Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (GCPP)

Programme Fee: ₹33,000, excluding 18% GST

Application Fee: ₹500

Next cohort:

September to December

Programme begins:

4 September 2021

Last date to apply to avail 10% Early Bird Scholarship:

12 July 2021

Application Deadline:

22 August 2021

Financial assistance offered towards course fees for applicants, economically impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown. Applicants who meet our admission criteria but have suffered loss of income due to the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown since 1st March 2020 will be eligible for this financial assistance.

Workshop* 1 begins:

9 October 2021

Workshop* 2 begins:

12 November 2021

Programme ends:

4 December 2021

*The workshops of Takshashila’s GCPP and PGP programmes are designed to be delivered as contact workshops in Bangalore.

Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to continue conducting the workshop component of our educational programmes online.
1. Workshops for all of Takshashila’s public policy programmes will continue to be held online until August 2021.
2. When we determine it is safe, Takshashila will conduct optional hackathons/workshops free of charge at Nandi Hills, north of Bangalore city, for all students who want the full learning experience. Students will have to bear their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Thanks to over eight years of our proven experience in managing online education, we have structured our online workshops such that the learning experience will be of the highest quality possible.

This course carries 7 credits or 105 hours of learning.

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 allowing students to participate and learn from anywhere and while working in full-time positions. The course consists of weekly online webinars (typically held on Saturdays) spanning 12 weeks and two physical workshops (currently being conducted online in view of the COVID-19 lockdown). Apart from the course fee, transport to the workshop venue and stay at the workshops will be an additional cost (once the workshops go back to physical format). You can attend the lectures from anywhere as long as you have a stable internet connection.

Students will study compulsory core modules along with students from other specialisations:
CP1 – Policy Analysis and Concepts
CP2 – Economic Reasoning for Public Policy – I
CP3 – Effective Communication and Media Engagement

As part of the Public Policy specialisation, you will learn the following specialisation modules:

CP4 – Frameworks for Effecting Change
CP5 – Economic Reasoning for Public Policy – II
CP6 – Writing for Public Policy


Students will study compulsory core modules along with students from other specialisations:
CP1 – Policy Analysis and Concepts
CP2 – Economic Reasoning for Public Policy – I
CP3 – Effective Communication and Media Engagement

As part of the Public Policy specialisation, you will take the following courses with other students who have chosen Public Policy:
CP4 – Frameworks for Effecting Change
CP5 – Economic Reasoning for Public Policy – II
CP6 – Writing 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.

Note: all workshops will be conducted online until further notice

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

  • Complete all modules
  • Participate in the two 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.


These are the milestones you need to know about before you apply to our courses:

Application: Your application is considered complete after we receive a payment of Rs 500 along with your complete application form. The entire process is online.

Acceptance: If you have been accepted into the course you’ve applied to, you will receive an email confirming your admission either 2 weeks or 2 days before the programme begins, depending on when we receive your application.

Fee payment: You will receive a link with the payment details after you’ve been accepted into the programme. This is part of your acceptance email. You will receive the login details to your programme only after you have made the full fee payment.

Induction webinar: During the induction webinar, you’ll be taken through the learning management system that you will use to access course material, the grading system, webinar schedules, attendance requirements and all the details you’ll need to successfully complete the course.

Weeks 1-5: The first five weeks of your course will include a combined class with students who have signed up for other courses. These are foundation courses each student must take to be able to successfully complete their specialisations. The combined core module includes:

  • Policy Analysis and Concepts
  • Economic Reasoning for Public Policy - I
  • Effective Communication and Media Engagement

Weeks 6-12: Your cohort will split into three groups depending on the specialisation you choose. At the end of the first workshop, you’ll have the option of changing your specialisation after a discussion with the faculty or programme managers.

Workshops: The two workshops at the 5th week mark and 9th week mark are contact workshops. Each workshop is intensive and spans 3 days. Attendance at the workshops will only be considered if you attend all 3 days.

Note: all workshops will be conducted online until further notice

Capstone webinar: At the end of the 12 weeks, you will attend a capstone webinar which will act as a debriefing. You’ll be able to ask any questions before your final exam, share what you learnt during the course, exchange notes with students and faculty and prepare for course completion.

Final exam: You will receive your final exam essay question at the end of the capstone webinar. Your final exam submission deadline will be two weeks after that. Your programme officially concludes after you have made your final exam submission.


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 two 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.

Note: all workshops will be conducted online until further notice

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.

Note: all workshops will be conducted online until further notice

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.

Note: all workshops will be conducted online until further notice

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.

The attendance for the webinars will be recorded. The students must have at least 70% attendance in the webinars. There will be a half grade penalty to the overall grade if the attendance is less than 70%.

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.

"If you’re a businessman or industrialist, I’d advocate taking this course. Because we definitely need to engage in public policy. Making government outfits understand what our aquaculture industry needs is still a work in progress. I can’t transform the industry on my own. If somehow I could convince more people in my own industry to take the public policy approach, we'd make progress."

- Aditya Dash is an aquaculture industrialist who completed our GCPP course and is now spearheading capacity building for shrimp farmers in Odisha. Read about Aditya's journey here


Ajay Shah

Ajay Shah is a Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). He is the co-author of the book, In Service of the Republic: The Art and Science of Economic Policy.

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Anupam Manur

Anupam Manur is an Assistant Professor at the Takshashila Institution.
He has published many editorial articles in the Financial Express, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, NDTV, Scroll, Bloomberg Quint.

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Manoj Kewalramani

Manoj Kewalramani is 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.

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Pranay Kotasthane

Pranay Kotasthane is deputy director of the Takshashila Institution. Pranay’s current research includes high tech geopolitics and the politics of radically networked societies. Pranay teaches public policy, international relations, and public finance at Takshashila’s graduate and post-graduate programmes.

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Nitin Pai

Nitin Pai is co-founder and director of the Takshashila Institution, an independent centre for research and education in public policy.

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