Need of youth parliament a new public & advisory management
1. International conference on “Recent Developments & Emerging Trends in
Management Research & Information Science”
Need of youth parliament in India: A new public & advisory management
Naveen B R
Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science
Management is an inclusive part of a parliament, a public representative institution which involves
comprehensive and complex management which requires a holistic approach. India is a democratic
country with more than one billion population with majority of them are youth. Parliament with
bicameral nature is the political and management body of the India which governs the country.
Youth being a major population in the country but enough opportunities are not given for them in
the decision making system. Though India is a democratic country and being one of the young
country in the world, but very less youth representation is there in the parliament. People
representatives being public managers, they have larger avenue and greater responsibility to have
inclusive representation from all the sections of the society for effective decision making. This
paper aims to explore the opportunities and need of the youth parliament in India at least as the
advisory body for better public management by getting to know needs and aspirations of youth
adequately. This paper is primarily a conceptual and observational which is based on author’s
review of national youth policy, 2014, global youth development index and development, 2016,
publications and extensive interactions with public leaders, young people and from experience.
Limitation is that this paper is a theoretical and overlooked the complexities involved in
establishing such institution.
Today world is home to more young people than ever before with 1.8 billion people between the
ages of 15 and 29. Around 87 per cent of them live in developing countries. Young people make
up approximately one quarter of humanity, but in many countries, especially in South Asia and
Africa, one in three people is a young person. Demographic trends and projections make it clear
that the proportion of young people in the global population is declining and it is predicted to fall
below 20 per cent by 2075. The next few decades, therefore, are an unprecedented window of
opportunity for the world, and developing countries in particular, to reap the promise of this
‘demographic dividend’ (Global youth development index & report, 2016).
According to global youth development report, definitions of youth are more contextual,
dependent as much on formal nomenclatures as on informal factors such as culture, tradition and
socio-economic conditions in a country or community. In simple terms, youth is a period of
transition during which children and adolescents gradually come to be recognized as adults (Global
youth development index & report, 2016).
In the Indian National Youth Policy-2003, ‘youth’ was defined a person of age between 13-35
years, but in the current Policy Document, the youth age-group is defined as 15-29 years with a
view to have a more focused approach, as far as various policy interventions are concerned.
According to Dr. Joseph Muscat (Chair-in-office of Common wealth), “Young people see what is
around them in a fresh light and itch to improve what is their inheritance – they are bubbly and
full of inspiring ideas, and they have a strong voice and the ability to make a huge diﬀerence
worldwide. It is therefore important that young people are empowered and given the opportunity
to reach their full potential. Such a goal can only be achieved through investing in their skills,
harnessing their energy, encouraging their ambitions, and providing opportunities to further their
education and participation in their local – and by default often the global economy”. According
to Rt. Hon Patricia (Secretary-General of the commonwealth), “the healthier and more skilled our
youth are, and the more they play a recognized role in our societies, the more opportunities and
freedom they will have to fulfil their aspirations and talents, and the more likely it becomes that
we will succeed in achieving the SDGs by 2030”.
In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development, which provides the overarching framework for global development between now
and 2030. Although the 17 Sustainable Development Goals do not specifically mention young
people, the needs and role of youth are addressed in some of the targets and indicators that underpin
the SDGs, and the Agenda includes a commitment to ‘the full realization of [young people’s] rights
and capabilities, helping our countries to reap the demographic dividend’. The hopes of building
a world that is more prosperous, equitable, inclusive and peaceful rest on the shoulders of young
people, not least because of their sheer numbers (Global youth development index & report, 2016).
3. Young people everywhere are also proving at every opportunity their capacity to be champions,
agents and partners in fostering all-round development at local, national and international levels.
From countering climate change to peace-building, from strengthening human rights to tackling
inequality, it is often young people who are showing the way with their innovative ideas and
modern approaches. The world has an unprecedented opportunity today to lay the foundations of
a better future for young people. Governments have the obligation to recognize the barriers to
youth development, overcome them with policies and programmes that have young people at their
heart, and help promote progressive youth development. This last objective should be based on an
understanding of youth development that not only recognizes the agency of the individual but also
emphasizes the structures and contexts in which young lives take shape (Global youth development
index & report, 2016). It is universally acknowledged that young people represent promise. Yet
surprisingly little is known about the current state of aﬀairs in youth development. Measuring
progress on youth development continues to be a challenge, even though its importance is widely
recognised (Global youth development index & report, 2016).
