Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan: An Umbrella for Youth Cooperatives in India

Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) is an autonomous organisation of the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Central Government, India. It has undertaken the promotion of the National Yuva Co-operative Society as a way to harness and to channel the productivity capacity of young people. Yuva means YOUTH.

The National Yuva Cooperative (NYC) was developed to encourage economic ventures by young people reflecting the spirit of self-help, participation and co-operation. It is based on the vision of a modern, powerful and technological India. The concept is to promote employment oriented and income generating activities through self help groups and micro-enterprises, with a view to helping young people to be economically productive and able to improve their quality of life; in the process they will help create a more self reliant and developed India.

Co-operatives are considered to be one of the most effective institutional mechanisms for developing a sustained economic development programme that empowers youth. In fact, India is considered an ocean of co-operatives where there are more than half a million cooperative societies with a total membership as high as 250 million members!

Youth of the country are highly idealistic and potent change agents and they constitute one third of the country’s total population. A significant number of them, however, are caught in a vicious circle of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. A large number of them do not have the opportunity to secure steady income generating positions. As a result, many of our youth are not in the mainstream of national development.

One of the major problems facing young people is that of increasing unemployment. While the Government is making efforts to create rural employment through various programmes, much emphasis will have to be placed on co-operative enterprises. This is why Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan is so important. It is one of the largest grass root level organisations in the world, having a network of nearly 2 million village-level youth clubs in the country.

NYKS is doing its best to provide employment to rural youth by providing vocational training in different trades, but more will have to be done to overcome the problems of unemployment among rural youth. Besides skill development, it will be necessary to provide counselling and finance as well as institutional and infrastructure support to youth to help them gain self-employment. It will require structural development intervention to enable them to assume responsibility for organising and managing co-operative micro-enterprise for their economic development. NYKS has undertaken to provide all possible support to launch youth co-operatives in the country.

The by-laws for the National Yuva Co-operative were registered with Central Registrar and Co-operative Societies, New Delhi, on 9th December1999. Workshops were organized during the years 1999 and 2000 with the help of National Co-operative Development Corporation.


The Membership of the NYC is open to:

  • Individual young people,
  • Youth clubs affiliated by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan,
  • National and State Level Co-operative Federations,
  • Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, and
  • the Government of India and State Governments.

Associate memberships are available for individuals, societies and institutions having business transaction with NYC. They do not have, however, the right to vote, to participate in the management, or to share in its profits, assets and liabilities.


  • To promote and undertake employment oriented and income generating activities;
  • To finance viable projects proposed by members;
  • To provide services, raw materials, and assistance to young people;
  • To create and provide marketing networks and support;
  • To provide skill development training;
  • To promote and support community service activities;
  • To promote self-help groups, entrepreneurship and micro enterprises among youth;
  • To promote e-commerce; and
  • To promote production - agricultural, agro-based and rural-based industries.

NYKS has offices in about 500 districts of the country and NYC works within the NYKS network. This network has become the largest grass-root level organisation in the Asia-Pacific Region, catering to the needs of more than 6.4 million rural female and male youth enrolled in 179,000 village-based Youth Clubs. It provides education, training, health awareness, self-employment, financial assistance, etc. It generates activities for the over-all development of the rural communities through various activities and programmes. Each district NYKS has a trained cadre of District Youth Coordinators, National Service Volunteers and Youth Leaders. Its strength lies in the vast network of Youth Clubs that it serves at the grassroots level.

Regular programmes provided by NYKS include: Youth Club development programmes; vocational training programmes; awareness campaigns; work camps; celebration of National Youth Day and Youth Week; sports promotion programmes and cultural programmes. In collaboration with UNICEF, NYKS has taken up a programme in Uttar Pradesh called “youth action goal-2000”, which has five major components, known as Panch Parameshwar: namely, child education, health and immunization, drinking water, nutrition and family welfare. The programme is being implemented in 9,000 village panchayats in Uttar Pradesh. In collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India, NYKS is also implementing a project entitled Mahila Samriddhi Yojana in 40 districts of the country. Finally, NYKS in collaboration with National AIDS Control Organisation has taken up AIDS campaigns in forty-five districts of the north-eastern States.

NYKS also implements the following schemes of the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports: (a) youth development centres; (b) financial assistance to Youth Clubs; and (c) the National Service Volunteer Scheme.

Thus it can be seen, NYC and NYKS have undertaken a series of programmes related to youth development, ranging from sports, education, social services in normal and natural disaster time to self development and employment generation, institutional development. They are the implementing agency for many other national and international youth programmes and the umbrella for the widespread development of youth co-operatives.

Creator - Author(s) Name and Title(s): 
Sweta Patel
Publication Information: 
Youth Reinventing Co-operatives: Young Perspectives on the International Co-operative Movement – (Eds.) Robin Puga, Julia Smith, and Ian MacPherson
Saturday, January 1, 2005
Publisher Information: 
New Rochdale Press, British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies