Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 23, 2015 | 2.49 pm IST Urban Indian youngsters have terribly low respect for the rule of law. Their attitudes towards gender stereotypes and violence is also rather disturbing as they seem to think that there is “no choice but to accept a certain degree of violence”. These are some of the major findings of a survey of 10,542 girls and boys studying in high schools and colleges in 11 state capitals of the country and aged between 15 and 19 years. The Young Citizen National Survey, called the Yuva Nagrik Meter conducted by the has been conducted by the Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness and field research was conducted by Socia Research Institute, IMRB in 2014. Here are the major findings of the survey. (All images courtesy of Yuva Nagrik Meter) Over 40 percent of high school and college students thought that it was all right to break the law because one could always get away with it by paying off the right people: giving a bribe. This scores the attitude that young people have towards the rule of law. The average score of girls and boys studying in schools is 15 percent, and of college girls and boys is 10 percent, indicating "an abysmally negative attitude students have towards adherence to civic rules and low level of respect for the rule of law." Urban youths attitudes towards women is appalling, and the girls fare only slightly better than the boys. Although on the surface the majority of them agreed that women can do as well or even better than men at work, half of youngsters seemed to think that the main role of a woman is to take care of the house and children. More worryingly, between 37 percent and 44 percent of youth thought that "women have no choice but to accept the violence". The report says that the findings suggest that children learn certain civics subjects such as the meaning of fundamental rights and duties, citizenship, only for the purpose of passing examinations. College students seem to fare worse than high school children, suggesting they may only be learning these ideas for the sake of it. It's hardly surprising then, that these are the scores on young people's understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens and defined by the Constitution. Slightly over half of young people seem to feel that a few years of military rule would do India some good. These responses simply raise doubts about their understanding of the idea of democracy in terms of social life, rather than just a political system. College students' attitude towards democratic governance is actually negative, statistically and their knowledge and democracy very poor. Makes one wonder how they would behave in practice with fellow citizens. Close to half of all respondents thought that construction workers and domestic workers simply did not have the right to demand fair working conditions such as toilets and proper housing or pay. Again, the overall average score on attitudes towards diversity and social justice remains poor. In an unsurprising find, urban youth have a high level of environmental consciousness and believe that water needs to be conserved and steps need to be taken to reduce wastage. According to the report, the score reflects the popular "buzz" on the "need for protecting the environment and conserving natural resources created by the media, celebrities, corporate organizations, NGOs, government agencies but also the compulsory teaching of environmental science across a large number of schools." As samples, the report includes the kind of questions that were asked to the respondents of the survey. Questions were designed to measure knowledge and understanding as well as attitudes towards rights and responsibilities, democratic form of government, adherence to civic values, environmental conservation, gender equality and social justice. Here are some questions provided as illustrations in the report: Tweet
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