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Overview:

India has one of the world’s youngest populations in the world. It is set to get even younger, according to a Census of India projection. The country’s workforce, those between 15 and 64 years of age, will grow to 67% in 2020, while China’s will start declining by 2014. Many of India’s young, however, especially those in rural areas, are still either uneducated or unemployable. Jobs may remain a dream for the foreseeable future as the emphasis remains on the services sector rather than manufacturing. Given this backdrop, various organizations under the Department of Youth Affairs are making efforts to tap into the youth for the nation’s developmental needs.

more
History:

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is a legacy of 1982’s Asian Games and the International Youth Year, 1985. The Department of Sports, set up in 1982, in the run-up to the games, was renamed Department of Youth Affairs and Sports in 1985. It was no coincidence that youth became one of the government’s priorities when it was led by the youngest prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. In a country where the higher echelons of politics and government are occupied by veterans even today, Gandhi was only 40 when his mother’s assassination catapulted him to the top post.

 

The department was upgraded to a ministry in 2000 and eight years later it had two separate departments — Youth Affairs and Sports.

more
What it Does:

The objectives of the Department of Youth Affairs are laid out in the National Youth Policy, which undergoes periodic review. The department is in the process of putting together a new policy for which a draft has been released for consultation. The current policy came into effect in 2003 when the National Democratic Alliance led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, now in the opposition) was in power. The National Youth Policy guides the bodies affiliated to the department as they design and implement programs to involve the youth in the betterment of society — in campaigns to root out social evils, such as female feticide and the dowry system and by opening  avenues to allow exchange between India’s numerous ethnic and cultural groups. 

    

Attached Bodies or Autonomous Bodies

Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS)

Established in 1972, NYKS provides a forum for the youth outside educational institutions. It provides health education, trains young men and women for jobs, holds camps to promote national integration, runs campaigns to sensitize the youth on environmental issues and organizes the annual National Youth Festival. NYKS often partners with the international agencies such as the UN or other ministries to cater to more than 4200,000 members of some 125,000 village youth clubs in 501 districts.

 

National Service Scheme (NSS)

NSS focuses on the personal development of college and university students through community service. When it was launched in 1969, the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi, the scheme covered 40,000 students in 37 universities. Now it has more than 3.2 million student volunteers. Students attend camps on various themes, such as the environment, personal health and hygiene, literacy campaigns, and are required to contribute 120 hours for NSS-related activities over a period of two years to be eligible for a certificate. Over the years, volunteers have been involved in providing relief to those affected by natural disaster, polio immunization programs, deforestation and other calamities.

 

Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development

This Chennai-based institute is the think-tank of the Department of Youth Affairs. Its faculty researches youth-related issues and trains personnel to carry out the department’s programs. The institute prepared the Draft Youth Policy 2012. It specializes in Training Orientation and Extension; Research, Evaluation and Documentation/Dissemination; Panchayati Raj and Youth Affairs; International Centre for Excellence in Youth Development; Social Harmony and National Unity; Adolescent Health and Development; and Gender Studies.

more
Where Does the Money Go:

In the 2012-2013 budget estimates, NYKS was allotted $24.7 million and NSS $16 million. The two programs represented more than two thirds of the total budget. The department manages 68 youth hostels in India. They have been built in places of historical and cultural significance and heavily touristed spots. In the financial year 2011-2012, Rs 1.05 crore ($191,571 USD) was released for the renovation of 21 of these hostels. The government of Meghalaya also received Rs 1 crore ($182,449 USD) from the department to host the three-day, second North East Youth Festival in Shillong in April 2011.

 

more
Controversies:

Did the Juvenile Delhi Rapist Get Off Lightly?

Among the six men who were arrested for raping a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, one of them was declared a juvenile and exempted from a court trial. A birth certificate issued by the first school he attended showed that he was under 18 years of age. The victim’s family expressed outrage at the decision. Before she died, the student reportedly told her parents that the youngest man committed the most heinous acts. For juveniles, the maximum sentence is three years in a correction home. The discourse in Delhi in the wake of the rape case focused on getting tough on crime rather than examining the conditions that might have caused these men to commit such a violent act. There were calls for all the accused, including the alleged juvenile offender, to be hung. The victim’s family led the calls for his head.

