Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (GCPP)

Programme Fee:  33,000/- excluding 18% GST
Application fees:  500/-

Spring cohort: January – April
Application deadline: 10 January 2019
Programme: 19 January – 6 April 2019

Get an Early Bird Advantage!
To know about our scholarships, please check the Fees and Application Process tab.

Apply by 10 December, 2018 and get a 10% fee waiver. 

The Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (GCPP) programme equips students with a firm understanding of the fundamentals of public policy and governance. Students completing the GCPP will be able to apply this understanding in their professional lives and political discourse. This will enable them to better engage in the public arena as analysts, public officials, leaders and active citizens.

Through networked self-study, lectures, and interactive discussions, students will gain a firm understanding of policy landscapes and emerge better equipped to play a competent role in public affairs.

The GCPP is largely delivered online though networked self-study, lectures, and interactive discussions, allowing students to participate and learn from anywhere in the world and while working in full-time positions. In addition to the online components, there will also be two mandatory contact workshops.


The programme comprises three courses:

  • CP1 Introductory Public Policy Analysis,
  • CP2 Economic Reasoning for Public Policy, and
  • CP3 Effective Communication for Public Policy.

Each course will include readings and videos, along with live webinars and written assignments. In addition, students must attend two contact workshops (in Bangalore, India) which include guest lectures and participation in a policy stimulation exercise.

To successfully complete the programme and receive a certificate, a student must:

  • Complete the three courses,
  • Participate in the two contact workshops, and
  • Pass a composite final examination.

Students who complete all other requirements but are unable to attend both workshops will receive a Citation of Completion of Studies instead of the GCPP certificate. Students who are unable to attend a workshop can attend it with a future cohort. They will receive their GCPP certificate with such future cohort.


The full programme fee for individuals is INR 33,000 (plus GST). A limited number of financial scholarships are available for talented individuals. Separate scholarships are also available for students enrolled in full-time programmes at other universities. Fees, once paid, are non-refundable. Students have the chance to defer their admission to three subsequent batches without incurring any additional financial costs.

Admissions are conducted on a rolling basis, and early applicants will get an early bird waiver and will also have a significant advantage in availing scholarships.

All the mandatory categories in the application form must be filled in order for an application to be considered. This includes a statement of purpose and an essay on a public policy issue of interest to the applicant. Further details are provided in the application form.

A non-refundable application fee of INR 500 is charged at the time of applying. Your application will be considered only after we receive this application fee.

A bachelor’s degree in any discipline. While the course is not maths-intensive, 10th standard (or equivalent) level of mathematical skills is necessary. The course will be conducted and assessed in English.


The GCPP programme provides foundational knowledge of the policymaking process and the economic reasoning that drives policy. Students are also equipped with effective communication skills over the course of the programme. They will acquire the expertise to analyse policies based on the context as well as identify and understand India’s policy environment.

The programme is designed to help dynamic individuals engage as empowered citizens to make a constructive contribution to India’s future.


Our students represent diverse countries, languages, experiences, passions, and talents. Here’s what they all have in common:

  • Interest to play an active and more informed role in public affairs.
  • Commitment to learning, active participation, and academic success.
  • A record reflecting a strong work ethic, drive for excellence, and self-motivation.
  • Strong written and oral English skills. English will be the language of instruction for the programme.
  • A strong collaborative spirit and a positive attitude.

The programme meets the needs of those engaging in, or seeking to engage in, a broad range of professions ranging from the media, civil services, civil society organisations, law, advocacy, regulatory affairs, and international business. Individuals and organisations engaged in consulting, social services, public health, economic development, and international development will benefit from this programme as well.


Q. Is the course recognised/approved by UGC/AICTE and other Union or State government bodies?
A. No. We have not sought approval from any government body. Our commitment is to provide the highest quality education possible to candidates who seek it.

What this means is that the GCPP might not be considered a valid qualification for employment/career advancement within the services of the Government of India and other State governments. See this participant survey.

Q. Do you do placements?
A. No. 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).

GCPP students have found employment in public affairs consulting, think tanks, civil society organisations and private corporations. A few have also successfully cleared the UPSC examinations and entered the civil services. Several alumni have also started Masters and PhD programmes in public policy and related fields at reputed universities around the world.

Q. What are the fees I am expected to pay?
A. The fees include INR 500 as a one-time application fee (non-refundable and to be paid while submitting the application form) and INR 33,000 (excluding 18% GST) for the course (to be paid after admission has been granted).

Once paid, the course fee is non-refundable. A student can, however, defer admission to the course to the subsequent three batches without incurring any additional cost.

