Public policy is a field that deals with the framing of policies that are meant to help and benefit the public. The Government has the responsibility of taking care of the public and its needs. For every such situation, there is a need for strong policy.
Policies help those in power to function systematically. Policymakers research extensively on various issues and topics and come up with strategies and plan to deal with them. The importance of strong policies and the need for policymakers was realised when the pandemic hit us. Every single sector of the country needs policymakers, otherwise, it would result in great catastrophe.
Public Policy deals with the concepts and aspects from various fields, from Political science to sociology and economics are studied in-depth along with this subject. Public policy is a Postgraduate level course which is not taught at the undergraduate level yet, except for in one college in India.
The Postgraduate Programme in Public Policy is for two years with the students being encouraged to take up a doctorate in this field.
For Public Policy UG Course
At the undergraduate level, there is only one college in India that offers this course. St. Joseph’s College, Autonomous in Bengaluru is the only college that offers public policy. Only a triple honour is available for this course. The students would have to take up the B.A. in Journalism, International Relations and Public policy in the college. These are the eligibility criteria:
The student should have obtained a minimum of 50% at the 10+2 level, from a recognised board.
They should have adequate knowledge of the subject.
For Public Policy PG Course
Many colleges offer postgraduate programmes in the field. These are some of the requirements mentioned by colleges:
The student should have completed 10th and 12th with a minimum of 50% from a recognised institute.
The applicant must have obtained a basic degree.
They should have obtained a minimum of 55% at the undergraduate level.
Entrance exams play a crucial role in admissions. Students should ensure that they prepare well for these exams.
These are just some criteria. Colleges have their methods and procedures for admissions. Some colleges even conduct an entrance interview. They assess the skills of the student and their knowledge and interest regarding the field.
Entrance Examination for Public Policy
Entrance Examinations are conducted by colleges during admissions. The entrance exams test the student’s knowledge of the subject. Current affairs play a very important part of the entrance examinations. These are some of the entrance examinations that are conducted for Public Policy are:
PAT- Policy aptitude test is conducted by National Law School, Bengaluru. The entrance exam tests the students who wish to take up Public policy in the college. This exam is conducted only for postgraduate students.
Jindal School of Government and Public Policy Entrance Exam- Jindal school of Public policy is one of the premier institutes in this field. The entrance exam is conducted during admissions and sees lakhs of participants.
Oxford Public Policy exam- The University of Oxford offers an MPP programme that is conducted for one year. It puts to test the various skills that are required in the field and also assesses the aspirant’s interests and passion.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences Entrance exam- The institute provides training and research opportunities for public policy aspirants. Those who wish to be part of the programme need to appear for the entrance examination that the institute conducts.
Harvard Entrance Exam- Harvard University is one among the top universities in the world for this course. It is very difficult to get into this university, and it requires years of sincere preparation and studies.
Besides these, The Indian Institute of Public Administration, the London School of Economics, University of Cambridge, Princeton University, Central University of Kerala, Amity University, St. Xavier’s college, Azim Premji and other such institutes and universities conduct entrance exams for their respective public policy courses.
Public policy is a relatively new field. Earlier this subject was learnt as part of political science. Over the years, the importance of this subject was understood, and it was introduced as a separate discipline. The need for good policymakers has been emphasised in the last few years.
In India, public policy is still growing and developing. It’s not yet a well-established field. There are opportunities available, but not many. The need for planning is yet to be understood by many.
Opportunities are open majorly in the research and teaching fields. Many choose to get into civil services after studying public policy. Private companies also hire policymakers to frame better and sustainable policies. Currently, public policy is gaining a wider audience.
It is an interdisciplinary field, and hence those who study this subject can work in various fields.
Outside India, we see that this field is very well established. Organisations and Human welfare Agencies hire policymakers to implement better policies. Without policies, institutions won’t have a structure. Organisations like the UN and other welfare and peace spreading organisations employ policymakers.
Public policy is becoming a popular field. Many have begun to understand its importance, and in a few years, this field will see a great many opportunities.
