While Bangalore‚Äôs colleges have always offered a fair range of degrees in the social sciences, one subject that has been remarkably absent among these many choices is public policy. But that situation is gradually heading towards a course correction.
The latest college to join the club is Mount Carmel College (autonomous), which is launching an MA in Public Policy in collaboration with Bengaluru-based Takshashila Institution.
This is the third degree course in the discipline in Bangalore, and the only one open exclusively to women. Previously, courses in public policy were only being offered by NLSIU and Azim Premji University.
The two-year-post-graduation course is set to begin from June 2016 and interested candidates will have to apply from the Mount Carmel College (MCC) website.
The course will be jointly taught by MCC faculty and policy experts from Takshashila Institution, and the degree will be awarded by Bangalore University.
The curriculum has been designed by MCC and the Institution, and the board of studies includes some well-known figures from policy circles including Dr M Govinda Rao, member of 14th Finance Commission, and former member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India and M Ravichandar from the policy NGO Bangalore City Connect.
Over a span of two years, the course will cover topics like public policy, public finance, the Constitution and the political system in India, sustainable development and more. Further, the course will aim at inculcating skills essential to public policy such as data analytics and visualisation, writing and media strategy. The course will also feature a practical component with electoral campaign simulations, policy analysis exercises, preparations of legislative briefs and so on.
Pavan Srinath, head of strategy and programmes at the Takshashila Institution feels that Bengaluru is the best place to start a public policy course for various reasons.
‚ÄúOne, objectivity towards Indian national interest goes up as you move further away from Delhi. Two, many policies that are up and running have mushroomed from Bengaluru, like AADHAR and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Three, the city is also a hub for many think-tanks and non-profits working towards governance issues, outside of Delhi. It has over 40 of them. Hence, the city is a natural choice for us to start this full time degree programme,‚ÄĚ he said.‚Äč