Q. Can I apply for financial support?
A. It is recommended that applicants seek financial support only if they cannot take the course without it. There will be a limited number of scholarships to enable deserving candidates to take the course.

An applicant seeking financial support will be asked to provide reasons why such financial support should be extended to them. If their application is shortlisted for admission and financial support, they might also be asked to provide further 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.

Q. What sort of work experience do you expect candidates to possess?
A. Those with 3 years or more of work experience in any discipline, but especially in the government, media, civil society organisations, and 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. See
this participant survey.

Q. Do students need to be based in India?
A. No. Students need not be based in India. The GCPP is largely conducted online, except for two mandatory contact workshops, which will take place in Bangalore. A student’s physical presence will be required for these workshops.

Q. Can this course be taken by someone without being familiar with computers and/or without an internet connection?
A. No. Students must have basic familiarity with computers and have a decent internet connection (preferably a broadband connection of 256kbps or higher).

Q. Do I need to mail mark sheets and other documents during the application process?
A. No. Students are not expected to mail in documents at the time of application. However, the Takshashila Institution reserves the right to require all applicants to provide documents to support their educational qualifications and employment history.

Q. I am a full-time undergraduate. Can I apply for the GCPP?
A. Yes. Dynamic young undergraduate students from any discipline looking to purse a career in public affairs are encouraged to apply for the GCPP. A few scholarships will also be available to deserving undergraduate candidates. It should be noted, however, that all students of the GCPP will be subject to the same curriculum.

Undergraduate students will receive a Certificate in Public Policy if they have not yet received their bachelor's degree at the time of completion of the programme. This can be converted into a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy once they have completed their graduation. See this participant survey.

Q. Are the two Weekend Policy Workshops (CP121 and CP122) mandatory?
A. Yes, they are mandatory. However, students who are unable to attend the contact workshops can request for deferment after providing adequate reasons for their inability to attend and participate in the workshops. They can then defer to complete the workshop component with a future cohort. Such deferment is only valid up to three subsequent offerings of the programme.

Students who complete all other requirements other than the contact workshops will receive a Citation of Completion of Studies. This can be converted into the full Graduate Certificate in Public Policy once they complete the two contact workshops 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.

Q. When are the Weekend Policy Workshops scheduled?
A. Tentatively, the Weekend Policy Workshops are scheduled for the fourth and ninth weekends of the course. This might be shifted depending on public holidays and other considerations. The students will always be informed in advance of any change in the dates for the workshops.

Q. Where will the Weekend Policy Workshops be held?
A. The venues for the Weekend Policy Workshops are usually Bangalore. The first workshop is conducted within the city while the second workshop will be conducted outside the city as a residential retreat. The workshop locations in the past have also been in New Delhi and Goa.

Q. When and where will weekly classes be held?
A. Classes for core modules and electives will be held online as interactive webinars on weekends, typically Saturdays. It is recommended that students keep 4-5 hours of their Saturdays free over the duration of the programme.

Q. Will some classes be held on weekdays?
A. There could be occasional webinars that are scheduled on weeknights, depending on the availability of guest speakers and faculty. Such webinars are usually scheduled to commence after 7:30 PM IST. Scheduling of such weeknight webinars will be kept to a minimum.

Q. How much time does a student need to set aside a week for coursework?
A. It is recommended 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. See this survey for more information.


"I've got to watch, research, & participate in policy analysis, design, implementation & evaluation processes in government, academia, and international organisations. And a really solid grounding in the basics of policy analysis & writing has been useful throughout."

- Ameya Naik is a lawyer by training, and now works as a policy advocate with                   Tata Sons. Read more about Ameya's journey into policy here.


Pavan Srinath

Pavan Srinath is Fellow & Faculty member at the Takshashila Institution. Pavan also hosts the Pragati Podcast, a weekly talk show on economics, public policy and international relations.

More Detail

Anupam Manur

Anupam Manur is a Research Fellow at the Takshashila Institution.
He was previously working as a Research Associate at the Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore. He has published over twenty editorial article in the Financial Express, The Hindu, NDTV, Scroll, Bloomberg Quint, and others on food inflation.

More Detail

Manoj Kewalramani

Manoj Kewalramani is an Associate Fellow-China Studies at The Takshashila Institution.
Prior to joining Takshashila, Manoj spent 11 years working as a journalist in India and China, where he also helped set up digital newsrooms and train young journalists.

More Detail

Nitin Pai

Nitin Pai is a co-founder of Takshashila and a graduate of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (National University of Singapore), Nanyang Technological University and National College, Bangalore. Nitin spent over a decade working in the Singapore government in various capacities, including deregulation, broadband infrastructure development and strategic technology foresight.

More Detail