Draft policy redefines 16-30 age group as youth
The change in age bracket is in line with international standards
Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Ajay Maken, on Thursday unveiled the draft of the National Youth Policy 2012, which categorises persons from 16 to 30 years of age as youth.
At present, persons between 13 to 35 years of age are considered as youth.
“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 years,” said Maken.
The exposure draft of the Youth Policy 2012 declares that youth is not a homogenous group but a heterogeneous one “based on habitat, environment, socio-economic status of their families and their own life styles.”
The draft has identified nine target groups-student youth, migrant youth, rural youth, tribal youth, youth at risk, youth in violent conflicts and out of school/dropouts, groups with social /moral stigma and youth in institutional care.
“Young women, youth belonging to socially and economically disadvantaged communities or groups and differently-abled youth form the three priority groups among the target age group,” said Maken.
“On the basis of this, we could come up with action plan in conflict areas like Jammu and Kashmir and the north east,” he told reporters.
“The policy also proposes a Youth Development Index (YDI), that would serve as the baseline and ready reckoner for evaluators and policy makers,” informed Maken.
Youth Development Index will include the indices like youth health index, youth education index, youth work index, youth amenities index and youth participation index.
The draft policy plans to divide the broad age bracket of 16-30 years into three sub-groups - the first sub-group will cover youth between 16 to 20 years of age who require educational facilities. The second sub-group will cover youths between 20 to 25 years of age who require access to job skills. The third sub-group will comprise youth between 25 to 30 years of age who require access to self employment and entrepreneurial skills.
Maken, however, avoided questions pertaining to the definition of youth wings of political parties. However, he said university elections should be held.