At a global level, youth-related issues have never been as high a priority as they are currently. The
role of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth was created in 2013. 190 countries have a
national authority responsible for young people and youth summits – such as the UN ECOSOC
and UNESCO Youth Forums, the Commonwealth Youth Forum, and the World Youth Conference
– have become inﬂuential platforms on the international stage. These eﬀorts build on longstanding
international youth policy frameworks such as the UN World Programme of Action for Youth
(WPAY) and the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE). Against this
backdrop, key UN agencies have developed strategies to guide their work with young people. The
UNDP Youth Strategy and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Strategy on Adolescents and Youth
lay out their priorities in youth development, including increased economic empowerment, civic
engagement and participation, resilience-building, sexual and reproductive health, and a special
focus on marginalized and disadvantaged youth, especially girls.
The world’s parliaments is not a place for young people. According to the Inter-Parliamentary
Union, of the 45,000 members of national legislatures in the world, only 1.9 per cent are below
the age of 30. If the definition of ‘young’ is relaxed to include everyone below the age of 40, the
proportion of young law-makers rises to 14.2 per cent. Nearly one-third of ‘lower chambers’ of
parliament and close to 80 per cent of ‘upper chambers’ surveyed do not have a single member of
parliament below the age of 30. In only four countries – Sweden, Ecuador, Finland and Norway –
do people below the age of 30 add up to at least 10 per cent of the total number of lawmakers in
the country. Except Ecuador, the other three countries are among the 30 highest-ranked countries
in the YDI. Of the world’s young MPs who are below the age of 30, only two-fifths are female as
per Inter-Parliamentary Union 2016 (Global youth development index & report, 2016).
Young people’s involvement in protests and campaigns are a testament to the fact that they are as
socially conscious and politically active today as they have ever been. The big diﬀerence today is
that they are more willing to bypass formal structures in order to instigate meaningful social
4. change. Young people’s engagement with politics is a complex phenomenon and is aﬀected by a
range of social, economic and political variables. At a global level, youth political participation
does not fit one single pattern but some trends can be discerned from available data and research.
While the indicators in the 2016 YDI reﬂect an improvement in the enabling environment for youth
political participation, young people themselves tend to be less engaged with formal modes of
participation. For example, there is ample evidence to suggest that they are less likely to vote than
older people. Consciously or not, many young people are abstaining from voting and also opting
out of other formal modes of political participation such as joining political parties or standing for
Explanations that lay more emphasis on the wider political and economic context cite a lack of
political education or awareness, structural and generational shifts, and skepticism about
traditional political processes and institutions as some of the factors contributing to youth
disengagement in formal politics. Some commentators have argued that young people are not well
informed about citizenship, political processes and democracy. This perhaps holds especially true
in developing countries where lack of access to information and knowledge can dampen youth
participation. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that young people want to participate in
politics but found the existing political culture, institutions and mechanisms ineﬀective or
unwelcoming. Young people are disenchanted with formal politics because it is unresponsive to
their needs and interests. Young people’s relative lack of interest in the formal political process
partly reﬂects their skepticism about the ability or will of governments and politicians to create a
supportive environment for young people. There is also a widespread perception among the young
that elected politicians tend to pay more attention to older citizens, who are more inﬂuential and
more likely to vote.
Table gives the age definition for ‘youth’ of various international organizations: source GYDI
5. To empower youth of the country to achieve their full potential and through them enable India to
find its rightful place in the community of nations. NYP-2014 provides a holistic Vision for the
youth of India which is “to empower the youth of the country to achieve their full potential, and
through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations”. In order to
achieve this Vision, all stakeholders must work towards meeting 5 key objectives. This requires
specific action in one or more of 11 priority areas, identified as important for youth development.
Create a productive workforce, Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment and skill development,
Develop a strong and health generation, Health and healthy lifestyle, Sports, Instill social values
and promote community service, Promotion of social values, community engagement, Facilitate
participation and civic engagement, Participation in Politics & Governance, Youth Engagement,
support youth at risk & create equitable opportunity for all inclusion, Social Justice.