 

Delhi Gang Rape: Are Our Juvenile Laws Robust Enough? (by Priyanka, Rediff.Com)

Delhi Gang Rape Victim's Family Wants Death For Juvenile Accused (Indian Express)

Delhi Gang Rape: Victim's Father Says Juvenile Should Be Hanged as Govt Plans to Amend Criminal Laws (by Aman Sharma, Economic Times)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Protect Gays and Lesbians in Youth Policy

The Draft Youth Policy 2012 laments: “The gays and the lesbians have never been accepted in the society as same-gender sex has always been treated in our society as perverted and immoral behavior. The result of these deeply embedded stereotypes and biases has been that gays and lesbians are reluctant to express their sexual preferences openly. However, in recent times, there have been some changes and these groups are coming out in the open through special events and campaigns.  There is some degree of acceptance of these groups though, by and large, the prejudice remains.”

 

In 2009, a Delhi High Court ruling decriminalized consensual homosexuality. It was said to be a landmark judgment but as the draft youth policy states, it was just one of many battles to integrate homosexuals into society. Representatives of all three major Indian religions (Hinduism, Christianity and Islam) decried the judgment, saying homosexuality is “against society,” “against India’s culture and family system,” and it will spread “sexual anarchy.” These comments underscored the deep prejudices that remain in Indian society. A legal vacuum has exacerbated the feeling of outcasts among gay couples. Gay marriages are still not legalized: a gay couple cannot even open a joint bank account and, unlike straight couples, are not entitled to tax benefits. When a gay person dies, the partner is not entitled to their property unless it is willed to them. And if the person who dies is a Muslim, the Muslim law takes precedence over the will.

 

Life without Benefits for India’s Gay Couples (by Paramita Ghosh And Abhijit Patnaik, Hindustan Times)

India Decriminalises Gay Sex (by Manoj Mitta and Smriti Singh, Times of India)

Religious Leaders Oppose Repeal of Section 377 (Indian Express)

more
Debate:

Should India Have A Uniform Youth Policy?

The Draft Youth Policy 2012 has the ostensible goals of “enabling the enhanced participation of youth in the process of decision making and development. Timely conduct of union elections in all universities provide an opportunity to the youth to contribute to nation building and develop as responsible and accountable leaders as well as voters. Democratic opportunities among the youth will in time bring out capable and responsive leadership.” But in 2008, the Supreme Court ordered the newly elected students’ union at Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University dismissed. The reason: the candidates and student groups had flouted the guidelines framed by the Lyngdoh Committee for student body elections in universities.

 

JNU Students Seek Review of Lyngdoh Guidelines (by Hamari Jamatia, Indian Express)

 

Case For a Uniform Policy

The Ministry of Human Resources had set up the committee under the chairmanship of former chief election commissioner James Lyngdoh after student groups in universities in the southern state of Kerala engaged in long court battles with the administrations. The committee’s brief was to rid student elections of criminal activities and limit campaign finance’s affect on election outcomes. So the committee recommended age limits for candidates and discouraged repetition of office bearers.

 

JNU Students May Approach Apex Court (by Parul Sharma, The Hindu)

 

Case against Uniform Policy

India’s universities differ in character and size; depending on their locations, they cater to students of an array of cultural and economic backgrounds. So a set of guidelines that fits all is impossible to frame and implement. It could, however, allow the government to have a better grip on student politics and do away with obstacles in effecting changes in line with its policies — privatization of higher education, for example.

 

SC Allows JNU Students’ Union Poll Stayed Since 2008 (The Hindu)

more
Former Directors:

MS Gill (April 6, 2008-January 19, 2011)

Born in 1936, MS Gill holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge in development studies. He is an accomplished mountaineer and led the Indian Olympics contingent to the Mexico City Olympics in 1968.

 

Gill is a former IAS officer who began as a district collector in Himachal Pradesh and retired as the Chief Election Commissioner in 2001.

 

Then he entered politics, joining the Indian National Congress and becoming a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2004. Towards the end of the United Progressive Alliance’s first term at the center, he was appointed the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, a position he held onto as the UPA won a second term in 2009.

 

Gill ran the ministry while Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and was constantly in the news for construction delays in various venues in the lead-up to the games. Gill was also criticized alongside games organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and the Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Gill for his handling of the event, a trail of corrupt deals and a budget that overshot all estimates.

 

A January 2011 cabinet reshuffle pushed Gill from the ministry. This is widely considered to be the fall-out of the games debacle. He was then given charge of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, a punishment posting.

 

Gill did try to implement some changes. Before he left Youth Affairs and Sports, he drafted the National Sports Development Code, which set age limits for the heads of sports federations, including the Indian Olympic Association. The International Olympic Council Committee termed this undue government interference and later suspended the IOA in December 2012. In an interview after the suspension, Gill accused the IOC of double standards as, he said, he had used the IOC’s own regulations for the code. He also suspected “an Indian hand” behind the suspension.

