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41% of India’s youth agreed that women have no choice but to accept violence: Yuva Nagrik Meter Findings

CMCA’s Yuva Nagarik Meter studies the Democratic Citizenship Quotient of Young India

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India, 21st January 2015: The score on Gender Equality, one of the domains of Democratic Citizenship studied by CMCA’s Yuva Nagarik Meter shows wide prevalence of gender biased attitudes and negative stereotypes amongst the young population in urban India across 11 cities. According to the findings, 39% of girls and 43% of boys agreed that women have no choice but to accept a certain degree of violence; whereas 55% of youth agreed that women dress and behave in certain ways to provoke violent reactions from men. The study also shows alarmingly negative attitudes towards democracy and social diversity as for instance 67% of college students “agreed” that India should have only one strong political party at the centre to rule the entire country while 50% of youth showed intolerance towards migrant workers from other states. The Yuva Nagarik Meter is a first of its kind study that maps and creates a national baseline of the level of Democratic Citizenship among Indian youth. It was launched at a press conference prior to the 66thRepublic Day of India, the date on which the Constitution of India came into force.

The Yuva Nagarik Meter not only tells us whether the Young Indian knows and understands what democracy truly means but also the values and attitudes he/she possesses pertaining to: Rights & Responsibilities, Democratic Governance, Adherence to Civic Rules, Gender Equality, Diversity & Social Justice and Environmental Conservation.The study was conducted among 6168 students and 757 social science teachers from330 High Schools; and 4374 students from 220 Colleges across 11 state capitals including 6 metro cities(Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata)and 5 non-metro cities(Bhopal, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna and Guwahati). Field research for this first ever Yuva Nagarik Meter was carried out by Social Research Institute of IMRB International.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Manjunath Sadashiva(Director)said, “the findings of the report show the dire need to inculcate citizenship values and attitudes among the young population of India owing to young India’s dismal performance on understanding of the democratic values. The civic education plays a crucial and integral part in the growth of youth and overall development of the country, however, our education system side-lines it.”

According to Yuva Nagarik Meter, the overall Democratic Citizenship score of young India is merely 21%. The report also shows the non-metro cities fare better than metro cities in the aggregate scores. Along with the scores on basic domains of Democratic Citizens, the study also highlights that positive experience at school & college has a significantly positive influence, whereas, affiliation to political parties shows possibility of a strong negative influence on cultivation of Democratic Citizenship.

Further, he added, “Only by studying and understanding where young Indians stand on democratic citizenship and what factors influence the same, we as a society can think of measures to nurture and improve the same. The purpose of this study is to reform & revitalize civic education policy & practice in India”.

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