The Takshashila Institution’s Post-Graduate Programme (PGP) in Public Policy kicked off with a five-day workshop between 11 to 15 January 2017 at St Mark’s Hotel, Bengaluru.
The PGP brings together policy practitioners and academics from across the world. The programme is academically rigorous and attuned to the current requirements of industry, media, social sector and politics. Over a duration of 48 weeks, the PGP equips participants with a core set of skills in policy evaluation, economic reasoning, effective communication and public persuasion. Its emphasis is on how these skills can be applied to formulate and analyse policies in a variety of settings.
The PGP comprises of lectures, exercises and experiential learning experiences with some of the most eminent academics, journalists and practitioners in the public policy sphere. The five-day intensive workshop was the first of the four contact workshops of the programme. The workshops are specifically designed for students to get first-hand experience of public policy.
The first batch has 22 students carefully selected from a multitude of applications with diverse backgrounds ranging from CEOs, a BBMP Corporator, independent researchers, political consultants and aspiring politicians.
The workshop comprised of lectures from faculty of core courses of the programme and guest sessions on constitutional structure, effective writing for public policy, fiscal and monetary policy, quantitative analyses, liberal nationalism, technology in policy and so on.
Some of the prominent faculty at the workshop included Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of Center for Policy Research, C B Bhave, former chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Y Venugopal Reddy, Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), M R Madhavan, President and co-founder of PRS Foundation, Ashwin Mahesh, social technologist and former national vice-president of Lok Satta Party, V Vinay, founder and Chairman of LimberLink Technologies, and Nikhil Pahwa, founder of Medianama.
A key highlight of the workshop was the experiential learning session at the Bengaluru Metro where students interacted with chief engineers and the general manager of finance. The students also got an opportunity to view the operations centre, control room and repair bays. The metro visit was specifically geared towards getting the students acquainted with the nuances of transit-oriented development, public spaces, managing revenues for BMRCL, the implementation mechanism, the challenges and the solutions.
The workshop will be followed by a host of thematic webinars by domain experts over the subsequent weeks of the course. The next contact workshop will be held in May.