B.PAC’s Endeavours To Enable Active Participation Among Students
India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. In 2020, the average age of an Indian was 29 years, a lot of the students were under various technical and non-technical courses, but one aspect of their student life that has gone down in terms of engagement is the state engagement with them in the field of politics and public life specifically.
Since our independence, many of our freedom fighters and political leaders have showcased their leadership throughout their student life. Especially in Karnataka since many colleges do not allow for student unions and politics or elections to be held, we have seen a steady decline in the number of student leaders in a state and a city. Over the years at B.PAC, we have come up with introductory course sessions that help students understand the need for engaging in civic life in their communities, keeping in mind the importance and need for the same.
There are various initiatives through which we can bring students, a different perspective of the world and an understanding of participatory democracy of our country. It is imperative that the youngsters continue to engage with various aspects of our governance and actively participate to ensure that they can make sense of what is happening around them and how it affects their lives.
This in turn helps to improve the quality of engagement with elected representatives and executive bodies and helps them take participatory democracy seriously to have a positive feedback mechanism to help improve the quality of governance. We continue to engage with students at various levels and encourage them to take what they have learned in school as part of their curriculum in History/Civics and social science studies for practical applications.
Aspects of Public Policy apply to our everyday life and are not just an academic/policy exercise. We interact with governance-related matters throughout our day. The quality of our lives in the city is determined by the number of interactions we have with the executive and administrative branches of government. Understanding this is very important for any citizen for effective participation in the decision-making process.
In the past year alone at B.PAC, we have been able to engage with 600+ students from different streams of undergraduate/ graduate/ postgraduate programs and help them get an insight into the on-ground workings of elected representatives and civic leaders. We have seen that all of the students that we have interacted with have shown positive engagement and have been actively participating in the various programs.
We hope to continue this level of engagement in the coming years. This International Students’ Day is dedicated to those students who have made sure that their active participation has brought about positive change in our governance and society.