Hyderabad: Coming from the family of politicians who were Members of Parliament (MPs) between 1984 and 2014, M Sri Bharat, president of GITAM was inspired to impact people’s lives through policies.
After getting exposed to the education sector by being on the board of GITAM for nine years, he wanted to create capacity building to meet the needs of the policy ecosystem, giving rise to the establishment of Kautilya School of Public Policy in Hyderabad. Through Kautilya, Bharat aims to reinvent public policy in India and beyond, by empowering next generation policy leaders with evidence-based pedagogy and experiential learning. Bharat tells Y V Phani Raj, the vision for the institution and the difference he wants to make. Excerpts of the interview:
Various pillars of the society-government, industry and civil society do not interact effectively with each other. The vision of the school is thus to enable rebalancing the roles of these pillars and build a regenerative, sustainable and equitable world. India faces a socio-economic challenge as underserved sections of the society remain stagnant and there is a need to improve their standards.
Our Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) programme will give exposure to all aspects of policy- economics, politics, business, law, ethics, communications and technology. We want to transform individuals who will cut across borders and restrict our cohort to 60 students. The two-year programme is being designed to be entirely based on experiential learning. We believe a value system will be the key for individuals aiming for the long-term nation building comprising-integrity, empathy, resilience, service to society, diversity, collaboration and agility.
First year of the programme will primarily have foundation courses in law, economics, communications and political sciences. In the second year, each quarter will offer specalised subjects and use cases. The candidates can choose from development economics or leading campaigns or aspiring to be civil servants. Experiential learning will be the core approach. First round of applications has already been screened and we are currently screening the second round of applications. We expect to roll out the course by July-end.
With a faculty and board consisting of Rathin Roy, MD, Research and Policy, Overseas Development Institute (ODI);
Nidhi Razdan, senior journalist & former executive editor, NDTV; Steve Jarding, former professor, Harvard Kennedy School; Anil Swarup, author and retired IAS officer and others, the institute is aimed at offering candidates a training ground that nurtures grassroot aspirations with a rigorous academic programme.
The school’s programme is also going to focus on the need for actionable and implantable policies. We believe that one should also be aware what policies are implemented at the State level and the Central level in a federal structure. Those who want to go in depth could be encouraged to go for a PhD after the master’s programme. We will also be receiving help from ODI, London on several research areas of public policy. We will work closely with the research advocacy groups.
We will be closely looking at our internal metrics rather than external metrics, measuring the quality of cohorts and how they have transformed at the end of the year. We can’t measure the success in numbers. We will be creating employment for the candidates who are seeking jobs, while others may look at a larger picture by taking an active role in public policy.
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