Young India Foundation

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Young India Foundation
YIF Logo.png
Logo of YIF
MottoEmpowering young people from the Panchayat to the Parliament.
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India
Region served

The Young India Foundation (YIF) is a nonpartisan national youth organization which primarily works on youth rights and their representation.[1][2] YIF primarily deals with the large disenfranchised demographic.[3] It provides consultation and advocates for youth rights in India, which currently has over 600 million young people below the age of 25 in India. Almost 70% of the country's demographic is below the age of 30.[4][5]

While the organization focuses on electoral politics and awareness campaigns, it also provides opportunities for youth representatives from different areas of India to exchange ideas and experiences, to coordinate program plans, and to reach a better understanding of each other's problems due to differences in racial, religious and cultural backgrounds.[6][7]

YIF has also launched its own publication portal, "Voices of Youth". This portal has been established to throw light on the issues young people face. It also highlights the struggles and stories of young people across India.[8]


Young India Foundation was established in January 2017, with the objective of helping young people get elected in local level elections in India. The foundation is also running a campaign to lower the age of candidacy from 25 for MPs (Members of Parliament) and MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) in India. YIF believes that the representation of the 670 million young Indians is the only plausible way to make their voices be heard and bring about a positive change. [9]


The Young India Foundation consists of a team of entrepreneurs and activists, from Columbia University, Stanford University, Lady Shri Ram College, and University of Oxford among others, who have been actively involved in youth-oriented development programs, policies and mobilisation.[10]

Activities and campaigns[edit]

YIF has two main tasks:

While YIF deals with all issues affecting youth in India on a national, regional, and local level, its primary motive is to help young people get elected in local and regional electoral positions in municipality and positions in the panchayati raj system.[11]

YIF organizes events in India to raise awareness for their age of candidacy campaign which focuses to lower the age when a MP or MLA can run for elections.[12] The campaign highlights how India has the youngest and largest demographic yet the oldest age of candidacy.[13]

As of October 2018, YIF is running a campaign to lower the age of candidacy in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elections from 25 years.[5] The campaign to lower the minimum age for candidacy to be an MP or MLA from 25 years was also recognised by Shashi Tharoor, a Member of Parliament serving Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.[14]

  1. YIF will file a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court to recommend a legislation to lower the age of candidacy for MPs and MLAs from 25.
  2. After the Supreme Court of India’s recommendation, YIF plans to lobby the elected parliamentarians for amendment of three bills:  Article 84, Article 173 (b) and Section 35 (2) of the Representation of the People’s Act 1950.[15]
  3. To usher more young people into the movement, it has envisaged social media campaigns at the grassroots. The social media campaigns are aimed at creating awareness to make the young vote bank more relevant and heard. It will also give the youth a fair share in electoral representation.

In April 2018, YIF supported 23-year old Jagbir in his campaign for the position of Panch in his ward. To increase the reach of the youngest candidate fighting elections, YIF’s campaign worked to encourage voters in his constituency to vote for him, and he won the Panch’s seat in rural Haryana. [16]


India’s National Youth Policy (NYP-2014) defines ‘youth’ as persons in the age-group of 15-29 years. As per the 2011 census, the total youth population in India is 422 million and the country is expected to have a 34.33% share of youth in the total population by 2020. More than 70% population in India is below the age of 25.

YIF’s focus group is the Indian youth, who comprises nearly 30% of the population, but still have minimal representation amongst elected officials compared to most other democratic nations, despite India being one of the countries with the lowest median age population. According to founder Sudhanshu, YIF believes that the minimum age eligibility for candidacy in India should be lowered to “include younger candidates, so their actions and thoughts can gain more momentum for the purpose of nation-building”. [17]


YIF's website lists the following aims:[1]

  • Work to recruit and elect as many young people for electoral politics in India's local politics.
  • Raise awareness in India of over 600 million below the age of 25.
  • Help facilitate the collection of information about the needs and problems of youth.
  • Promote the interchange of ideas between youth all over India.
  • Assist in the development of youth activities and to promote the extension of the work of voluntary youth organizations.
  • Encourage participation of India's young men and women in the development process.
  • Promote the democratic participation of young people both in their own organisations and in the life of society as a whole.
  • Assist in the development of youth activities and promote the extension of the work of voluntary youth organizations.
  • Encourage participation of India's young men and women in the development process.
  • Promote the democratic participation of young people both in their own organisations and in the life of society as a whole.
  • Select, train and assist 50 candidates in local municipal and panchayat elections by 2018.
  • Empower the youth to achieve their full potential, and enable them to find their rightful place in the political representation.

