Definition of Youth

Nepal’s 2010 National Youth Policy defines youth as “women, men and third gender” persons aged 16-40 years old. Gupta, Kumar & Katwal (2011) describe how this was controversial, with civil society members advocating for a lower upper age (ex. 29).


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 20
  • 18
  • --
  • Female
  • 20
  • 18
  • --

  • No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Children's Act of Nepal

Majority Age


Source: Wikipedia

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 91.06% Male (15-24) %
  • 83.08% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 58.51%Male %
  • 61.15% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 13.00% Male (13-15) %
  • 5.30% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth policy of Nepal is from 2010. A 2011 paper and a 2011 survey add context.

Nepal’s national youth policy aims:

to make qualitative the role of youths and capacity inherent in them for building prosperous, modern and just Nepal, while integrating the youths in the mainstream of national development, through meaningful participation, capacity and leadership development.

It lists 16 working policies that “shall be adopted in harmony with the sectoral policies of the state", and includes: education; health and family welfare; control of trafficking in and sale of human beings, and; participation of youth in peace-building and conflict resolution. The policy is developed in the context of the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063 (2007), which mandates that the state “shall pursue a special policy to mobilize youth human resources for the development of the country”.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the national youth policy, as described in the policy itself. The ministry was formed in 2009 and was preceded by the Ministry of Education and Sports, as described by Gupta et al. (2011). A 2011 youth survey conducted by British Council Nepal revealed that a vast majority of the youth population surveyed was not aware of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The report recommends the creation of district level offices may help to address this problem.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The youth policy mandates that “an autonomous and executive national youth council shall be formed”, consisting of “representatives of the concerned bodies [...], youth organisations and office-bearers” appointed by the government. The National Youth Council objectives include employment training and campaigning against discriminatory acts in society. Similarily, Youth NGO Federation Nepal is a non-profit, national umbrella organisation of youth NGOs. It is self-described as “autonomous and politically impartial” and also lists MoYS as a partner/supporting organisation.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
NPR 1.3 billion
USD 12.8 million
On 14 July 2013, República reported that the Ministry of Youth and Sports was allocated a budget of NPR 1.265 billion (USD 12.8 million) for the Nepali fiscal year 2070/71 (2013/14). This is almost double the amount it received for the previous year. According to the World Bank, Nepal spent 20.22% of its government expenditure and 4.72% of its GDP on education provision in 2010.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank

Additional Background

From National Youth Policy, 2010: Evolution, Definition and Implementation (2011):

For Nepal, youth can be considered both the savior and a threat. Nepal would have still been under an autocratic rule hadn’t the courageous and pro-democratic youth flooded the streets. While on the other hand, the violent civil unrest wouldn’t have happened hadn’t the youth been involved. History and present have both proved that youth are indispensable determinants of a nation [...]

The drafting committee which consisted of 23 members had 17 members that belonged to representatives of youth wings of major political parties. Furthermore, most of them were above 30 years old. The rationale for defining age was based on value judgment which said that due to the economic and social context of Nepal, transition took a longer time. It is widely blamed that the drafting committee made space for themselves in the National Youth Council that was to be formed [...]

The definition was totally based on “political and administrative satisficing”.

From YouthSave Research Brief No. 12-15 (April 2012):

The Three Year Interim Plan (2008-2011), established by the Planning Commission, includes a Youth Development Policy and focuses on improving Human Development Index scores, employment and skill trainings, education and entrepreneurship, and livelihood support programs for those in conflict-affected areas (National Planning Commission of Nepal, 2007). In The Nepali Ministry of Youth and Sports has launched a number of programs for youth welfare, including the Local Youth Partnership Program of 2009/2010, and the Ministry of Finance allocates a portion of the annual budget to youth development activities, such as the Youth Self Employment Program, the Grand Youth Sports Competition, and the Youth Mobilization Program.