Despite a youthful and rapidly urbanizing population, India’s urban youth continue to represent potential that is vast yet untapped. India Youth Fund steps in as a unique programme that identifies the greater role of urban youth in catalyzing the nation’s development, and aims to support their fledgling initiatives. To this end, India Youth Fund provides monetary grants and pastoral guidance to projects that are led-by and targeted-at the urban youth.

The programme was co-founded by Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation and UN-Habitat as a window of the global Urban Youth Fund. Its cohort is renewed annually, and till date, the fund has supported eleven unique projects in all parts of the country – from gender issues in the slums of downtown Mumbai to solid waste management in Dimapur, Nagaland.


India Youth Fund grants are awarded to projects that are between 7 to 12 months long.

Awarded projects will receive a maximum funding of Rs. 8 Lacs, disbursed in upto four equal quarterly installments.

The project must be sited in an urban area located within India.

The project should aim to create impact in one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Urban Land, Legislation and Governance (Creating youth space & youth friendly cities)
  • Urban Planning and Design (Training in governance & democracy)
  • Urban Economy (Employment, job & business training)
  • Urban Basic Services (Recycling, water, sewage and IT services)
  • Access to Health Information and Facilities (Improving health status of urban youth)
  • Housing and Slum Upgrading (Lobbying for access to affordable housing, training in construction)
  • Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation (Life skills training & services for youth at Risk, drugs, alcohol & prostitution)
  • Research and Capacity Development (Training, building networks & research)

Applicant organizations must be predominantly youth-led. We require that over half of the organisation’s board’s strength consist of members who are below the age of 32.

Applicant organizations must also be committed to gender equity by ensuring adequate representation on the board as well as the management structure.

Projects themselves must be led by coordinators who are below the age of 32.

Applicant organizations must be registered, possess 12A and 80G certification from the Income Tax departments, and operate a bank account in its own name. Applicants who do not possess these must apply jointly with a facilitating organization which does.


Applications to the India Youth Fund are web-based, and are open between February and April each year. The application system features a step-by-step interface that asks grantees for all relevant contact, registration, and financial details in addition to programme-related queries. E-mail based support is available for applicants to resolve any issues they may be facing during the application process.

After the application period ends, all submissions are subjected to an eligibility check and several rounds of screening, including e-mail and telephonic conversations. In October, a final shortlist is then invited to make live presentations in front of an eminent panel at the annual Young Social Innovators Conclave, post which awardees are selected and felicitated.

Project funding and implementation shall begin in the following financial year.

Please track our website for updates on the India Youth Fund applications.