The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast

June 27, 2013. Address by Oksana Kozlovskaya at the 21st Session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast (June 27, 2013)

Oksana Kozlovskaya Oksana Kozlovskaya started her address with a review of the important events of June – the G8 Summit and the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Today’s political and economic agenda features global and Russian challenges responses to which will shape further development of not only countries and regions but no less the lives of individuals.

Russia’s biggest priority is improvement of business climate, which is confirmed by recent statements by the Russian President on "economic amnesty" for entrepreneurs, restrictions on tariffs of natural monopolies, and growth of federal investments in infrastructure through the National Wealth Fund. A number of resolutions are expected to come into force in January 2014.

The Russian State Duma announced the start of a large-scale review of basic federal laws adopted over the last twenty years. This major effort will be undertaken for the first time in the history of the country. Key evaluation criteria are consistency, completeness, and transparency of the basic documents. The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast will review the Oblast laws as part of this effort.

Oksana Kozlovskaya congratulated the audience with the Day of Youth and proceeded to youth-related issues.

Final examinations in schools, colleges and universities are over. The number of school graduates in Tomsk Oblast who passed the Unified National Examination with the maximum score of 100 points increased three times, from 44 to 147. The 2013 UNE results will be discussed during the "Governor’s Hour" at the next Duma session.

There are more university graduates with honors this year – 1890 people. This spring, a team of 3 final-year students of the Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radio Electronics took the first place in a legal hacking contest in Japan.

The number of students awarded with medals has grown as well – almost 300 medals in Tomsk only. More than 60% of medal-winners were awarded with gold medals. All those achievements reaffirm the well-known thesis that "good quality education is a prerequisite of successful future". It is pleasing to see that our youth understands that.

The year 2013 is the 50th anniversary year for student work brigades in Tomsk Oblast. Many people in this hall started their careers in the brigades when they were young.

One in five people on the Earth is below 20 years old. Half of the Earth’s population have not turned 30 yet. They are an abundant resource to drive sustained economic growth in any territory.

There are many definitions of "youth". In Russia, young people are people aged between 14 and 30 years.

23% of the population in Russia are young people. In Tomsk Oblast, young people account for almost 28% of the population.

"The share of young people in middle class is 50—80% according to different sources. A curious fact is that middle class youth in Russia is younger than in Europe.

Whatever definitions we use, one can state with confidence today that the youth is not about the age but about the competence! Young people are the healthiest, the most intellectually active and mobile part of the society.

Tomsk Oblast has a big advantage over other regions of Russia for the abundance of this resource and opportunities to create conditions to retain talented young people able to set up their own business, generate ideas and innovations and manage investment projects."

A study carried out last year revealed that the most important life values for young people in Tomsk Oblast are personal well-being (health and family), material welfare (career and prosperity), and communication values (social circles).

Almost 40% of graduates from Tomsk universities want to work for large corporations. Around 30% want to set up their own business. The other 15% want to work on budget-funded positions. Many want to work as medium and top level executives. At the same time, one in five believe they can develop and implement their own project!

Social studies have shown that Tomsk Oblast is attractive for young people from the standpoint of high-quality education opportunities.

Last year, Russia started developing Youth Innovation Creativity Centers. Those centers will work as "manufacturing laboratories" carrying high technology 3D design and production equipment where youngsters and students can create parts of all possible shapes and various materials.

A week ago the Tomsk Oblast and Tomsk City Administration opened such a center in the Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radio Electronics.

In 2012, more than 40 Youth Innovation Creativity Centers installed modern equipment. There are two such centers in Tomsk. This project will be driven through a network of centers in various cities of Tomsk Oblast.

Kazan is a good example of how that can be done. There is a proposal to have a review of options to include this project in the 2014 budget with the Administration of the Oblast.

Regulatory framework for the youth policy

The basic document – National Youth Policy Strategy in Russia for 2016 – has been in force for more than 7 years now.

All the regions, including Tomsk Oblast, have their own strategies, concepts and priorities.

However, young people believe that those programs and strategies do not address their two most important concerns – employment and housing.

Housing is a very serious issue which requires significant financial resources, not only from the budget but from initiatives and innovation technologies as well. Why does not our Construction Committee undertake to address this problem? Every third deputy in our Duma is a certified construction engineer! Let us together work on an idea to create a model of modern and affordable housing for young people using public-private partnership mechanisms, university resources and student work brigades.

Other proposals

In July, the Tomsk Oblast Duma will consider the social development strategy of Tomsk Oblast.

1. The Youth Parliament had a heated discussion of the Youth Policy section in the strategy document. It appears, a more comprehensive and detailed document is required. It may not be unnecessary to implement a national youth program in the region.

2. I suggest considering development of a regional youth information center which would provide information of any sort to young people – from the best mortgage terms to the cost of baby-sitter’s services or work opportunities for university students. The Youth Parliament could take this responsibility. By the way, not all services could be free of charge in such a center.

3. Today, we have expert councils under each deputy governor. I suggest introducing in the councils representatives of youth and student associations. I assure you, it will be useful for both parties. It is especially true given that young people themselves originated all these ideas.

About the agenda

1. Elect the Ombudsman of Tomsk Oblast. There are 6 candidates on the list.

2. Tomsk Oblast Administration’s report on execution on the 2012 budget.

3. Adopt a new Oblast law on the consumer basket and amend the minimum subsistence law.

4. Two social bills:

– Implementation of the approved gas supply program. 230 million rubles will be allocated from the 2013 Oblast budget to provide gas supply to the households of the Oblast. More than 5,000 people in the region will receive help from the budget.

– The Gifted Children program. The Oblast budget includes 16 million rubles to be spent on the development of nine inter-municipal centers which will work with gifted and talented children. These centers will have a challenging task to set up a system to identify and develop talented children in the region.

The full agenda consists of 34 items.

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