Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an entrance examination for candidates?
No, there is no entrance examination. However, students can cite their entrance examination scores (including CAT, GRE, GMAT) to support their application.
What sort of work experience do you expect candidates to possess?
Those with 3 years or more of work experience in any discipline, but especially in government, media, NGO, business and corporate management, are well placed to take advantage of what the course has to offer. However those with fewer years of work experience and even full-time undergraduate students are welcome to apply. We hope to have a robust class diversity that reflects the nature of the policy environment.
Can non-graduates apply?
The curriculum level is set at the graduate level and requires a bachelor's degree/undergraduate education as a prerequisite. Candidates who do not possess a good bachelor's degree but have equivalent work experience or qualifications can still apply for the course, but the application must convince the admissions committee that the applicant is capable of undertaking rigorous academic activity and add value to the class composition.
Do students need to be based in India?
No. Students need not be based in India. Almost all the course, except for the Weekend Policy Workshops is conducted on an online Learning Management System. The Weekend Policy Workshops will be conducted in India, likely in Bangalore.
Can this course be taken by someone without being familiar with computers and/or without an internet connection?
No. Students must have basic familiarity with computers and have a decent internet connection (preferably a broadband connection of 256kbps or higher).
Is the course recognised/approved by UGC/AICTE and other central or state government bodies?
No. We have not sought approval by any government body. Our commitment is to provide the highest quality education possible to candidates who seek it.
What this means is that the GCSS might not be considered a valid qualification for employment/career advancement within the services of the government of India and other state governments.
Can someone working for the government (e.g. civil service, police or armed forces) take the course?
Yes, those working for the government will find this course gives them new perspectives, frameworks and skills to perform their duties better.
Can politicians and/or aspiring politicians take the course?
Yes, the course will equip politicians with essential knowledge and skills of the policy environment, enabling them to better work with civil servants and the public.
Do you do placements?
No. Not yet, at least. The programme is primarily targeted at individuals who are engaged in or wish to engage in public affairs (as policy analysts, politicians, political cadre, government employees, media persons, regulatory affairs managers in the private sector and students).
What are the fees I am expected to pay?
The fees are Rs 500 application fee (to be paid while submitting the application form) and Rs 30,000 + tax for the course (to be paid after admission has been approved).
Can I apply for financial support?
We recommend that you apply for financial support only if you cannot take the course without it. We have a small amount of funds to enable deserving candidates to take the course.
If you decide to apply for financial support, please give reasons why. If your application is shortlisted for admission and financial support, we might ask you to provide more information and supporting documents.
Please note that financial support is by no means guaranteed.
Students who receive financial support are liable to pay the full fees in case they do not complete the course with satisfactory performance.
Do I need to mail mark sheets and other documents?
Not at the time of application. We work on the basis of trust. We reserve to the right to require all applicants to provide documents to support their educational qualifications and employment history.
I am a full-time undergraduate. Can I apply for the GCSS?
Yes, we have made a few junior studentships available to undergraduates (in any discipline) for the purposes of class diversity and encouraging dynamic young individuals to pursue a career in public affairs. The junior students will take exactly the same curriculum as the rest of the class. Junior students will receive a Certificate in Strategic Studies if they have not yet received their bachelor's degree at the time of completion of the course. This can be converted into a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Studies once they have completed their graduation.
Are the Weekend Workshops compulsory?
Yes, they are compulsory. However, we recognise many students have busy work, family or academic schedules, so those who are unable to attend the contact weekends can request for deferment, provided they have genuine reasons. The deferment can be up three subsequent offerings of the course. Student who complete all other requirements other than a contact weekend will receive Citation of Completion of Studies. This can be converted into the full Graduate Certificate once they complete the two contact weekends within the stipulated deferment period. This flexibility has been provided to ensure that the course is accessible to working professionals who must balance work and family commitments with their studies.
When are the Weekend Policy Workshops scheduled?
Tentatively, the Weekend Policy Workshops are scheduled for the third and eighth weekends. We might shift these in line with public holidays and or other considerations.
Where will the Weekend Policy Workshops be held?
The venues for the Weekend Workshops are usually Bangalore.
When and where will weekly classes be held?
Classes for core modules and electives will be held online as interactive webinars on Saturdays(usually). It is therefore recommended to keep 4-5 hours of your Saturdays free.
Will some classes be held on weekdays?
Occasionally we will have some webinars on weekdays, depending on the availability of guest speakers, after 7:30 PM IST. We try to keep this at a minimum.
How much time does a student need to set aside a week for coursework?
We recommend that a student set aside around 7-10 hours per week to complete the readings and essential coursework. That said, each student has a unique pace so this is only an indicative benchmark to enable students to budget their time.