad Adhikari highlighted on both papers and FES representative Dr. Chandra Dev Bhatta said that it is high time to evaluate the implementation level of social democracy in Nepal since 1990. The concept of Welfare State of 1990 constitution has failed to achieve its goals in three ways;

  1. Economic equality,
  2. Political disintegration and
  3. Erosion in national security

We were economically dependent since before but the graph has risen from 36% in 1990 to 70% now and trade loss level is also very high. In past days we failed to transfer values and principles of social democracy in people's level. We have create two class in society especially in the area of education system, health sector knowingly or unknowingly. We are facing three main problems in social policy;

  1. Human Rights,
  2. Protecting people from market's hegemony
  3. Political empowerment to citizens.

During the next session the two paper presenter - Prof. Dr. Yagya Prasad Adhikari and Advocate Gopal Krishna Ghimire presented their respective working papers.
Adhikari said, "today we are in a very crucial time even though the date of upcoming election is declared but people did not believe that it will happen". Political Transition is prolonging day by day, what I am seeing is that in future of Nepal will foster with 'Social Democracy'. Our focus should concern with how youth involve in making society Social Democratic.

Dr. Adhikari said" social democracy is the need of time not only for 21st but also 22nd century. Different countries have different economic, social, political conditions but the major character of Social Democracy is to transform these conditions from time to time according to the country's need. We open the door of liberalization before being clear on its consequences. It also shows that our planners were not concerned about poverty eradication and social inequality.

He added that" In the constituent assembly, election manifesto of various political parties silent on the issue of youth policy even though, those who had written were not much more concern on implementation level.

In his paper Adhikari mainly focused on the issue of socialism within our context, socialism and mobilization of youth, youth forces and political parties, State's responsibility on development of youth leadership, Social security and youths, youth in politics.

In the next paper advocate ghimire said "if we want to change the society it's not enough to focus on political ideology it should be within the line of practical implementation." Different agencies had different kind definition of 'youth' especially in the area of age factor. He had also highlighted various national and International documents carrying youth policies such as UDHR, ICCPR, Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007, Child Rights Act, Nepal Citizenship Act, Labour Act, CA election Act and Election Ordinance 2070, Scholarship Act, Education Act, National Youth policy, National Policy, Youth and small entrepreneur employment fund, Three years interim plan. He said "there is a strong need of youth policy; government can formulate "Youth Commission" or "National Youth Council". The entire plan and polices were very nice in paper but the implementation part is very weak. He also highlighted the issue of youth's involvement in politics. His main concerned was those youth educated in public colleges were more involved in politics rather than youth educated from private colleges.

As an expert Mr. Krishna Prasad Basyal, Reader, Nepal law Campus commented on the paper. He said" bBoth paper are excellent and have much more theoretical explanation rather than practical aspects. Both of them touched the contemporary issues. Mostly, they are focused on historical and present participant of youth in politics, the legal issue of youth and adult franchise.
He said "Advocate Ghimire's paper lacks of holistic perspective of other parties in the issue of youth. This is high time to evaluate all the youth related laws and policy within line of social democracy and find out the root causes of failure and should be address by logical and rational way. There should be added an example of analytical study in which how social democracy worked for youth.

Floor open by chair

Suresh Bhatta, Democratic Bichar Society said "the plan and policies related to youth were mostly concentrated in center; it should be reached in grassroots level.

Lal babu Yadav of Patan campus said "These days we are not serious about our nationality. The countries in South Asia must follow Social Democracy . When India left the principles of Social Democracy it had fallen in crisis same as when Nepal had left the policy of social democracy as it is in a chaotic situation.

Krishna Achrya, Democratic Professor Association said" Even though panchayat system had single party system it followed the norms of social democracy.

Sarad Thakur, Depatment of English,TU said" Regular election in free student union create environment for fostering youth leadership".

Shova Bhandari, member free student union, Padam Kanya campus said" Beside other policies among youth, there is need of one woman, one employment program in villages.

Dr. Om Sharma, Padam Kanya Campus Said" Basically, in this juncture our priority must be on public enterprises, co-operative economy and private economy.

Advocate Sharmila Shrestha ,DLA said" We should concern about female youth they were marginalized Government should focus in women youth empowerment plan and policy.

Advocate, Parshu Ram Ghimire said"We should see democratic socialism by the lens of structuralism and functionalism. Nepal's youth are involved in three different times on different agenda. From 2035 b.s. to 2046 b.s. they were focused in Party Politics, from 2046 b.s. to 2063 b.s. they were concerned on Social movements and after 2063 they were attracted towards caste, religious, ethnic politics.

Kunjilal Yadav, Assistant Professor, Patan Multipal Campus said" It is bitter to said the truth our planning commission has failed in the issue of youth policy since its establishment.

Madhavi Katuwal, member,Nepali Congress, Policy and Training Department said" as we know key development of the citizen is the politics. So we should start two type of plans; temporary and permanent for youths. Shiva Yadav, T.U said "We have tremendous problem inside each and every student organizations.

Bharat Bahadur Khadka, Ex districtic development chair, Doti said "This topic is very importance for Nepalese context. We were not concerned about how and why our democracy is in dangerous situation. State should be focused in economic and social policy. We need to practice decentralization process like as Denmark. Our democratic culture should be reflected on our cultural values and characters.

Lalit Balayar, Nepal Student Union said" we were not focused in our real concerns for example our country is agriculture based country but how many of agriculture universities were opened in Nepal?

Binod Kayastha, Nepal Student Union said "In short we needed there are 3 kinds of youth activities for their betterment;

  1. Youth for youth,
  2. Youth for Others,
  3. Other Age group people's effort for youth

Bhuma Pandey,Lecturer, Patan Campus said "We must categories our youth to mobilize according to their priorities.

Advocate Bishnu Basyal said "The National Youth Policy 1985-1987 in insight for the youth policy which should be added ghimire's paper.

Dr. Dinesh Bhattrai, Former Ambassador said "The theme of this Program is very relevant in current scenario. Both paper presenters should add the issue of youth trafficking. We should raise the issue of 'social remittance' of migrant youths. We should focus on the issue of Social solidarity and role of state has to be defined in the democratic framework.

Jeevean Lal Kharel,Central member, Nepal Student Union said ' this is a relevant time to set the minimum educational standard for leaders?

Advocate Rashmi Prasad Pokharel's concerned on the cause of youth migrant in large number every year from Nepal. Subash Lamicchane, President Youth Alliance said" Our society is encouraging the criminalization of youths day by day.

Uttara Khanal said"I would like to remind all of you in ancient period ram, Krishna and Buddha all of them are youth leaders, so why not today's youth became national leader?

Concluding Remarks by Chair

We are mutually benefited from all of you including presenters and commenter's. We will incorporate all the suggestion and advice in the paper. This program is our first attempts on this kind of theme. We will make these types of program in regional level as well. We will publish it in a standard format.

The Opening and the next sessions were chaired by former vice-President of National Planning Comission Dr. Jagadish Chandra Pokharel and on the seat were Mr. Dev Raj Dahal, Head FES, Krishna Basyal Reader, Nepal Law Campus, Prof. Dr Yagya Pd. Adhikari and Advocate Gopal Kr. Ghimire.

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