National Youth Day has been celebrated annually on 12 January since 1985. The day marks the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

The day is observed every year to honour the ideals and thoughts of Swami Vivekananda, who had been extremely vocal about the importance of youth in the process of nation-building. Further, Swami Vivekananda’s foray overseas helped revive India’s image as a land of spirituality.

An ardent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, he pushed for national integration in colonial India and his speech in Chicago in 1893 remains one of the most famous speeches ever.

It is to honour his contributions to the country that the government of India, in 1984, declared his birthday as National Youth Day.

One of the main objectives of National Youth Day is to promote rational thinking among the youth, who are the future of the country.

Every year, several seminars, workshops and events take place on National Youth Day which aim to discuss the lectures, thoughts and writings of Swami Vivekananda. Several competitions on essay writing, debates and poetry also mark the day.

In 2021, the UGC has asked colleges and universities to host online lectures and webinars on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. It has also asked them to host poetry recitation, essay writing, creative writing and debate competitions and share them on the University Activity Monitoring Portal — ugc.ac.in/uamp.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the final function of the second National Youth Parliamentary Festival on Tuesday via video conferencing. Others who will be present at the event include Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, and Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

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