‘India Is’ a celebration of Indian youth: Khurshid

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) A celebration of the youth of India is how External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Monday evening described the showcasing of two years of ‘India Is’, the digital initiative platform of the ministry’s public diplomacy division and its rich treasure trove of photographs and visuals on India.

Speaking at a reception to celebrate the completion of two years of ‘India Is’ and the Global Photography Challenge and Video contests held under its auspices, Khurshid said the photographs and videos contributed by the amateur contestants were a celebration of the youth of the country who comprise more than half the population.

He said keeping India’s demography in mind, it is extremely important to harness the energies of the youth. India being an ancient civilisation has been enormously enriched by the winds of change blowing across the globe, he said.

He added that the India Is platform has given the public diplomacy division a new voice and platform to reach out. “PDD is reaching out to the big world, and to neighbours, to young people,” he said.

“India Is is a wonderful way of saying, well that India is! Nothing more need be said beyond that,” Khurshid said.

In his welcome address, Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, secretary (economic relations) in the ministry, said the platform has grown in stature judging from the increasing number of followers on the social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Chakravarty said though the public diplomacy division – which was set up in 2006 – is a recent entrant to the ministry of external affairs, it was a medium to “enhance India’s conversation with the world”.

The ministry has launched the India Is platform in a public-private partnership model, which has proved very fruitful, he added.

The India Is Facebook page already has more than 158,000 followers, many from abroad, and its Twitter account has nearly 2,000 followers. All the 2,777 photo entries received from over 18 countries as part of the 2012 contest are on the site on Pinterest, a photograph and video sharing site.

A short film, “Hidden Cricket”, by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap was screened on the occasion. Kashyap said the platform has helped some promising young filmmakers to showcase their talent.

On YouTube, India Is has a trove of 245 videos made from entries from 40 countries.

A short grab of the prize winning videos was also shown at the event.

PDD has tied up with Skarma, a communications and consultancy firm, to host the site.

The other partners include Google India, YouTube, Taj Holidays, Incredible India and Conde Nast Traveller India.

–Indo-Asian News service

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