Public Policy Management as career in India: Column by MDI Prof. S. K. Tapasvi
Urvashi Dalal, 06 Jun 2016, #MDI Gurgaon
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Careers360 brings to you a column on Public Policy Management as a career in India by MDI Gurgaon Professor S. K. Tapasvi, Chairperson PGP-Public Policy Programme. He shares the skills required in this specialised field of management and the career opportunities that are yet to be explored by students in the public policy sector.  Read Prof. S. K. Tapasvi column below:

Public Policy Careers in India:


In a country where much of the power to accelerate change and development still lies with the State, Public Policy Management as a career is gaining immense traction. While earlier considered a prime choice only for civil services aspirants, today a large number of young and ambitious individuals are looking at Public Policy Management as a lucrative and promising career choice. There are new avenues for those pursuing this line of study such as policy making, private sector consultancy, careers with non-government organisations and coveted posts within government bodies.


India, today, is witnessing an increasing number of private sector consultants offering their services to various departments of the government for smoother operations and higher outputs. These consultancies are not limited only to government institutions dealing with revenue and finance but are now also poised to meet the significant growth in demand in localised departments. This increasing involvement is helping the local authorities and corporations to be more competent and efficient in their daily operations and often require the expertise of Public Policy professionals on a day-to-day basis. 


Public policy mandates the identification of a public problem and aims to resolve it by either reforming an existing policy or by devising a new policy based on the complication. These problems can originate in a countless number of ways and require a problem-specific policy response, i.e. by the modes of regulations, subsidies, quotas, and laws, and ought to be exercised on a local, national, or an international level, as per requirement. With constant reforms taking place in India and concepts such as Digital India, Make in India, Affordable Housing, Smart Cities, etc. beginning to take shape, it is further projected that the Public Policy Sector is going to witness a tremendous boom in the near future.


The sector currently witnesses a shortfall in dynamic policy makers to deal with complex problems elaborately and effectively. It has thus become mandatory to train sufficient manpower to meet the skyrocketing demand of policy makers of the future. However, getting hold of complex public affairs is neither easy nor manageable with a generic approach. This is the exact reason why courses like social science and management, despite being highly relevant, fail to serve the actual, accurate needs when gauged from a specific Public Policy lens. Although a number of key subjects in these courses such as ‘Public Administration’ and ‘Political Science’ deal with issues relating to public affairs they are hardly focused on targeting Public Policy formulations and problem-solving.


In view of this typical pattern, leading universities in India have incorporated Public Policy in their active curriculum providing deep insights and practical enhancement for aspirants in this line of work. Such courses polish the skill set of an individual and develop a problem-solving attitude with rigorous practical training, highly interactive classes, and essential industrial exposure to ensure holistic dexterity in the required field. A career in Public Policy provides individuals with an opportunity to work with the government and have a say in key policy decisions, making it both intriguing as well as challenging.


A post-graduate degree or diploma in Public Policy offers students an in-depth understanding of all aspects of social science, humanities, management, research methods and quantitative skills. This gives them resounding excellence in delivering much greater output while devising solutions to complex policy problems. Many public policy programmes also integrate information technology, quantitative analysis, and management skills in their skill-based curriculum to ensure that the students remain well synced with the desired finesse and maintain a sturdy aptitude for Public Policies.


The Western world has always acknowledged the importance of policy-making and the need for professionals with deep prowess in this realm. This has resulted in their enhanced governmental functioning, policy formulations and active resolution of the crisis in the public domain. India, too, is now waking up to realise the true potential for dedicated academic courses for Public Policy Management. There is a well-recognized respect for Public Policy professionals and an anticipated, unprecedented demand. As a result, courses in this sphere are fast catching up in popularity. As more and more organisations begin to understand the merit that trained Public Policy experts bring to the table, not only will the propensity of students to pursue these courses go up, the country will also be able to see tangible results in terms of the work being done in the public sphere.


Stay tuned to for more news and updates


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