A comprehensive information access portal that will bridge the gap between Indian youth and the government machinery will be developed soon, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Pratik Patil said on Sunday.

“Youth have the potential to initiate change, but they are often disconnected from systems that have the power to bring into effect those changes,” Mr. Patil said, speaking to The Hindu while heading a 100-member youth delegation to China that returned on Sunday.

The Minister said “total integrated software” would be developed within a year and that the portal would serve as a youth database.

Any person in the 18-35 age-group will be able to sign up to the service by submitting a set of details to establish proof of identity. Email alerts about all government schemes, scholarships and programmes that fit the profile will be automatically generated.

The portal, which will be available in all official Indian languages, will also host a platform through which youth can ask queries and send suggestions. They will be forwarded to the relevant Ministry and follow-up action will be taken, Mr. Patil said.

He added that discussions were on with Indian industry to share employment-related details of youth who register on the site to address the “manpower-shortage and unemployment gap.”

Accompanying delegates from various fields of excellence — including a number of national youth award winners — on the second leg of a 10-day youth exchange visit to China, Mr. Patil called for greater cooperation between the two countries in fields such as higher education and information technology.

At an interactive session between Indian and Chinese youth at the Sichuan International Studies University on Saturday, Li Keyong, president of the University, said: “When most people think of China, it is Shanghai and Beijing that comes to their mind. A greater understanding of the complexities of the hinterland of China is required, and youth delegations serve as a very good platform.”

The delegates hopped from Shanghai to Hefei and finally to Chongqing and visited sites such as the Shanghai World Expo and the world heritage rock carvings site at Dazu.

To mark the 60th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, a ‘Festival of India' will be organised in China shortly, beginning with an Indian film festival in Chongqing in the second week of July.

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