Source: NYP 2014
The national youth policy (2014) states that targeted expenditure on youth of INR 370 billion
(USD 6.16 billion) is supplemented by INR 550 billion (USD 9.17 billion) spent on youth in other
schemes. Together this equals outlays of INR 2,710 (USD 45) per young person in 2010-2011
through youth-targeted (higher education, skill development, healthcare etc.) and non-targeted
(food subsidies, employment etc.) programmes. In addition, the State Governments and a number
of other stakeholders are also working to support youth development and to enable productive
youth participation. According to the 12 Five-Year-Plan Vol. I (2013) the Budget of the Ministry
of Youth and Sports declined by 15.1% between 2007-2012 and 2012-2017. According to the
World Bank, India spent 11.02% of its government expenditure and 3.17% of its GDP on education
provision in 2011.
Of the targeted expenditure of Rs.37,000 Crores, more than 80% of the funds are allocated towards
education through the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and Ministry of Social
Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE). The expenditure is primarily through grants to various
government schools and universities and direct cash benefits to students in the form of scholarships
and fellowships for both secondary and higher education. Further, there are programmes targeting
youth in the areas of skill development, employment, health and engagement.
6. Of the non-targeted spend, food subsidies, employment programmes like MGNREGA, health
programmes related to infrastructure development, disease control and family welfare constitute a
significant share. Other Ministries with schemes providing direct benefit to youth through some of
their schemes are Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of
Labour and Employment (MLE), Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Ministry of Rural
Development (MoRD). This totals a per capita spending on youth of about Rs 2,710 of which Rs
1,100 is targeted spending.
Source: NYP, 2014
MoYAS currently runs several schemes to enable youth to engage with their community, as well
as to participate in grassroots development. Some of these schemes are NYKS, NYPAD and the
NSS. These schemes target varying youth segments, and have different models of participation. In
addition to MoYAS schemes, there are a range of other government schemes like the Bharat
Nirman Volunteers (BNV) programme of Ministry of Rural Development. BNVs are dedicated
volunteers working in rural areas for generating awareness among the people about their rights
and entitlements. Similarly, the positions of community workers created under NRLM provide
opportunity to such workers to get intensely involved in the development programmes, besides
being avenues of substantial income to them. Leadership and personal development is often a
byproduct of other youth schemes such as NYKS, NSS and NCC. These skills are also imparted
in varying measures through the education curriculum in schools and colleges. While there are a
few programmes of varying success that support holistic development of youth, structured
programmes that help the GoI engage with youth are absent. There are some unstructured
interactions between policy makers and young Indians in forums such as educational institutions.
However, there are no systematic channels for engagement between the government and young
7. citizens and no mechanisms for youth to provide inputs to government. The Election Commission
runs outreach programmes to get young voters to register and vote in elections, thereby supporting
and promoting youth participation in politics and democracy. The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute
of Youth Development (RGNIYD) also provides training and capacity building for members of
various youth related organisations. GoI has decided to convert RGNIYD into an Institute of
National Importance and this is currently under implementation. MoYAS is also in the process of
setting up a Youth Development Fund which would help channelize private sector contributions
under CSR for GoI’s youth development efforts. This gap has in part been filled by some
organisations that provide analysis and commentary on public policy issues.
Below is the political demography of Indian parliament
As per the age profile of members of 16th
Lok Sabha, share of youth members is comparatively
very less. The greater share comes to members falling under 41-55 years followed by 56- 70 years.
Age profile of MPs from 1st
Lok Sabha indicates that there is a reduction of youth population
in Lok Sabha from 25% to 12%. Major share is taken by above 50 years.
8. All through history, youth have been the harbingers of change – from winning independence for
nations, to creating new technologies that upset the status quo, to new forms of art, music and
culture. Supporting and promoting the development of India’s youth must be one of the foremost
priorities, across all sectors and stakeholders, of this nation. Youth is a more fluid category than a
fixed age-group. ‘Youth’ is often indicated as a person between the age where he/she leaves
compulsory education, and the age at which he/she finds his/ her first employment. Often, Youth
age-group is defined differently by different countries/ agencies and by same agency in different
contexts. United Nations defines ‘youth’ as persons between 15 and 24 years of age.
