This Award Programme originated in the United Kingdom in 1956 as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (DEAS). The aim was to help young people bridge the gap between adolescence and adulthood, smoothly. Introduced in India in 1962, today it is called the International Award for Young People (IAYP).
It aims to encourage young people to achieve their full growth potential within the framework of Indian Society, and to improve their moral, social and intellectual well-being. The Programme also inculcates and encourages “Leadership” qualities.
The objective was also to motivate young people, aged 14 to 25 years, and involve them in a balanced programme of voluntary self-development activities, to take them through potentially difficult periods between adolescence and adulthood.
There are three levels to the award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Participants can undertake all three categories of the award or enter directly at any of the three levels in the following age groups; Bronze Award (for those over 14), Silver Award (for those over 15) and Gold Award (for those over 16 years). The minimum period of participation is 6 months for Bronze, 12 months for Silver and 18 months for Gold. For each of these levels a participant is required to undertake activities under each of the four sections. At the Gold level, participants undertake an additional Residential Project.
The basic structure of the Award consists of 4 mandatory sections- Service, Adventurous Journey, Skills, and Physical Recreation. Participants must complete the four mandatory sections to receive an award.