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Youth participation in civil society and political life is increasingly recognized as an important development objective. The opportunities for participation that young people experience in their communities may influence their development and the types of transitions they make to adulthood. Moreover, behaviors and attitudes relating to community participation that individuals adopt as young people predict lifelong civic affiliations and perspectives. In India, the National Youth Policy 2003 has underscored the role of India’s youth in political decision-making, and has argued for greater representation of youth in appropriate bodies as well as more extensive youth participation in program design and implementation. There is a recognition that today’s youth, who have better access to skills and information than those of earlier generations, can play an important role in influencing political processes and the socioeconomic development of the country. However, evidence that sheds light on the extent to which youth participate in civil society and political life remains limited in India. This policy brief documents the participation of youth in Maharashtra in civil society, the extent to which they uphold secular attitudes, and their perceptions about and participation in political processes in Maharashtra.






Youth in India: Situation and Needs Study