Centre for Escalation of Peace (CEP) and Pallavan Learning Systems (PLS), in collaboration with Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS), organized the inaugural India-Bhutan Youth Summit from September 21 to 29, 2018 in the Kingdom of Bhutan.The launch of the India-Bhutan Youth Summit came at an opportune time to celebrate the 50 years of friendship and partnership.
Ten participants from Bhutan and ten participants from India came together for the summit that was aimed at enhancing the understanding and appreciation of the youth regarding the importance of building India-Bhutan friendship through meaningful conversations on various aspects of India-Bhutan collaboration. Concurrently, the summit sought to create a pool of potential ambassadors of this special relationship in both the countries who would carry forward the collaboration for the next 50 years.
The participants, who went through a rigorous selection and interview process, came from different parts of Bhutan and India.The summit chose to bring the participants together in the Kingdom of Bhutan and offer them a first-hand experience of living and learning in a country where the environment,ancient traditions and values are being preserved carefully while walking the road to modernization. The summit sought to offer a setting and an opportunity for these bright minds to exchange ideas, experiences, knowledge and perspectives on issues impacting our world. At the same time, the experience served to give them a more informed understanding of the various challenges facing this young democracy and its growing economy.
The nine-day programme was structured in a manner where learning experiences would incorporate a combination of academics and adventure. It included an introduction to Bhutan, a three-day trek across the pristine Bhutanese landscape, interactions amongst the participants on core issues, and meetings between the participants and eminent people in Bhutan. The participants also visited places of interest and interacted with thelocals to gain a better understanding of the country and the aspirations of its citizens.
The facilitator of the summit was Gaurav Saklani, who has been leading learning programmes with companies and institutions for over 20 years. He facilitates powerful and highly engaging workshops around Creating Winning Teams, Realizing Leadership Potential, and Handling Difficult Conversations. Gaurav is a co-founder and facilitator at Exper Executive Education and its subsidiary,Inme Learning – India’s leading outdoor and adventure based life skills programme for young adults.
At the end of the summit, the candidates shared their experiences and reflected on the entire programme. In addition to giving detailed feedback on the summit, they submitted a programme report detailing their individual journey during the summit. Also, in groups, they prepared a 600-word note on one of the most pressing issues surrounding the India-Bhutan relationship. It is expected that the participants will go on to become successful spokespersons and ambassadors of the India-Bhutan Youth Summit community that will continue to grow over the years. The next summit is slated for September 2019 and will take place in India.
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