Theerda Reji, graduated in 2021

The highlight of my academic experience at APU was the faculty’s effective and coherent instruction of the fundamentals and complexities of economic theory. The rigorous curriculum, strengthened by the regular use of datasets to apply classroom learning, helped me improve my technical readiness to tackle real-world problems. Close faculty engagement and collaborative learning contributed greatly to my social and personal growth during and after the program.

As a person interested in applying lessons from Economics to governance problems, the M.A. Economics program provided me with quite a facilitating environment. My current role as a public finance specialist involves working on projects to augment state revenues and strengthen the budgeting and expenditure systems of state governments. In the last two years, I have supported the Government of Tamil Nadu in improving Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) settlements and worked with the Government of Andhra Pradesh in cleaning DBT beneficiary rolls. I’ve also worked with the Finance Departments of both states to strengthen financial analytics.

Zaeen D’souza, graduated in 2021

The graduate program in economics is unique — it allows you to study courses that are available in any economics graduate program, such as advanced micro, macro and metrics but it also allows you to explore non-econ fields such as sociology and ecology and encourages you to do fieldwork and qualitative research as a part of the course. The smaller batch size and close contact with faculty made for an incredibly engaging learning environment.

This program gives you the tools and skills to succeed in a wide range of quantitative fields — since graduating, I have worked in academia, data science and an international development consultancy firm. I thoroughly enjoyed the advanced courses in metrics, statistics and microeconomics, and these have proved to be invaluable in my day-to-day work which often involves things like building Shiny apps, custom Stata programs and more general impact evaluation work.

Mithilesh Verma, graduated in 2022

My decision to pursue my master’s in economics at APU was a rewarding choice. It not only honed my knowledge of economics as a discipline but also helped in my holistic growth. Key highlights of my time at APU include the faculty, thoughtfully designed curriculum, my batchmates, and unwavering backing from the university management. Throughout my master’s journey, I received scholarships and assistantships, which made my education possible. The faculty’s continuous support, both in and out of the classroom not only helped me in my learning outcomes but also it helped in my overall growth.

The rigorous curriculum offered an in-depth understanding of core economic concepts and theory with a strong emphasis on research orientation. It also equipped me with practical skills like impact evaluation, econometrics, and data analysis, preparing me for real-world challenges. Today, in my role at the Indian Institute for Human Settlement, I find myself well-prepared for impactful research work. My recent focus on public finance and climate mitigation is a testament to the knowledge and skills I acquired during my time at APU.

Dhruvika Dhamija, graduated in 2022

The MA in Economics programme at Azim Premji University goes beyond the traditional economics curriculum. The courses are taught within an interdisciplinary framework, situated in social realities, to develop a more grounded and humane understanding of economic theory. The curriculum offers an opportunity to learn about the history and the different schools of thought in economics, allowing us to engage critically with the discipline itself.

The programme also trained us with the empirical and programmatic skills required to explore economic questions of interest with data. The faculty is excellent; warm and passionate, both inside and outside the classroom. The classrooms are dynamic, fun and engaging with an emphasis on learning as a group. The critical engagement with economic methods of inquiry, software skills, and the nature of learning by questioning and discussing that I developed here have been very useful to me in my academic journey ahead.

Jeyasundari, graduated in 2022

The Economics program at Azim Premji University intertwined my passion and academic pursuits. Specializing in development and policy, it encapsulated a unique blend of theory and practicality, connecting our classroom insights to the world we inhabit. The courses offered an intellectual crossroads, allowing me to explore the intricate interplay between various identities, economic realities, market dynamics, and contemporary structural issues. The significance of the engagement with communities, an unique facet of the program was realized after entering the professional realm. Departing from conventional examinations, the continuous assessment model nurtured an array of skills, including writing and presentation.

What truly set this program apart was its ability to push me beyond my comfort zone, constantly challenging the boundaries I had set for myself. The most treasured aspect of my time at APU remains the relationships I forged. The professors, not only during the course but also in ongoing support, served as pillars of knowledge, guidance and which opened new career avenues and personal learnings. The unwavering support, care, and belief in my personal growth, devoid of judgment of the diverse set of peers that I had were invaluable. It was here that I evolved as an individual, looking back on my days at APU and staying connected with its people consistently reaffirms who I was and what I can and should do going forward.

Nancy Devpura, graduated in 2022

My time at Azim Premji University was one I will cherish for a lifetime. I joined the MA program during the Covid pandemic, and even through those tiny screens I received the best guidance and help I could ask for. What makes this program stand out from others is the individualized support and mentorship provided by the professors. I was taught mathematics, models, and coding, but what I was encouraged to do the most was ask questions – question the assumptions, the beliefs, the applicability of the models.

The program offers heterodox courses and challenges the conventional way of teaching economics by emphasizing the fact that economics is about people – chasing growth and development, but at what cost and whose? I am thankful to the professors at APU, not just for imparting valuable skills, but also for empowering me to challenge the established norms and explore the broader implications of economic policies. The dynamic campus gave me the chance to interact with people from diverse backgrounds which have been so influential in shaping my world views and my personal growth – an experience I will always be grateful for.

