Draft National Youth Policy 2012

The first National Youth Policy was released in 1998, after that a second one in 2003. The National Youth Policy document of 2003 defines the youth as the persons of age group of 13-35 years, whereas the NYP 2012 aims to cover the age-bracket of 16-30 years. It divides the age bracket into 3 parts as follows:

Aim of Draft NYP
The Draft NYP 2012 proposes to change the target age group from the existing 13-35 years to 16-30 years. This change is proposed mainly to realign the definition of Youth with the prevailing international definitions. The definition of Youth as per UN is 15-24 years and as per Commonwealth, it is 15- 29 year

  • 16-21 years includes adolescents
    whose needs and areas of concern are very different from youth under the other age-groups.
  • 21-25 years includes those youth who are in the process of completing their education and getting into a career.
  • 26-30 years comprises of young women and men most of whom have completed their education, including professional, and are, more or less, settled in their job and in their personal life.

Objectives & Thrust Areas

Objectives of the policy are as follows:

  • Strengthen the culture of patriotism among youth
  • Instil a sense of national unity and social cohesion among youth
  • Foster abiding commitment and adherence to the values enshrined in Constitution
  • Help youth become economically self-reliant and productive
  • Empower them to take up challenge of eliminating all forms of social and economic discrimination and exploitation
  • Provide them training and skills for fostering environment protection and sustainable development
  • Facilitate access to nutrition and health
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle, free of substance abuse and other unhealthy addictions
  • Dissuade them from stay away from harmful sexual practices
  • Make facilities in sports and constructive recreation for all youth including disabled.
  • Instil and nurture a spirit of volunteerism
  • Development of a culture of scientific thinking via education
  • Extend support to priority groups –young women, socially and economically disadvantaged youth, and youth living with physical, sensory and intellectual impairments
  • Promote youth volunteering
  • Promote youth engagement in monitoring and evaluation process of governmental and non-governmental development works.

Target groups

The policy divided the youth population into its Target groups which shall be use to make further plans for addressing a particular group. These groups are as follows:

  • Student youth
  • Urban youth in slums; migrant youth
  • Rural Youth
  • Tribal Youth
  • Youth at risk – substance abuse, human trafficking, working in hazardous occupations, sex workers
  • Youth in violent conflicts – participants or victims
  • Out-of-school or drop-outs from formal educational mainstream
  • Groups that suffer from social or moral stigma – transgender, gays and lesbians, those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Youth in institutional care, orphanages, correctional homes and prisons

One notable thing here is that the Draft National Youth Policy is the first of its kind which recognized youth not as a homogenous group but as having numerous differentials based on habitat, environment, socioeconomic status of their families and their own life styles. Accordingly, the transgenders, gays and lesbians have been placed in a social group in the targeted category that needs suitable policy interventions to deal with social or moral stigma. The policy mentions that the transgenders have for long been the butt of ridicule and derision of society. Within the above 9 Target groups, comparatively weaker and vulnerable groups viz. young women, young belonging to socially and economically disadvantaged communities and groups and differently-abled youth become a priority group and they will be specially attended to with appropriate programmes.

Youth Development Index

The policy document had come up with a Youth Development Index, which was widely discussed in media. The creation of a youth development index is expected to contribute in three ways.

  • To make all recognize that youth is a different population category and needs a separate consideration
  • To make something like Human Development Index centred on Indian youth that compares the youth development across various categories and geographical areas.
  • Use the index data to advocate for youth related issues and measure the achievements made.


The Youth development index aims at substantial contribution to the situational analysis of development of youth across the sections of society. In order to build a comprehensive index, the following principles are considered. The Youth Development Index would consider the differences across the categories mentioned below:

  • Location: urban, rural , tribal
  • Terrain : hills, plains
  • Shelter : those with  shelter, homeless
  • Economic class :      upper, middle and lower
  • Gender : male, female,
  • Sexual orientations
  • Role :student, non-student; employed , unemployed

The YDI will be based on the HDI model, but certain themes would be added considering the youth’s specific characteristics and Rights.  It will measure only certain critical areas of youth development. It is not intended to study and evaluate all aspects of youth development.

The five domains of the YDI would be Health, Education, Employment, Amenities and Participation.  They have sub-domains as follows:

Using the above information, there are 12 sub-indices to be prepared along with a consolidated Youth Development Index. The 12 Sub Indices are as follows:

  • YHIf = Youth Health Index for Female
  • YHIm = Youth Health Index for Male
  • YEIf = Youth Education Index for Female
  • YEIm = Youth Education Index for Male
  • YWIf = Youth Work Index for Female
  • YWIm = Youth Work Index for Male
  • YAIf = Youth Amenities Index for Female
  • YAIf = Youth Amenities Index for Male
  • YPIf = Youth Participation Index for Female
  • YPIm = Youth Participation Index for Male
  • YDIf = Youth Development Index for Female
  • YDIm = Youth Development Index for Male
  • YDI = Youth Development Index

Firstly, the YDI would be computed with the four dimensions of health, education, work, and amenities. This index would then be adjusted initially for gender disparity (Youth Gender Development Index) and sex ratio (Youth Gender Development Index Adjusted for Sex ratio). Subsequently, the YDI would be calculated. This will also be adjusted for the gender disparity and sex ratio. In both the cases, the YDI would be initially computed separately for males and females.

Then, considering four (health, education, work and amenities) dimensions based on secondary data, the YDI for males would be calculated as follows:

In the same way YDI would be computed for females. In case of considering five (health, education, work, amenities and participation) dimensions, the YDI for males and females would be computed as

After computing YDI for males and Females, they would arrive at YDI as follows:

YDI = Youth Development Index = (Proportion of Female * YDIf ) + (Proportion of Male * YDIm)

Similarly, they have conceptualized a YGDI also as follows:

YGDI = Youth Gender Development Index

YGDISR = Youth Gender Development Index adjusted for Sex-ratio

= Sex-ratio Correction Factor * YGDI

The process of construction of the index would be conducted periodically to provide an opportunity to regularly and comprehensively assess the situation of youth across the country.

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