Candidate selection process[edit]

YIF selects candidates using the following parameters:

  • Progressiveness (assessed on whatever “progressiveness” by definition fits their community)
  • Network, connections and understanding of the ground level problems
  • Knowledge about campaigning and duties as a leader
  • Willingness to work
  • Personality, the potential to exploit and perspective about volunteers working for them, on a scale of 1–10, how excited would they be?[1]

The YIF community support program is extended to those with the inclination for volunteering and public service. It operates an active Slack community where candidates can network with other people who are considering running for office or for volunteering for YIF. This community has been structured based on specialty and demographics , and helps the  candidates and volunteers in self-organizing, setting up in-person meetings, and commiserating when they encounter challenges.


YIF candidates are given mentorship by experts from a range of domains, such as digital media and political communication. Instead of relying on a one candidate-one mentor policy, each candidate is supported by many mentors.

Access to resources and training

YIF shares links to training and other informational programs by partner organizations with its staff and volunteers.

Membership and structure[edit]

As of October 2018, YIF has over 100 volunteers in a variety of capacities, including YIF representatives, Regional Wishers and college and high school ambassadors. There are three ways to participate: Central YIF, State YIF, and university branches.[18]

Central Core Committee[edit]

The Central Core Committee is the main statutory decision-making body of YIF that governs the state, university and other programs.

University branches and campus ambassadors[edit]

The organization aims to function and recruit people from universities all over India. Volunteers can apply to a campus ambassadorship program, to become the focal point of the youth rights movement in their respective university or college campuses. The primary objective of the team is campaign management, undertaking research, daily administration, recruitment of candidates and chart the roadmap for better reach.

State and city branches[edit]

YIF has open membership in its state branches in Delhi, Bangalore, Gujarat. Haryana, and Kolkata[6]


Young India Foundation has partnered students from institutions within Delhi University and universities across India and the world like New York University to garner support from a larger number of expats.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Home". Young India Foundation. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  2. ^ MUKHERJEE, JHUMPA; CHOUDHURY, SHOMA (2010). "Revisiting the National Youth Policy". Economic and Political Weekly. 45 (26/27): 32–34.
  3. ^ Dutta, Mohan Jyoti (2017). Imagining India in Discourse: Meaning, Power, Structure. Springer. pp. 23–25. ISBN 9789811030512.
  4. ^ Sultana, A. Shahin (2015). "A Critical Exploration of National Youth Policy of India- 2003 and 2014". Indian Journal of Sustainable Development. 1 (2). doi:10.21863/ijsd/2015.1.2.012. ISSN 2394-7675.
  5. ^ a b "Blog | Cult Altered". Cult Altered | build change. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  6. ^ a b Government of India. "Profile of Indian Youth Organisations". Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. 1 – via JSTOR.
  7. ^ JEFFREY, CRAIG (2010-07-14). "Timepass: Youth, class, and time among unemployed young men in India". American Ethnologist. 37 (3): 465–481. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1425.2010.01266.x. ISSN 0094-0496.
  8. ^ "Announcing Voices of the Youth". Young India Foundation. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  9. ^ "Blog | Cult Altered". Cult Altered | build change. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  10. ^ "The Team". Young India Foundation. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  11. ^ "Comparative Youth Justice: Critical Issues Comparative youth justice: Critical issues". 2006. doi:10.4135/9781446212608.
  12. ^ a b "Age of Candidacy". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Shashi Tharoor on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  16. ^ Young India Foundation (2018-08-08), Jagbir, 23, Wins a Panch Seat, retrieved 2018-10-23
  17. ^ TEDx Talks (2018-02-07), What if our politicians are younger? | Sudhanshu Kaushik | TEDxLNMIIT, retrieved 2018-10-22
  18. ^ Young India Foundation (Fall 2018). "Young India Foundation Constitution". Young India Foundation Constitution: 4–6.

External links[edit]