India can meet “complex challenges” if the energy of the youth is channelised in a “positive direction”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday.

“...I have no doubt, if we are able to channelise this immense energy of our youth in a positive direction, we can succesfully address even the most complex challenges facing our country today,” he said here.

Addressing the Prime Minister’s rally at NCC Repulic Day camp here, he asked the youth “to exploit the opportunity with firm resolve and commitment and contribute positively towards the growth of our nation.”

“India is a young nation. Our youth are our major strength. Today, more than ever before, there is greater awareness among the youth about their rights. Equally, there is a strong desire to contribute directly to the betterment of our society,” he said.

Dr. Singh also acknowledged the “immense contribution” of NCC towards nation-building, social harmony and in inculcating the core value of patriotism, discipline and self-less service in the nation’s youth.

“Your efforts in spreading the awareness among our masses on important issues like female foeticide, and cancer control, energy conservation and environment protection are praiseworthy,” he said.

He said the youth should keep the motto of the NCC — unity and discipline — uppermost in their mind, reminding them that discipline and a united nation can meet any challenge.

The Prime Minister said, “It was a matter of pride” that NCC has always come forward and discharged its duty in the sphere of disaster relief social service and community development.

“I am aware of the high standards achieved by the cadets in the fields of training, support and adventure activity. It is heartening to learn that NCC cadets have undertaken several successful mountaineering, trekking and sailing activities.”

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