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Programme Design

The M.A. Public Policy and Governance is a full-time two-year year, four- semester programme of 72 credits with credit distribution as follows

i. Twelve core courses 36 Credits – In Semester I, II, III

ii. Seven Electives, 21 Credits – Semester III and IV

iii. Two Open courses, 4 Credits – may be taken in any semester

iv. Field practice, 11 Credits– All semesters and semester breaks

Core Courses: Core courses adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to understand and examine policy and governance in India and build methodological capacity to analyze and contribute to these domains. They draw from disciplines such as Anthropology, Economics, History, Law, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, and Statistics which are foundational to the understanding of Public Policy and Governance domains. They cover the various facets of Public Policy and Governance to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and temperament to subsequently engage with specific sectors and themes. Concurrently, methodological courses equip students to identify and define problems, examine underlying causal and interpretive processes and use sophisticated techniques for policy and governance research. All 12 core courses are worth 3 credits each

Electives: All electives are in the second year and will allow students to extend their understanding of the foundation disciplines, deepen their methodological training as well as develop domain expertise in particular fields. An illustrative list of electives will comprise courses on urban/rural governance, e – governance, gender, health, education, environment, budgeting, taxation, public finance, strategic planning, machine learning for public policy etc. Students will have to take 7 electives (21 credits) offered across the third and fourth semester.

Dissertation: Students who are interested in academic pursuits in the field of public policy may choose to write a dissertation for six credits in lieu of two of the seven elective courses. The aim of the dissertation is to build students’ ability in analytical thinking and academic writing. Through the dissertation writing process student are also expected to demonstrate their ability to apply and integrate knowledge obtained from the courses and the field. The dissertation writing process will consist of a proposal submission, and the writing and defence of the final dissertation.

Independent Study: Students can choose to do a faculty-guided independent study, in the fourth semester, in lieu of one elective course. This gives students the freedom to go beyond the syllabus and explore a topic of their interest, in depth. They will have the freedom not just to define the topic of their study but also to shape the course work and the parameters for evaluation. However, students who have opted for dissertation will not be allowed to do an independent study.

Open Courses: Students are required to do two courses from a wide range of subjects such as literature, arts, cinema, epics, science, history, dance etc. based on their interest. About 10-15 open courses are offered each semester.

Field Practice: Rigorous field-engagements and internships have been designed as part of the programme to help students learn by observing how policy works in practice. The field engagement, comprising 11 credits, will have the following components:

Field Practice Units Duration / Timing
Law and Policy Hub(4 credits) 8 Wednesdays through the first and second semester and 3 weeks in the first winter break.
Summer Internship (3 credits) 6 weeks between Semester II and III
Winter Field Project (4 credits) 8 weeks between Semester III and IV

Law and Policy Hub: Through the hub projects students will learn to identify and understand a real-world public problem according to a theoretically-informed protocol. The objective of this unit is to provide students with sufficient and systematic immersive exposure to the nature of public problems and the sites of public problems, which would include both institutions of the state and points of interface between the citizens and public institutions. Having got their exposure to the site of public policy students will also identify and understand a real-world policy intervention and study it in-depth. This is expected build their understanding of how policy interventions work in the real-world situations.

(a) The six-week-long first internship will be in a range of organisations which work on policy and governance issues. The students will choose their organisations in consultation with the field co-ordinators from SPG and the field team of the University. The field co- ordinator will work with the organisations to ensure that the students get to work on specific tasks so that they can “learn by doing” in a real-world, work-life situation. Students will submit a report reflecting on their learning during the internship which will be evaluated. Structured feedback based on this evaluation will help prepare students for the second internship which will be for eight weeks during the second winter break (between third and fourth semester).
(b) The objective of the second internship help them build on the learnings from the first internship by providing an opportunity to learn by applying what they have learnt in the class-room and the field-engagements in an organisational set-up. Further, the second internship also aims to connect students with the networks of policy practice and organisations. As such the second internship is largely student-driven and is for 4 credits.

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