 

Official Bio

more

Comments

Leave a comment

Founded: 2008
Annual Budget: $62.6 million
Employees:
Department of Youth Affairs
  • Latest News
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

India has one of the world’s youngest populations in the world. It is set to get even younger, according to a Census of India projection. The country’s workforce, those between 15 and 64 years of age, will grow to 67% in 2020, while China’s will start declining by 2014. Many of India’s young, however, especially those in rural areas, are still either uneducated or unemployable. Jobs may remain a dream for the foreseeable future as the emphasis remains on the services sector rather than manufacturing. Given this backdrop, various organizations under the Department of Youth Affairs are making efforts to tap into the youth for the nation’s developmental needs.

more
History:

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is a legacy of 1982’s Asian Games and the International Youth Year, 1985. The Department of Sports, set up in 1982, in the run-up to the games, was renamed Department of Youth Affairs and Sports in 1985. It was no coincidence that youth became one of the government’s priorities when it was led by the youngest prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. In a country where the higher echelons of politics and government are occupied by veterans even today, Gandhi was only 40 when his mother’s assassination catapulted him to the top post.

 

The department was upgraded to a ministry in 2000 and eight years later it had two separate departments — Youth Affairs and Sports.

more
What it Does:

The objectives of the Department of Youth Affairs are laid out in the National Youth Policy, which undergoes periodic review. The department is in the process of putting together a new policy for which a draft has been released for consultation. The current policy came into effect in 2003 when the National Democratic Alliance led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, now in the opposition) was in power. The National Youth Policy guides the bodies affiliated to the department as they design and implement programs to involve the youth in the betterment of society — in campaigns to root out social evils, such as female feticide and the dowry system and by opening  avenues to allow exchange between India’s numerous ethnic and cultural groups. 

    

Attached Bodies or Autonomous Bodies

Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS)

Established in 1972, NYKS provides a forum for the youth outside educational institutions. It provides health education, trains young men and women for jobs, holds camps to promote national integration, runs campaigns to sensitize the youth on environmental issues and organizes the annual National Youth Festival. NYKS often partners with the international agencies such as the UN or other ministries to cater to more than 4200,000 members of some 125,000 village youth clubs in 501 districts.

 

National Service Scheme (NSS)

NSS focuses on the personal development of college and university students through community service. When it was launched in 1969, the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi, the scheme covered 40,000 students in 37 universities. Now it has more than 3.2 million student volunteers. Students attend camps on various themes, such as the environment, personal health and hygiene, literacy campaigns, and are required to contribute 120 hours for NSS-related activities over a period of two years to be eligible for a certificate. Over the years, volunteers have been involved in providing relief to those affected by natural disaster, polio immunization programs, deforestation and other calamities.

 

Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development

This Chennai-based institute is the think-tank of the Department of Youth Affairs. Its faculty researches youth-related issues and trains personnel to carry out the department’s programs. The institute prepared the Draft Youth Policy 2012. It specializes in Training Orientation and Extension; Research, Evaluation and Documentation/Dissemination; Panchayati Raj and Youth Affairs; International Centre for Excellence in Youth Development; Social Harmony and National Unity; Adolescent Health and Development; and Gender Studies.

more
Where Does the Money Go:

In the 2012-2013 budget estimates, NYKS was allotted $24.7 million and NSS $16 million. The two programs represented more than two thirds of the total budget. The department manages 68 youth hostels in India. They have been built in places of historical and cultural significance and heavily touristed spots. In the financial year 2011-2012, Rs 1.05 crore ($191,571 USD) was released for the renovation of 21 of these hostels. The government of Meghalaya also received Rs 1 crore ($182,449 USD) from the department to host the three-day, second North East Youth Festival in Shillong in April 2011.

 

more
Controversies:

Did the Juvenile Delhi Rapist Get Off Lightly?

Among the six men who were arrested for raping a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, one of them was declared a juvenile and exempted from a court trial. A birth certificate issued by the first school he attended showed that he was under 18 years of age. The victim’s family expressed outrage at the decision. Before she died, the student reportedly told her parents that the youngest man committed the most heinous acts. For juveniles, the maximum sentence is three years in a correction home. The discourse in Delhi in the wake of the rape case focused on getting tough on crime rather than examining the conditions that might have caused these men to commit such a violent act. There were calls for all the accused, including the alleged juvenile offender, to be hung. The victim’s family led the calls for his head.

