Bifurcation of Sports, Youth Affairs Resurfaces

Bifurcation of Sports,  Youth Affairs Resurfaces Bifurcation of Sports,  Youth Affairs Resurfaces

A  bill recommending bifurcation of youth affairs and sports proposed to the Majlis (parliament) is currently under review at the office of the first vice-president, said Mahmoud Golzari, deputy minister of sports and youth affairs.

It should be recalled that 3.5 years ago, MPs voted for the merger of the sports and the youth organizations which led to the establishment of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.

But now critics have ruled the merger a failure, while proponents believe the youth division of the ministry needs greater empowerment, “as the state of youth affairs is in chaos,” Mehr News Agency reported.

The unification of the two organizations seemed fine at the outset, but shortcomings emerged in the long run. Both MPs and experts acknowledge that the action was rash, and that is why separation of the two departments is recommended, Golzari said.

The government does not want “to deceive the younger generation with empty promises or another PR campaign,” but seeks to assist and boost their confidence “to ensure that they shine in all religious, cultural, scientific, technology, and athletic areas,” he maintained.


The merger had come into effect even as the Majlis Research Center in its evaluation deemed the plan “inadvisable” and the Majlis Cultural Committee opposed its execution. They stated that youth affairs are interdisciplinary in nature and no organization or ministry will be able to independently manage, while also stressing that granting authority to one single entity “will hinder achieving the objectives and resolving youth problems,” Khabaronline reported.

Youth affairs need to be managed under the direct authority “of the president, or an exclusive deputy at the ministry,” some experts say, while others maintain that the latter had previously been tested and proved a failure.

Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Mahmoud Goudarzi, a strong proponent of the bifurcation of the ministry, has supported the bill that is likely to be ratified in the current calendar year (started March 21).

 Greater Efforts

Health, employment, education, housing, marriage, family bonds, promoting Iranian-Islamic lifestyle, optimizing leisure time, and including youngsters in social activities are the main areas that need to be addressed, Golzari said.

Drug abuse, traffic accidents, and obesity are major problems afflicting the youth and the ministry in cooperation the Health Ministry “is making efforts to improve health indices among young adults.” A large part of this year’s budget bill has been allocated to employment of graduates.

Golzari said the number of non-government organizations (NGOs) for youth has risen to 500 from the previous 197, and plans to establish a Majlis Youth Commission are high on the agenda. “It will be pursued in the next Iranian calendar year” (starts March 21, 2016).

Noting there is no “suitable entertainment” for youngsters, he said the National Youth Week (May 28-June 3) should help spark a nationwide movement to address all issues concerning the youth.