In a short live webinar on public policy as a career path, Catalyst Learning Services gave an associate professor and students of the M.A. in Public Policy the opportunity to speak about the public policy programme at Christ (Deemed to be University). The students gave a thorough explanation of the M.A. Public Policy programme at Christ University, the learning environment and campus culture, the employment prospects in the field, and the necessity and significance of such a curriculum.
Sauraveswar Sen, Founder - Mentor of Catalyst conducted the live session. Dr Tarun Arora, Associate Professor, Christ University Bangalore was the guest speaker along with current students of M.A. Public Policy, CHRIST University, Bangalore, namely Tejasvi Rajesh, Shiv Chhatrala, Sakshi Jain, Nidhi Gururaj.
Sauraveswar Sen, Dr Tarun Arorant, Tejasvi Rajesh, Shiv Chhatrala, Nidhi Gururaj and Sakshi Jain YouTube
The session began with Sauraveswar asking Dr Tarun Arora an interesting question, ‘How would you introduce Public Policy as an academic program?’
‘Public Policy as a course is being launched by a lot of universities and pulling out all the other traditional courses such as M.A. in Political Science. People often don’t understand what they are getting from this course but there are 3 unique elements of it which are as follows: Public Policy attracts diversity from all the educational streams; The course is all about making a policy and gives an idea of how in a systematic way people can fulfill their objective of helping other people and it opens several career opportunities; Public Policy is a professional course rather than an academic course as it makes one professional and changes their outlook as they have to be with people, work for people and make policies for these people,’ said Dr Tarun Arora.
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‘In terms of helping people, as a Citizen, we see so much around us in our daily life and often we wonder how we can change them. With a course like Public Policy, one learns why the problem is the problem today or how they can better solve the problem. There are multiple lenses via which these problems could be solved such as economics, sociology, administration and others but instead of specializing in one of these courses, enrolling in a Public Policy course gives a student an all-around idea and help them see the solution to the problems in an innovative way,’ according to Tejasvi Rajesh, a second-year student of M.A. Public Policy.
‘Public Policy is not just a replacement for traditional courses in postgraduate but it has also become an undergraduate course as BA in Public Policy. It is now a requirement instead of just being a discipline. Earlier only bureaucrats were part of the government but now that’s not the scene. One can be a policy-making graduate and be a part of the policy-making process. One can work in various industries such as think tanks, corporate and advocacy as well,’ added Shiv.
People have lately realised that Public policy can be a tool to make a difference with far-reaching effects. Anyone who knows the art of policymaking has the potential to bring about significant change.
With students coming from different states of the country, they understand the issues and problems of several cities besides their own in a Public Policy class.
How does a graduate from a different academic background such as Humanities, Engineering, Commerce and others get aligned with the commonality of a Public Policy course?
‘There is no commonality at all. The idea is to diversify and get diverse opinions as much as we can in the course. The only commonality is the process but the ideas and views are diverse. For example, Tejasvi is from a Law background so she brings in Law opinions and it expands everyone’s horizon. Understanding all the different perspectives and angles, graduates from different academic backgrounds help in a Public Policy class, said Dr Tarun.
‘The first semester establishes the foundation of our constitutions, how policy analysis is done, basic steps towards the formation of policies, the economic side of the country, geopolitical, religion, history and ethics are included in Public Policy 1st Semester with a total of 6 papers,’ mentioned Nidhi when asked about Public Policy 1st Semester syllabus.
At Christ University, the curriculum includes tweaking the course with the elements of what’s happening outside the classroom which helps in developing the required skillsets. Candidates who want to make a career in Corporate Public Policy need to start doing high-networking and follow those people who are in this sector to understand all the minute requirements.
The webinar also threw light on Policy Nudge, a platform where Christ University tries to bridge the gap between industry and academia by facilitating a dialogue between Public Policy Professionals and students. The sessions talk about knowing the professionals, the career opportunities after the course and the skills required in the industry.
Public Policy in Climate Change is one of the most preferable specializations in today’s time. One needs to have niche skills and a particular sector of specialisation in Public Policy to find several career opportunities.
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Sakshi added, ‘Public Policy is all about how well you are able to connect with the current affairs, how well you are aware of the issues around you, and how innovatively you bring out the solutions into the society.’
‘Enterprise and Innovation sector really feel the need to know the taste of the government and what their future will be. And here Public Policymakers come into the picture helping the sectors in bridging the space between the company and the government,’ said Shiv when asked about how Public Policy impacts the Innovation and Enterprise sector.
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Public Policy is not as theoretical as people think it is. Students come to learn about the importance of data and understand the significance of the values in the formation of policies and their implementation. When one truly understands the numbers, one can identify the gaps and find the solutions to them. However, in the field of Public Policy, without practical exposure, the theory doesn’t really work. One needs to know how to implement and apply their course curriculum in the field.
To get into Public Policy at Christ University, candidates have to fill up the application form online which comes in December every year and then appear for the interview with the faculty, which lasts around 10-15 minutes. The main objective of the interview is to understand a candidate’s basic background & their interest in getting into Public Policy.
Candidates are not required to completely understand Public Policy since they all come from different academic backgrounds but knowing the in-and-out of their undergraduate course will be beneficial to excel in the interview round of the course. After the interview, candidates have to do a micro presentation on particular issues along with providing an innovative solution.
You can watch the Webinar here: