The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkic in the 12th were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU brought independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons testing in 1998 caused Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, rapid economic development is fueling the country's rise on the world stage. (CIA)

1. Many youths in India face immense challenges of copping with the competitive world. Pressure from competition in schools and colleges drive many of them to take extreme measures. Students committing suicide are often reported.

2. Abuse of drugs and alcohol remain one of the most challenging issues for the youths in India.

3. Spread of pornography through the computer, Internet and mobile phones is prevalent. Many youths in India are exposed to the menace of pornography at a very early age. They desperately need someone to guide them.

4. Premarital sex has become another focal point for many non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

5. AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are widespread. These deadly diseases have infected many youths. More awareness is needed for this issue.


1. Leaders who are guiding the youth are often older men and women of faith who cannot connect with the youths well, causing disconnection between the youths and their leaders. Good counsellors are in dire need for the youths of India.

2. Indian youths have tremendous respect for elders; they seem to give full attention to their elders if they are called to. But many times, they listen but not necessarily follow what elders taught them. How youths can be effectively influenced is still a great challenge.

3. More infrastructures should be made so that youths can spend their leisure time in recreation, sports and other forms of engagement so that they will have less time to do unconstructive things. Infrastructures should improve. If Christians can create more affordable YMCAs and YWCAs around the country, it would be of great assistance. Currently due to the high membership fee, many youths cannot become members of YMCA, YWCA clubs in the country. Only a small privileged group can become their members.