IIT Mandi kick starts the ‘Yuva Sangam’ program

 Indian Institute of Technology Mandi kick-started the Yuva Sangam program with a flag-off event on 12th May 2023. As a part of the event, 45 student delegates from Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh started their journey from IIT Mandi to IIT Goa. Padmashri Nek Ram Sharma and Ms. Nivedita Negi, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, attended the event as the chief guests.

Keeping up with the Government of India’s initiative to create awareness and increase the production and consumption of millets, the student delegates interacted with Padma Shri Nek Ram Sharma from Himachal Pradesh, in the first session of the second phase of the Yuva Sangam event.

Padma Shri Nek Ram Sharma is well renowned for popularizing and promoting indigenous and organic modes of agriculture.

Aligning with the UN declaration of ‘International Year of Millets 2023’ the focus of his discussion with the students was on growth of indigenous food grains in the Himalayan region which has been an integral part of the diet of the people for centuries.

Interacting with the students, Padmashri Nek Ram Sharma, said, “Depleting nutrient value of food, less fiber intake and fast-food culture is deteriorating our health. Millets are very nutritious, environment friendly and sustainable. The youth of today must strive to know more about natural farming and introduce millets to the diet.”

The idea of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat was conceptualized by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to bridge the cultural differences and create a cultural connect between the different states of India. It also aims at exposing the youth to our cultural values, and value the cultural diversity our country has to offer.

During the flag off ceremony, Ms. Nivedita Negi, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, said, “This initiative by the Government of India is to introduce our youth to the cultural diversity of our country and this is a unique opportunity for them to learn more about our culture, technology, tourism, etc. in this fully funded trip by IIT Mandi.”

Addressing the gathering, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, said, “IIT Mandi has started the initiative of Sustainable development by empowering sustainable agriculture. The Institute is working towards creating entrepreneurs in agriculture by making farming beneficial using traditional methods like organic farming and climate control agriculture. IIT Mandi is acting as the Nodal Institute for this Yuva Sangam program and is funding the trip of 45 student delegates from HP and Ladakh for their academic and cultural tour.”

The student delegates from Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh started their tour to IIT Goa on 12th May 2023. The student delegates from Goa will reach IIT Mandi campus on 17th May 2023 and will return on 23rd May 2023.

During their visit, the student delegates will get a chance to experience a completely different culture of their country. This will include:

18th May 2023 – Visit to different state-of-the-art research facilities at IIT Mandi

19th May 2023 – Visit to Rewalsar Town

20th May 2023 – Visit to Atal Tunnel and Manali

21th May 2023 – Visit to the Larji Dam and Mandi Town

22st May 2023 – Visit to Villages, Salgi, Nandli and connect with local people

Yuva Sangam is a cultural and academic exchange program that has been initiated for students for the age group between 18 to 30.  It gives exposure tours to the youths comprising mainly students studying in Higher Educational institutions (HEIs) and some off-campus youths from one state to other states and vice versa. This program is supported by many Ministries including Education, Tourism, Youth Affairs, Tourism and Railways. During the student delegates’ visit to IIT Mandi, the Institute will arrange interactions for them with various dignitaries of the state.  During their visit, the student delegates will experience the academically stimulating environment of IIT Mandi and the rich culture and magnificent landscape of Himachal Pradesh.

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