Career options for Public Policy graduates
There is an increasing demand for Public Policy graduates in the public sector, research organisations, non-profit organisations, consulting firms and international organisations. If you aspire to join the Civil Services, then studying Public Policy at graduation level can help you in making that dream come true
Graduates with a specialization in Public Policy are in demand in almost every government institution. All governments plan their strategies by seeking inputs from their team of public policy experts. A specialist approach is the need of the hour when forming the policy documents.
I had wanted to become a civil servant since a young age. My grandfather is a retired IPS officer and my uncles have been serving the nation as IAS officers too. Coming from a family of civil servants, I had seen the prestige and the satisfaction the title brings.
To fulfill my dream of joining the IAS, I enrolled for BA in Public Policy and Administration at UPES in 2017. BA in Public Policy and Administration at UPES with embedded Civil Services Coaching and Test Preparation, which you will rarely find in any other college in India. I will be writing my Civil Services exam in October 2020.
I have learned so much during the last three years. Detailed discussions on subjects like Public Administration, Psychology, International Politics, Indian Legal System, Sociology, Economics, and Development Studies strengthened my command on policy matters.
Every day after our BA classes, we used to have four-hour sessions of Civil Services Test Preparation (CSTP) and full-day classes on weekends. The whole exam preparation was so well spread across three years of the degree course. We had mentors coming from reputed coaching centers to teach us. All the mentors had qualified the mains round of the UPSC examination. They added lot of value with their insights and guidance. They told us to correlate our static syllabus with things happening around us. I learned to analyze the concepts in terms of their social, economic, micro and macro impact.
I really cherish the moments we had at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNA), Mussourie. Our interaction with IAS officers there was awe-inspiring.
Learning through internships
As a student of public policy, there are numerous opportunities for hands-on experience through internships. I got the opportunity to intern twice.
My first internship was at the Board of Revenue, Government of Bihar. I had the opportunity to work under its erstwhile chairperson, Shri SK Singh, IAS. I learned about the practical working of the state government and its operational hierarchy. The powers the chairperson of any government department enjoys – from executive to judicial – in some cases. I worked for the team on the Bhoodan Act issue. Regular trips to various government offices with the revenue board officers provided an opportunity to see the usually behind-the-doors working process. I attended several meetings and seminars pertaining to several land issues in various districts of Bihar, where village sarpanchs presented their problems.
My second internship was at HelpAge India at their Patna office. This internship had a lasting impact on me as I presented my final-year dissertation on the topics ‘Evaluating the state of elderly in India and situation analysis’. My interactions there gave me a chance to see the plight of the elderly, especially in the urban-rural divide. I helped many senior citizens to file for their old-age pension and subsequently got to know the state of elder social security in Bihar. I gained practical knowledge of the existing pension schemes and the reforms it calls for.
Scope of studying Public Policy
“A major challenge India faces is ineffective policy implementation by administrators. By teaching public policy comprehensively in classrooms, we churn out the best talent, ready to become the future policy makers of India,” says Dr. Aswani Dravid Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, UPES.
In India, the future of public policy graduates is bright. There is a dearth of trained public policy experts in India at college level. BA Public Policy at UPES is a unique course, one of its kind in whole of India, and its multi-disciplinary approach makes a much sought-after course. . There are lot of opportunities for graduates in government, consulting firms, non-profit organisations, and research organisations. In India, graduates who exhibit exceptional skills, can even become ambassadors, consultants, founders of social enterprises, and non-profit organisations. Alternatively, in private firms, public policy graduates can work as managers, policy consultants, public relations specialists or program analysts.
(The author is a student of BA Public Policy and Administration, 3rd year at UPES, School of Business)