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These subjects are taught to policymakers
Society and its fundamentals
Basic of Policymaking
Governance and Institution
Evidence and Public Policy
Gender and Development
The Politics of Policymaking
Statistical and Quantitative Analysis
Foundations (Philosophy and Public Policy)
State, Governance and Sustainable Development
These are some of the subjects that are taught in the course.
There are quite a few opportunities available for public policy. They can work across various governments and government agencies. They can be part of the research institutes also. Non- governmental organisations hire those with profound knowledge in this field.
The knowledge expertise of a policymaker is of great help to politicians and legislators. Various international organisations also employ policymakers. Public policy schools and universities also recruit policymakers.
Public Policy Job Profiles
Policymakers work under various profiles, some of them are mentioned below:
A political analyst identifies various issues and problems that exist. They dwell deep into such issues and come up with solutions and suggestions to make them better.
Most policymakers are researchers. They study previous cases, conduct comparative studies to come up with better policies.
A lobbyist works with politicians, civil servants and legislators. Their role is to convince these leaders to adopt various policies.
Becoming a professor is another great option to choose. You get to interact with various children and teach the field that you are passionate about.
Public Affairs Manager
A public affairs manager closely analyses the various policies. Once they are put into effect, these individuals closely study these matters and monitor the results.
Chief Administrative Officer
They work corporates and supervise and manage various aspects of the company. They are in charge of everyday work and report to their seniors regarding various issues.
Public Policy Top Recruiters
Major recruitment is done by the government and research organisations. Here are some of the top recruiters in public policy:
Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty
Jindal School of Governance and Public Policy
Price water house Coopers
Bennett & Coleman
State Livelihood Missions
Asian Development Research Institute
Indian Political Action Committee
Indian Revenue Services
Department of Planning of State Governments,
Centre for Policy Research
TATA School of social sciences
Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Limited
Indian Institute of Administrative studies
Azim Premji Institute
Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd
These are some organisations and institutes that recruit policymakers.
Policymakers should develop various skills to be able to be successful in this public policy. Here a few skills that will help policymakers:
General Knowledge- Policymaking is an interdisciplinary subject. Besides knowing the fundamentals of the subject, policymakers need to have adequate General knowledge. They should be having complete knowledge of everything around them.
Current Affairs- To make policies, policymakers should know about the happenings in the world, in the nation and those in their locality. Current Affairs provide knowledge to policymakers and help them frame better policies.
Reading skills- Policymaking requires extensive reading. Policymakers read and research majorly. You need to be interested in reading and should always have a passion for reading.
Strategic Thinking- Policymakers need to think strategically. Their plans need to be strategized, they cannot suggest vague opinions. To make such policies, students need to develop the habit of thinking strategically.
Organisational skills- Organisational skills are part of planning. Planning requires organisation. Organisational skills help policymakers to come up with the right set of policies.
Analytical skills- Analysis plays an important role in this field. Policymakers have to analyse various problems and solutions carefully before concluding. The whole process of making policy is done based on the analysis the researchers make.
Observational skills- If a policymaker is observant, they will notice minute details that don’t catch a lame person’s eye. They will then be able to come up with policies that benefit the larger section of the population.
Empathetic- Empathy plays a great role in the life of a policymaker. When one is empathetic, they begin to have the ability to understand other’s pain and problems. Since the primary role of a policymaker is to make the life of the public easier, they need to be empathetic.
Emotion aside from work- Policymakers need to keep aside their interests and needs while working. They should not let their emotions affect their work.
These are some skill sets that policymakers should acquire. These skills will help them go a long way in their career.
Public policy is mostly taught at the postgraduate level. The programme is usually for two years. Some colleges offer a one year course too. Since it is an interdisciplinary field, the students are trained to understand and learn almost all concepts and theories.
Social science subjects play an important role in understanding this field. The entire course is divided according to various semesters. The students are taught law, politics, political science, economics, sociology, history, anthropology, statistics and other such subjects during the course.
After the completion of the course, the students are prepared to work under various fields as policymakers. They are also provided with opportunities to work with various companies and organisations during their course.
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