Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports – organisations, schemes, policies

The National Youth Policy 2014 defines youth as individuals aged between 15 to 29 years, This age group forms 28% of the population of India. Moreover, 65% of the population of India is under 35 years of age. This young population forms India’s demographic dividend. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports promotes sports as a way to engage youth and to protect them from risk of substance abuse, fundamentalism, and unemployment. It also promotes values of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda through its events organised across educational institutions.


  • Department of Youth Affairs
  • Department of Sports


Sports Authority of India is the apex organisation for training sportspersons, and promoting sports infrastructure in India. Other organisations such as Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and several state level organisations support its functioning.

National Anti Doping Agency (NADA)

National Anti Doping Agency has a mandate of making sports in India dope-free. It publishes a list of substances prohibited for sportspersons in general, and for particular sports, and also maintains several dope testing laboratories in India. It also works with World Anti Doping Agency and Indian Olympic Association.

National Youth Policy 2014

  • Vision – To empower youth of the country to achieve their full potential, and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations.
  • Objectives:
    • Create a productive workforce through, education, entrepreneurship, employment and skill development.
    • Develop a strong and healthy generation by promoting sports.
    • Instill social values and promote community service in the youth.
    • Facilitate participation and civic engagement.
    • Support youth at risk (of unemployment, extremism and substance abuse) and create equitable opportunity for all, thereby promoting inclusion and social justice.

To read the full 49 pages policy document in pdf – click here.

Schemes and Initiatives:

National Service Scheme (NSS) (Rashtriya Seva Yojana)

  • A voluntary community service programme for higher education students, to develop among them a sense of social and civic responsibility and to give them a first hand experience of community service.
  • It is a central sector scheme since 2016. It was first launched in 1969, on the birth centenary of MK Gandhi.
  • It also organises events such as National Youth Parliament Festival, Republic Day Parade, Parakram Parv, Ekta Divas, etc.

Khelo India – school games

  • A scheme to strengthen sports ecosystem in the country at the grassroots level, by organising school games for under-17 students.
  • Candidates selected from these school game events get long term funding and support from the government to hone their talents.

National Youth Festival, organised every year on January 12, commemorates the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda – the youth icon.

Special Area Games is a scheme to identify sporting talent from backward, tribal and hilly areas, in indigenous games and martial arts, in age group 10 to 18.

More related information:

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

Headquartered in Canada, the WADA is an initiative of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with the mandate to ensure dope-free sports. WADA publishes ethical code of conduct and a list of Prohibited Drugs for sportspersons.

The list of Prohibited Drugs is sub-classified into “specified” and “non-specified” substances. The purpose of this sub-classification is to recognise that it is possible for a substance to enter an athlete’s body inadvertently, therefore allowing the tribunal more flexibility when making a sanctioning decision in case a ‘specified substance’ is detected. Specified substances are not necessarily less potent doping agents, this distinction is important only in the sanctioning process. 

March 2018: Many athletes in Khelo India games were tested positive for using banned drugs – furosemide and terbutaline. Since these substances fall under the specified substances category of WADA code, they were not suspended immediately.

Football is popular in West Bengal, Kerala, and Northeast states. Football events include I-league, Indian Super League, Santosh Trophy. 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup was hosted in India.
Cricket is the most popular sport in India, and is governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). India won the cricket World Cup in 1983, and 2011.

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