 

Delhi Gang Rape: Are Our Juvenile Laws Robust Enough? (by Priyanka, Rediff.Com)

Delhi Gang Rape Victim's Family Wants Death For Juvenile Accused (Indian Express)

Delhi Gang Rape: Victim's Father Says Juvenile Should Be Hanged as Govt Plans to Amend Criminal Laws (by Aman Sharma, Economic Times)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Protect Gays and Lesbians in Youth Policy

The Draft Youth Policy 2012 laments: “The gays and the lesbians have never been accepted in the society as same-gender sex has always been treated in our society as perverted and immoral behavior. The result of these deeply embedded stereotypes and biases has been that gays and lesbians are reluctant to express their sexual preferences openly. However, in recent times, there have been some changes and these groups are coming out in the open through special events and campaigns.  There is some degree of acceptance of these groups though, by and large, the prejudice remains.”

 

In 2009, a Delhi High Court ruling decriminalized consensual homosexuality. It was said to be a landmark judgment but as the draft youth policy states, it was just one of many battles to integrate homosexuals into society. Representatives of all three major Indian religions (Hinduism, Christianity and Islam) decried the judgment, saying homosexuality is “against society,” “against India’s culture and family system,” and it will spread “sexual anarchy.” These comments underscored the deep prejudices that remain in Indian society. A legal vacuum has exacerbated the feeling of outcasts among gay couples. Gay marriages are still not legalized: a gay couple cannot even open a joint bank account and, unlike straight couples, are not entitled to tax benefits. When a gay person dies, the partner is not entitled to their property unless it is willed to them. And if the person who dies is a Muslim, the Muslim law takes precedence over the will.

 

Life without Benefits for India’s Gay Couples (by Paramita Ghosh And Abhijit Patnaik, Hindustan Times)

India Decriminalises Gay Sex (by Manoj Mitta and Smriti Singh, Times of India)

Religious Leaders Oppose Repeal of Section 377 (Indian Express)

more
Debate:

Should India Have A Uniform Youth Policy?

The Draft Youth Policy 2012 has the ostensible goals of “enabling the enhanced participation of youth in the process of decision making and development. Timely conduct of union elections in all universities provide an opportunity to the youth to contribute to nation building and develop as responsible and accountable leaders as well as voters. Democratic opportunities among the youth will in time bring out capable and responsive leadership.” But in 2008, the Supreme Court ordered the newly elected students’ union at Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University dismissed. The reason: the candidates and student groups had flouted the guidelines framed by the Lyngdoh Committee for student body elections in universities.

 

JNU Students Seek Review of Lyngdoh Guidelines (by Hamari Jamatia, Indian Express)

 

Case For a Uniform Policy

The Ministry of Human Resources had set up the committee under the chairmanship of former chief election commissioner James Lyngdoh after student groups in universities in the southern state of Kerala engaged in long court battles with the administrations. The committee’s brief was to rid student elections of criminal activities and limit campaign finance’s affect on election outcomes. So the committee recommended age limits for candidates and discouraged repetition of office bearers.

 

JNU Students May Approach Apex Court (by Parul Sharma, The Hindu)

 

Case against Uniform Policy

India’s universities differ in character and size; depending on their locations, they cater to students of an array of cultural and economic backgrounds. So a set of guidelines that fits all is impossible to frame and implement. It could, however, allow the government to have a better grip on student politics and do away with obstacles in effecting changes in line with its policies — privatization of higher education, for example.

 

SC Allows JNU Students’ Union Poll Stayed Since 2008 (The Hindu)

more
Former Directors:

MS Gill (April 6, 2008-January 19, 2011)

Born in 1936, MS Gill holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge in development studies. He is an accomplished mountaineer and led the Indian Olympics contingent to the Mexico City Olympics in 1968.

 

Gill is a former IAS officer who began as a district collector in Himachal Pradesh and retired as the Chief Election Commissioner in 2001.

 

Then he entered politics, joining the Indian National Congress and becoming a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2004. Towards the end of the United Progressive Alliance’s first term at the center, he was appointed the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, a position he held onto as the UPA won a second term in 2009.

 

Gill ran the ministry while Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and was constantly in the news for construction delays in various venues in the lead-up to the games. Gill was also criticized alongside games organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and the Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Gill for his handling of the event, a trail of corrupt deals and a budget that overshot all estimates.

 

A January 2011 cabinet reshuffle pushed Gill from the ministry. This is widely considered to be the fall-out of the games debacle. He was then given charge of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, a punishment posting.

 

Gill did try to implement some changes. Before he left Youth Affairs and Sports, he drafted the National Sports Development Code, which set age limits for the heads of sports federations, including the Indian Olympic Association. The International Olympic Council Committee termed this undue government interference and later suspended the IOA in December 2012. In an interview after the suspension, Gill accused the IOC of double standards as, he said, he had used the IOC’s own regulations for the code. He also suspected “an Indian hand” behind the suspension.

 

Official Bio

more

Comments

Leave a comment

Founded: 2008
Annual Budget: $62.6 million
Employees:
Department of Youth Affairs
  • Latest News