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There is a need for focusing on diabetes in the young as it is a national priority considering the invaluable potential of the youth in the making of a new India, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said today. Addressing a conference on non-communicable diseases here, Singh said the disease spectrum in India, over the last few decades, has shifted from communicable to non-communicable diseases as a result of which, 'Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus', heart disease and cancer have occupied the centre stage. "This has, at the same time, also resulted in huge social and economic burden on society which has more than 65 per cent of population below the age of 45 and, therefore, cannot afford any drainage or wastage of valuable youth potential," said Singh, Minister of State for Personnel. The minister, who is also a doctor, said the more serious concern is upsurge of diabetes in younger age groups and among hitherto lesser affected sections of the society and lesser affected parts of the country including rural areas and village folk. This, he said, is also to a great extent, because of the breakdown of the rural-urban divide resulting in unhealthy lifestyle changes across all sections of society. "Singh has called for focus on control of diabetes in young and said that this is not only a health priority but also a national priority considering the invaluable potential of the youth energy in the making of new India," an official release quoted him as having said. Making a strong plea for engaging in public-private partnership (PPP) modules, he said that government agencies, social scientists and health professionals will have to work in tandem to devise strategies for control and prevention of diabetes. Underlining the central government's concern and priority for health issues, Singh referred to the recent decision of the government to streamline and control the prices of cardiac stents used for heart patients. He also referred to the government's move for use of generic medicines and to introduce a comprehensive health policy under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Considering the topography of some of the far-flung and inaccessible areas of the country, Singh said, he had also proposed the idea of having "air-clinic" set up inside a helicopter with a specialist and requisite equipment as well as paramedics which could be used as an OPD at more than one place on a single day.