The India China Youth Exchange programme was a new generation approach to strengthen bilateral relationships and mutual trust between India and China. It was launched in November 2006, when the first batch of 100 youth member delegates from both countries was reciprocally exchanged; this was continued in subsequent years. The long-term objective of the exchange was to promote people-to-people contacts between the two countries in order to boost the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge on socio-economic, cultural and developmental aspects. The focus of this book is on the sixth batch of the exchange programme, held from 19th to 29th September 2011. This batch’s visit was considered to be the most historic event in the history of Indo-China diplomatic relations, which was also coincidentally organized on the eve of celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China.
The visit was an eye-opener for the Indian delegates who were exposed to a rich and varied spectrum of China’s developmental activities, many of them unique and innovative. These included sports tourism, industrial tourism, the Chinese work ethic, their patriotism, their commitment to the environment and more. The author, an experienced youth development officer, who accompanied the 200 strong delegation to China in 2011, outlines his experiences. He strongly believes that we could learn a lot from China if we can implement many of their innovative schemes. This would help propel our economy on a rapid growth trajectory.