New Delhi: The world is looking at India with renewed respect and enthusiasm and the government is keen to harness the energy of the country`s large youthful population who can make their presence felt through innovation and initiatives, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here Friday.
Addressing the International Youth Summit 2015 for NextGen World, Sushma Swaraj said the external affairs ministry - keeping the youth in mind - has launched a major social media outreach that showcases India`s interaction with different countries and international organisations and also to elicit ideas from the youth.
"With more than 65 percent of India`s population below 35 years of age, I see Indian youth as India`s foremost brand ambassadors and bridge-builders amid India`s expanding engagement with the world," she said.
She said youthful energies need to be harnessed and leveraged in the right direction.
"And here, under this government, there is plenty to choose from in areas, where you can make a lot of difference. Dynasty is no longer destiny, talent is destiny," she said.
"With national development as the lynchpin of India`s foreign policy agenda, I urge you to be more proactive and drive the process of development and raising India`s global profile," she urged.
"In many ways, this is a bright new dawn for our country when India is on the cusp of momentous changes and is re-scripting its own destiny. Our economy is reviving. India is being hailed by the World Bank and the IMF as the fastest growing large economy in the world. At the same time, India is also vigorously engaged in the process of rewriting the rules of global engagement."
She highlighted four key areas of focus of India`s foreign policy orientation - development and diplomacy being inextricably intertwined, the government`s neighbours first policy, promoting India`s culture, its soft power, and following a people-centric, interactive and youthful foreign policy.
She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s 100 smart cities initiative was part of the diplomatic engagement with other countries, including the US, Japan, Russia, China, Singapore and Australia, among others.
"This is a pioneering project which illustrates the dovetailing of the domestic agenda and foreign policy," she added.
She said the neighbourhood policy "is not just driven by security imperatives, but is animated by a narrative of opportunity and a vision of wide-ranging regional integration and connectivity".
She said Modi`s invite to SAARC leaders for his swearing-in ceremony was meant to emphasise the outreach to neighbours.
"... this soaring idea of a resurgent South Asia was the basis of Prime Minister Modi making numerous announcements at the SAARC summit in Kathmandu that signal India`s desire to tie its destiny with that of its neighbours," she said.
She said that with the UN declaration of the International Yoga Day June 21, the government was planning a host of events in the run-up to the celebrations.
"The focus on culture is also evident in our outreach to the 25 million Indian diaspora spread across the world. Ensuring their welfare and protecting their interests remain our core foreign policy priority," she said.