Skip to main content

Foreword by Prakash Javadekar, Minister of HRD, Government of India

The essential qualities for our youth
for the 21st century



As we progress to the twenty-first century, there is a lot to look forward to. At the same time various issues that face our country and the world, require our immediate attention. Some of these are climate change, biodiversity loss, rise in violent extremism and inequality.

India is in a unique position to take the lead in addressing these global issues, with its relatively young population, which I believe is a key advantage. By 2020, the average age in India will be twenty-nine and it is set to become the youngest country in the world with 65% of its population below the age of thirty-five. The youth of the country offer a tremendous opportunity for driving social, environmental and economic progress not only in India but also globally. It is crucial however, that young people be equipped with the appropriate skill sets to undertake this challenge and towards this the education system is our best bet.

Foreward_Small-1Youth need to have the ability and courage to question, assess and evaluate issues to arrive at the most peaceful and optimal solutions. To do so they require skills not only of critical inquiry but also socio-emotional competencies. They need to be mindful of the global environment and its intercultural diversity.

Unity in diversity has been the Indian motto for many years and India, as a melting-pot of diverse systems and cultures presents itself as an ideal example to the rest of the world to showcase a new education system, which will focus on teaching humanity. The establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in 2012 by the Government was envisioned as a step forward in this direction since the Institute bases its initiatives on the values that Mahatma Gandhi stood for, namely that of building peaceful and sustainable societies. I am very pleased that the Institute is taking its mandate very seriously and is building a new curriculum to address the global challenge of peace and sustainable development drawing from the latest evidence from neurosciences, education psychology and digital pedagogies.

The Blue Dot, Issue six focuses on ‘Critical Inquiry, Mindfulness, Empathy and Compassion’, which are four core competencies that the Institute has identified for youth to address twenty-first century challenges and opportunities. These competencies form the basis of all the projects and programmes conducted

at the Institute and are extremely relevant for the youth of today.

I wish the Institute all the best in this important endeavor.



Prakash Javadekar
Minister of Human Resource Development,
Government of India


Cover Story
Youth Voices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization | Mahatama Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development

35 Ferozshah Road, ICSSR, Building, 1st Floor
New Delhi 110001, INDIA

THE BLUE DOT features articles showcasing UNESCO MGIEP’s activities and areas of interest. The magazine’s overarching theme is the relationship between education, peace, sustainable development and global citizenship. THE BLUE DOT’s role is to engage with readers on these issues in a fun and interactive manner. The magazine is designed to address audiences across generations and walks of life, thereby taking the discourse on education for peace, sustainable development and global citizenship beyond academia, civil society organisations and governments, to the actual stakeholders.

THE BLUE DOT is published biannually.

The Blue Dot is available free of charge.

To receive all future issues of the THE BLUE DOT, subscribe to

Managing Editor
Akriti Mehra, UNESCO MGIEP

Publication Assistant
Jagriti Sharma, UNESCO MGIEP

Firefly Communications


Jacob Anthony, National Brain Research Centre, India

Nandini Chatterjee, UNESCO MGIEP


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of UNESCO MGIEP.

The image used on the cover of this issue of The Blue Dot is purely representational and conceptual in nature.