Students in the MA Programme undergo a mandatory field practice component by spending eight weeks with a civil society organisation or government official to gain insight into the economic work in the development sector. The field practice offers students an opportunity to put their classroom knowledge into practice and engage in action outside the classroom. Majuli in Assam, Kalahandi and Basuda Farms in Orissa, Kadivela in Telengana, Bokaro in Jharkhand are a few examples of sites visited by the students in the past as part of their field visits. Jharconnect, PARI, Indi Village Foundation, Parcham, Indo Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) are some of the organisations our students have worked with as part of their field visits.

Student Reflections:

At the Janta Darbar at Bandhra block today. The motto is aapke hak, aapki saarkar, aapke dwaar” (your rights, your government, your door). Yet it’s the people that crowd over one another to get so much as an application form. Women carry their babies on their back, the elderly walk all the way from their homes with a stick only to be denied for an endless number of bureaucratic reasons — no vaccine certificate, wrong age, wrong name etc. As Sanyaro didi tells us — the government tries but even if they can get some paperwork done today, there is no guarantee that people will get their rights on ground. ”

I got to know about real life stories of people, learnt to look at the story behind the story” — Rushikesh.

As for life in villages, quality air does make a positive difference (except when a fire was lit indoors each evening). The ability to discern constellations in the night sky was something totally new for me. The golden sunsets uninterrupted by buildings made everyone a professional photographer. The women working at the bamboo centre always had a smile on their faces. While this may not be a representation of their life as a whole, it is a reflection of the camaraderie they share in their workspace. ” — Abhudyay

I am also carrying back the plastic garbage we used during our 20 days in Majuli. It was not pre-planned and was started as a fun activity, but ended up teaching me a big lesson towards sustainable living. We found Majuli to be extremely clean compared to our mega cities and one reason for cleanliness is the negligible use of plastic by it’s residents. If we want to leave a planet worth living for future generations, the use of plastic must be minimized by all individuals and it needs to be done NOW.” — Ayush

Working in Development Sector is not like a typical 9 – 5 job. You need to be very sensitive and put in your heart and soul into what you’re doing. I learnt that when community members take the initiative to help their community, the results are far better. We had a notion about slum dwellers that they were uneducated and would not know their own good, this completely changed after the internship”. — Shubhi

As the last village, we visited was a caste segregated in all aspects we asked them the status of caste in Kadivela. All of them immediately said that they don’t practice any sort of discrimination and they are very welcoming. It was good to hear but when we were talking about the water system, they said SC people are not directly allowed to take water from the well. We asked the reason and they just simply said it is historical practice and had no explanations.” — Jeyasundari

The Economics Club at Azim Premji University is a student-run initiative that aims to expand the horizons of students beyond their classrooms through creative events. The club is open to students and faculty across all disciplines. It works towards encouraging students to critically think about the world around them by engaging with economic questions. The club hosts a range of activities each year including film screenings, games and quizzes, guest lectures, reading circles and poetry recitations. Through these events, it hopes to integrate learning and lived experiences through a practical approach.

List of events:

Semester – August 2023 – December 2023

  • Club Mela7th August 2023
  • Club Mixer — 17th August 2023
  • Demystifying Economics Workshop — 21st August 2023
  • Guest Lecture — Dr Sheba Tejani — 22nd August 2023
  • Panel Discussion: Gendering Economics — 24th October 2023
  • Interaction with students from Göttingen University, Germany — 27th October 2023

Semester – January 2023 – May 2023

  • Film Screening: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro25th January 2023
  • Panel Discussion on Heterodoxy in Economics: 31st January 2023
  • Panel Discussion on the Union Budget of India20th February 2023 
  • Fireside Chat with Arvind Subramaniam — 14th March 2023
  • The Faculty’s Selection: A Book Exhibition — 21st March 2023
  • Guest Lecture — Kunal Mangal — 28th March 2023
  • Guest Speaker- Jens Lerche31st March 2023

Semester – August 2022 – December 2022

  • Club Mela8th August 2022
  • Movie Screening – Do Bigha Zameen – 19th August 2022
  • Guest Speaker – Dr. Evans – 30th August 2022
  • Club Mixer2nd September 2022
  • Poetry of Resistance15th September 2022
  • Play Screening – Samajswasthya – 13th October 2022
  • Screening and PanelFaces of Climate Change” – 18th October 2022
  • Memes and open mic4th November 2022
  • Club 1

    Students at the Econ Club Stall in the Campus Week

  • Club 2

    Film Screening Do Bigha Zamin

  • Club 3

    Guest Lecture by Dr Alice Evans

  • Club 4

    Club Mixer Event for UG and PG Students

  • Club 5

    Poetry of Resistance

  • Club 6

    Panel Discussion after the screening of the documentary Faces of Climate Resilience

  • Club 7

    Screening of the Memes during the Open Mic and Memes Session

  • Club 8
  • Club 9
  • Club 10
  • Club 11
  • Club 12
  • Club 13
  • Club 14
  • Club 15