ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reducing the Age of Candidacy

The utter silence of Indians over the lack of representation amongst elected officials making policies calls into question the trust that the citizens place in the government. With the average age of 54 years of a member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, and 63.36 years in Rajya Sabha, the age gap keeps on widening with a decrease in representation of the youth amongst the elected officials in the decision and policy-making processes. Over 26.62% of the Indian population is in the category of 0–14 years, 67% in the category of 15–64 years, while only 6.38% are over 65 years of age.

The utter silence of Indians over the lack of representation amongst elected officials making policies calls into question the trust that the citizens place in the government. With the average age of 54 years of a member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, and 63.36 years in Rajya Sabha, the age gap keeps on widening with a decrease in representation of the youth amongst the elected officials in the decision and policy-making processes. Over 26.62% of the Indian population is in the category of 0–14 years, 67% in the category of 15–64 years, while only 6.38% are over 65 years of age. This makes India the youngest country in the world with a median age of 28.6 years, over 650 million people under the age of 25, and 845 million under 35, and the country’s workforce is expected to grow to 1.08 billion by 2050. The question that lies ahead of us is whether we have adequate representation in politics and policies in place for the young Indian demography? The answer clearly is a big no.

Participation of young people in the electoral process has the potential to reinforce democracy, ensure effective participation in public affairs, facilitate societal integration, and engage young people in electoral democracy. With this in mind, it can be argued that the age of candidacy must be reduced by a constitutional amendment that will review Articles 84(b) and 173(b) of the Indian Constitution along with Section 36(2) of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.

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Updated On : 1st Oct, 2022
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