YIF, Issue 3: Addressing the Elephant in the Room

Oct 14, 2022

The Elephant in the Room – why is the age of candidacy for an MP/MLA in India 25? Join us for a breakdown of historical facts and ask #Why25.

With this edition of YIF’s newsletter, read on for updates about:

  • YIF's new fortnightly webinar series that is for, of and by young people. Sounds cool? Register now!
  • India's young change makers are making waves across the sub-continent. Read on for our bi-weekly feature about them.
  • The Elephant in the Room – why is the age of candidacy for an MP/MLA in India 25? Join us for a breakdown of historical facts and ask #Why25.

Come join the movement of, for, and by the youth of India. As your one stop-shop for all youth news, we don’t spam – that’s a promise!

Visit Our Website

YIF's Centre for Youth Policy launches its Webinar Series!

Tired of the same old policy discourse?
If you would like to hear fresh and young perspectives on India’s most pressing civic issues, the Centre for Youth Policy invites you to join its webinar series. Launching on the 27th of October, 2022 with a hot take on the country’s state of gerontocracyRegister here to interact with panels of diverse, opinionated, and talented young people making waves of change across India today. 


The Elephant in the Room: #Why25


Bringing young people into public service has been an issue greatly spoken about with little to no action being taken. Decreasing an unreasonable age criteria could be the solution to having a more representative democracy for the country that has the world’s most young people.

31% of India’s Gross National Income is contributed by its young demographic.
Currently? They have 0% representation.  

Join us for a weekly breakdown of facts – why should the age of candidacy for an MP/MLA in India be decreased?

The History of Young Indians 

What if Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi, were said to be "too young" to lead the rebellion in 1857 against the British?  We don’t question the maturity of Swami Vivekanada, or Bhagat Singh who, in their 20s, led rebellions and inspired millions as mavericks. B.R. Ambedkar was a part of the Bombay Legislative Council in 1926 before he turned 25. 

Historically, we have had younger monumental figures and freedom fighters well below the age of 25 and 30. It’s only when the age criteria was introduced post independence did we see older leadership and lesser young leaders.

Young Indians Today - IAS/IFS/IPS Officers and Judges

At the age of 21, one can take a standardized test, and become an IFS officer representing India to the world, or an IPS officer responsible for the safety of millions of citizens in districts, or an IAS officer in charge of all aspects of the functioning of the government and their budget across India.You can also become a judge at 21 to not only enforce a law, but to decipher the meaning of the Indian Constitution. 

Did you know that MLAs and MPs have substantially lower budgets and constituencies when compared to administrative officers and judges? We ask, if you can become an officer/judge at 21, why can’t you raise the voice of a young demographic in assembly and the parliament at 21?

Now, You Can Fix This!

Today the reality is that young Indians are contributing in almost every sector other than direct political representation.

Give 670 million citizens the opportunity to raise young people's voices in governance. Lower the age of candidacy of MPs and MLAs from 25 to 21 today.

Read more and sign here.


The Medium of Instruction for Indian Institutions May Now Compulsorily Change to Hindi

Indian students across IITs, IIMs and other central universities may soon experience a shift in their medium of instruction to Hindi from other languages, as per sources. This comes as a part of a 100+ recommendation report to the President of India by the Official Language Committee headed by the Home Minister. Without the contents of the report in the public domain, many states have nevertheless taken to writing to the central government in opposition of the same, citing it to be an imposition. Young people, who may be most disproportionately affected are also protesting this move, read here.

YIF Team Highlight

Meet Our Counsel and Local Reps Head, Rikit Shah!
Young India Foundation has always held a deep belief in the power of data and the change it can bring on multiple scales - whether it is a potential candidate’s constituency mapping, or tracking elections to state assemblies over the years. Enter Rikit, a young lawyer who has been associated with YIF for the last 2 years. As our work and reach has grown, Rikit has helped us in reaching several aspiring local representatives across the Indian subcontinent and creating a program for their campaigns to be run transparently at their village level through YIF supported volunteers. He has also been instrumental in providing us with not just legal counsel, but the data that turns the wheels of our election tracker.Currently, Rikit serves as a core team member for Young India Foundation and brings the team comic relief with his memes. Connect with him here.

YIF Recommends

India Emerging
Book by Sandip Sen and Arohi Sen

Are you interested in understanding the link between populist policies, messy politicians and discovering the link between? This book narrates a compelling story through data - without the jargon. Where data goes wrong, it leaves behind a tell-tale mark of anomalies, tripping an economy sooner or later.
India Emerging captures this dialogue on the pros and cons of economic and political decisions that can be understood by every voter, without the need to be an economist.

Hey Young World
Song by Fashawn | Listen here.

If you’ve ever felt disheartened in the face of societal expectations, this song will give you encouragement!

Through this song, Fashawn and crew call on young people to persevere, recognize their gifts, and go out into the world and chase their dreams, singing out, “Hey young world, the world is yours!”.

The New Education Policy (2020) & Higher Education 
Research by A. Kurien, S.B. Chandramana (2022) | Read here.

All of us have been a victim of how archaic the Education system in India is. So the government's new education policy came as a breath of fresh air. But will it live up to the hype?

This paper will give you a heads up of what to expect as it outlines the salient features of Indian Higher Education, the Policy itself, and the possible impact it'll have on the educational landscape of the nation which we call home.


Young Changemaker of the Week: Narinder Kaur Bharaj, MLA - Sangrur

A farmer’s daughter by birth and a lawyer by education, Narinder started her political career on the ground as a polling booth agent in 2014 when she was just 20 years old. Making her way through the ranks, she soon became the district youth president and spokesperson for Aam Aadmi Party in Sangrur; until she made her mark as the youngest MLA in Punjab from the same district at just the age of 27! 

Already an icon for the youth in Punjab, she has surpassed people twice her age through sheer merit and is known for her advocacy towards youth involvement in active politics. Truly a trailblazer for the poltical sphere of India, she is an inspiring young changemaker!