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Posted at: Apr 11, 2018, 12:09 AM; last updated: Apr 11, 2018, 12:09 AM (IST)

Path to govern well

Executive Education Programme in Policy and Governance
Path to govern well

Ruchir Punjabi

Improvement in the conversation around polity in India and the developing world can’t happen without the education of its leadership. Today’s generation deserves a leadership that is effective in building and managing the capacity of public administration. It should be novel in its approach of solutions for the civil society; and be adaptable in the face of changing circumstances and demographics in order to be able to solve problems effectively. This is only possible when we empower and equip the brightest in our civil society with the tools and training to effectively carry out their roles. 

President Obama once pointed out that we wouldn’t enter an airplane without a trained pilot. Yet in the public sphere, we often provide the cockpit to untrained personnel. Education in Policy and Governance will offer the tools and training to support the said people in our society. Education in governance and policy, thus, plays a key role, ensuring that the students of today, who will become the leaders of tomorrow, are equipped adequately.

Opportunitiesand scope

Education plays a fundamental role in understanding the best practices in public interest. 

How do you build a sustainable online community for civic engagement? As a political party how do you engage meaningfully with your civic audience? How has the gender policy evolved? What are the relevant laws and policies? What are the gaps that exist and how can these be identified? These are important questions whose answers will have a long-lasting impact on our society. Whether it is working in public administration, governance, NGOs, in research and academia, these courses will provide you as a student,  the necessary tools for the same.  

With a degree or executive programmes in public policy and governance, one is prepared to enter numerous areas in the government as well as in private organisations and in many other domains where the main purpose is to get innovative and advanced ideas and to make them fruitful for the development of the country and by and large to its people.

Public policy and governance helps understand the challenges faced by the state and its people. Studying and making a career in public policy and governance opens up many options for scholars in the areas such as, research and development, teaching, career in think tanks and independent research centers, NGOs etc. The scope of the public policy is not limited to the above, it is expanding further fast.

Courses and colleges

Today most of the public policy education available in India focuses on quantity over quality.  But several leading institutions are offering Executive Education Programme in partnership.  For example, Gender and Policy programme is being delivered in partnership with UNSW, UN Women as well as Jain University in Bangalore. 

Institute watch

  • Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, Sonipat — MA in Public Policy
  • National Law School of Indian University, Bengaluru — Master’s in Public Policy.
  • Azim Premji University, Bengaluru-School of Policy and Governance — MA in Public Policy and Governance
  • Takshashila Institution, Bengaluru— The Takshashila Executive Programmes on Public Policy


Most programmes are suited for those with an undergraduate degree. That includes post-graduate students as well as practitioners and executives. The executive programme provides a rigorous and inter-disciplinary conceptual learning experience to high- performing practitioner and  private sector professionals.  The programme aims to equip students with useful skill-sets and the latest in policy thinking and implementation around the world while facilitating a cross-border and cross-cultural knowledge exchange between the private and public sector.

An interest in the subject and the desire to use the tools to make a positive difference in our civic society will  help in enhancing the experience of the course.

Career prospects

Most of the courses in  policy and governance  have a blend of applied and academic training. That means education backed by academics as well as practitioner experience of real world application. This is primarily to support those keen on taking the learning to their real world. It not only supports their work, but also helps them get a more complete view of the respective areas.

This allows participants to get a thorough understanding of the subject — from a theoretical as well as practical perspective. 

Workshops assist in translating academic theory to practical ways to address gaps. Aspects like the growing importance of data etc are illustrated through real- world examples. The aim is to provide a holistic perspective that will allow the participant to hone the necessary skill sets necessary to achieve a proficient understanding in the field, thereby providing him/her with an edge in the career of his choice. 

 — The writer is Director, School of Policy and Governance


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