Washington - Citing the example of India, a noted US professor has outlined how, frustrated and angry, the world's young people are demanding change, from Europe and Japan to the swarming streets of Cairo.
"Whether it's the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement in the United States or the mass rallies of the Arab world, young people have been jolted into action and are leading the response to diminished opportunities and unfulfilled aspirations," David E. Bloom, wrote.
"India is an example of a country focused on and struggling to realise the benefits of its large and still-growing youthful population," wrote Bloom, Professor of Economics and Demography at the Harvard School of Public Health, in the March issue of "Finance & Development", an International Monetary Fund publication.
"It is the second most populous country in the world, and its 15- to 24-year-old population is the largest-and growing," he said noting "India's 238 million 15- to 24-year-olds equals the total population of the world's fourth most populous country, Indonesia."
Bloom recalled the Indian National Knowledge Commission, headed by Sam Pitroda, had concluded, "Our youth can be an asset only if we invest in their capabilities. A knowledge-driven generation will be an asset. Denied this investment, it will become a social and economic liability."
"India's young people have shown strong support for social activist Anna Hazare and his anticorruption campaign-a testament to their acute awareness of the debilitating effects of corruption," Bloom said.
"Neighbouring Pakistan sits on a similar precipice, albeit a bit closer to the edge. With 38 million adolescents and young adults, Pakistan has the world's fifth largest 15- to 24-year-old population," he said.
"But fragile governance structures, a poor record of development progress, regular episodes of extreme social conflict, and a shaky macroeconomic situation all contribute to young people's lack of confidence in Pakistan's future," he said.