India’s rank in global youth development index and report 2016 is 133 among 183 countries it
clearly indicates that India is far behind in the youth development though it is fastest growing
Source: YDI report, 2016
Youth in the age group of 15-29 years comprise 27.5% of the population. India is expected to
become the 4th largest economy by 2025, contributing about 5.5%-6% to the world GDP, only
after the United States, China and Japan. While most of these countries face the risk of an ageing
workforce, India is expected to have a very favorable demographic profile. The population of India
is expected to exceed 1.3 billion by 2020 with a median age of 28 which is considerably less than
the expected median ages of China and Japan. The working population of India, is expected to
increase to 592 million by 2020, next only to China (776 million), pointing to the fact that youth
will make a significant contribution to the economic development of the country. This
‘demographic dividend’ offers a great opportunity to India.
According to the national youth policy (2014), youth organizations in India are “fragmented, and
there is little coordination between the various stakeholders working on youth.” India is a member
of the Commonwealth Youth Council and though there are various national platforms and party
youth wings exist, NYP (2014) highlights “there are no systematic channels for engagement
between the government and young citizens and no mechanisms for youth to provide inputs to
government”. It is unclear that the country have a national youth organization / association
9. (council, platform, body). A key challenge is that there has been no systematic assessment to
understand the current status of the youth segment, the challenges they face and the inter-linkages
between these areas. Furthermore, there has been no concerted effort to identify the range of
stakeholders working on youth development, analyse the impact of their activities and determine
how these stakeholders can be aligned & leveraged to more effectively support the youth. An
overarching framework needs to be developed in order to align stakeholders and to provide
guidance on key issues.
The vision of NYP states that, “To empower youth of the country to achieve their full potential,
and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations”. In order to
create a productive youth workforce, it is essential that the youth of the country have access to the
right set of tools and opportunities to make a sustainable contribution. Youth of the country must
be encouraged to fulfil their duties as citizens and thus create an environment in which all citizens
enjoy the rights guaranteed in our Constitution. Governance requires an active citizenry, and given
that the youth in the age group of 15-29 years comprise 27.5% of the population, it is essential to
create mechanisms for youth participation in politics and governance. Youth are the future of the
nation and must be encouraged to participate in politics at local and national levels. They must be
provided the necessary training and tools to become effective policy makers and to be able to
execute government’s schemes and programmes.
Youth are the future of the nation, and in the years to come will become the leaders of the nation.
Hence, it is essential that the youth uphold social values and moral standards of highest order.
India is a diverse nation with respect to ethnicity, religion, language, caste and culture. Alongside
this diversity resides socio-economic disparity and extremism, which together have potential for
creating a divide in the society. Hence, it is imperative to instill a sense of harmony and
togetherness in individuals from a young age. It is also important to develop inner values like
compassion, kindness, sympathy and empathy. There is also a serious need to inculcate the spirit
of integrity and truthfulness in the youth. They must be encouraged to strive for excellence in all
spheres of individual and collective activity. Youth represent a large segment of the population
that can be mobilised for community service and development programmes. On one hand, by
participating in community service schemes, youth can contribute to grassroots development
efforts and help create progress in backward regions. At the same time, these initiatives help the
youth build their own skills, such as communication, leadership, inter-personal relationships and
develop a sense of moral responsibility and national ownership.
Given the youth comprise 27.5% of the population, it is critical that youth are represented & can
participate in politics at all levels. Youth participation and engagement on issues related to politics,
democracy, accountability and governance will help create an able generation of future leaders of
the country. An engaged citizenry will help build accountability and ensure better governance, and
can also facilitate the implementation of schemes. The youth can be leveraged as a resource to
monitor the implementation and promote accountability of welfare schemes and development
projects across the country. Though civil societies are working with governments through
10. partnerships to bridge these gaps but without a coordinated push and clear youth focus, these
programmes are unlikely to be sufficient to help bring youth into the folds of politics and promote
civic engagement at all levels of governance.
The future imperatives laid by NYP, 2014 are as follows:
Engage youth that are outside the political system because it is important to ensure that youth
participate in politics at all levels, from the grassroots to the national stage. There are several pull
and push factors that govern youth participation in politics. A detailed analysis of these is required
in order to create effective policies and programmes to enable youth participation in politics. Youth
perceptions of politics must be understood in order to create effective strategies to combat any
negative perceptions. Politics must be made attractive & appropriate reward systems must be
created to incentivize youth to enter politics. Barriers to entry, such as financial resources for
campaign activities, must be lowered. Improved channels of transition from student politics to
national politics must be developed.
