India has the largest population of young people in the world—over 350 million between the ages of 10 and 24, with youth between 15 and 25 years old representing more than a quarter of the population and contributing about one-third to the country’s Gross National Income.

This “demographic dividend” is commonly noted, but policy related to young people in India has not been a priority. Recently, however, policy frameworks shift the emphasis toward young people in important ways. The extent to which these policies are leading to implementation on the ground that effectively supports these goals, however, is unclear.


The study focuses on young people’s perspectives—on India’s developmental trajectory, their aspirations for the future, their actual and potential roles as citizens and contributors to social and economic development, and the barriers that stand in their way.