It is important to build awareness on the importance of an active citizenry by making them aware
of the various channels available to them to engage with and question government agencies. Youth
monitoring and accountability creation in the areas of government expenditure and social welfare
schemes must be institutionalized. The youth should be involved in Gram Sabha / Mahila Sabha
meetings, for monitoring the implementing of programmes at village level.
The objective of GoI engagement with the youth is two-fold. First, GoI must engage with youth in
order to provide them with information and enable holistic youth development. Second, GoI must
engage with youth in order to get inputs on issues, policies and specific programmes, especially
those that directly impact youth. By engaging with the youth and by ensuring youth develop
leadership and other interpersonal skills, the GoI will help create a generation of individuals that
are committed to civic, social and political progress. Government should engage with all the youth
of the nation to provide them information and do a regular “pulse check”. Some ways this can be
undertaken include youth forums at various levels, an interactive online portal and wikipedia-style
Given that youth comprise 27.5% of the population and will play a crucial role in the progress and
development of the nation, supporting and enabling the youth must be made a priority in order to
help youth overcome the challenges they face and India to reap the benefits of its demographic
dividend. Mainstream youth issues in the development process. It is evident that the youth will
play a crucial role in the future development of the nation. Hence it is important that the issues
related to youth are mainstreamed and youth become a national priority. Leverage various
channels for effective youth engagement and participation. Political Participation as per global
development index and report involves existence of a national youth policy, existence of voter
education conducted nationally, voiced opinion to official. The Political Participation domain in
the YDI mainly seeks to convey whether the policy environment in a country supports youth
development and encourages participation of young people in decision making.
11. Government should engage with a representative cross-section of youth to get inputs on specific
policy issues. This can be done by conducting thematic workshops, putting out calls for policy
notes through ICT based channels, etc. Based on the issue, the government can identify
representative educational institutions, youth groups and other partners to create a channel to
engage with the youth. Also it should identify a sub-section of youth that it interacts with in a more
continuous & structured manner who can help support its programmes and activities. It should set
up a Youth Advisory Council of exceptional yet representative individuals. This council can
provide more detailed inputs to government on key policy issues, run programmes to mobilise
youth and engage more regularly with diverse segments of the youth.
From the analysis of global youth development and index report, 2016 and national youth policy
(NYP), 2014 it is evident that there is a real need of youth participation in politics and decision
making process. NYP 2014 also stresses need of a formal structure / institution which address the
real needs and aspirations of the youth of India. Youth parliament can act as a youth advisory
council to the government by keeping it updated about current trends and happenings in social,
economic, science and technological and environmental fields. So that India can be forefront
player in the globe by harnessing the potential of its demographic dividend in coming years.
The valuable features of Young people as per GYD report are:
A force for peace, democracy, equality and good governance
A catalyst for global consensus building
An essential resource for sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Despite a growing focus on youth participation in lower levels of governance, and a clear political
push to help more young people transition from student and youth politics to national politics;
there is very little coordinated action to promote youth engagement in politics and governance.
Furthermore, existing programmes such as those run by MoPR are focused on youth who are
already elected leaders or in some way associated with politics, rather than on bringing more youth
into political systems. Moreover, youths acquire all the necessary knowledge and skills in India
and when they become finished product they fly to foreign countries and deliver there. This kind
of brain drain is happening because of lack of opportunities in the country, lack of adequate
awareness in their sense of responsibility towards to country and not involving them in the main
stream of decision making process or system. Youth participation in civic and political aﬀairs is
important in and of itself but also for the potential consequences that the involvement – or lack of
it – of young people in decision making may have. Intrinsically, the development of young people
is about providing them with the choices and capabilities necessary to build fulfilling lives. In
order to address the barriers that constrain their opportunities, it is necessary to involve young
people in decisions that directly or indirectly have an eﬀect on their lives. The active involvement
of young people in decision making can improve the lives of individuals, provide better and more
12. accountable public services, strengthen democracy and civil society and create more peaceful and
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