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Ex-Bureaucrats nurturing Policy Specialists

Former Civil servants redefining Policy education @ KSPP

Event Column 

From Plato and Kautilya to Machiavelli and Locke

Public Policy draws on a rich history of political philosophy and statecraft literature, with influential scholars & thinkers contributing to the development of modern governance.

Plato’s “The Republic” expresses an idealized version of the ruler in creating a just society, while Kautilya’s “Arthashastra” is a treatise on statecraft that covers topics such as foreign policy, economics, and law.
Machiavelli’s “The Prince” promotes a cynical yet pragmatic approach to governance, whereas John Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government” emphasizes the importance of individual liberty and natural rights.

These works have had a profound impact on the development of administrative education and continue to be studied and referenced by scholars and policymakers today.

Transitioning to 21st century

The world has charted it’s growth story from Agrarian Community to an Industrial Society, and further into a COVID-propelled Digital Economy.

India -as the largest democracy presents distinct challenges for the administrative system in terms of managing cultural diversity, fiscal priorities and social-welfare requirements. Thus, Policy-making & governance skills (albeit veiled) are essential for delivering equitable and sustainable growth.

Public Policy expertise too has transformed from intuitive decisions to data-backed first-principles strategy. Gone should be the days of gut-based and wing-it approaches, now, multi-disciplinary knowledge and adaptive leadership should pave the way forward. TISS, NLSIU are leading universities for a Policy Masters, and realizing it’s emerging importance, IITs & IIMs too have established dedicated departments offering specialized courses.

Case in point, even the Indian Armed forces are looking at ancient scholars such as Chanakya, Kamandaka (Nitisara) and Tamil poet-saint Kural (Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukkural). Project Udbhav seeks to bridge the historical and the contemporary for wisdom on strategy & warfare that governed the subcontinent for a millennia.

Next-Gen Policy Specialists

It’s evident that traditional teaching methods will not suffice, as static academic curriculum limits innovative thinking. Here comes new-age colleges to the rescue, with modular learning and globally-aligned programs, story on one such institute below:

Kautilya School of Public Policy, helmed by Founding Dean Syed Akbaruddin (fmr. UN Ambassador, IFS) has envisioned a dynamic pedagogy, focusing on expert-led mentorship and utilitarian specializations. KSPP hosts an illustrious lineup of ex-bureaucrats and international specialists as Faculty & Advisors, complimented by esteemed Guest Lecturers from diverse sectors.

Dean Akbaruddin tactfully steering the MUN Assembly

In spirit of experiential learning, the department organized a student-lead “Kautilya Colloquy 2023“, comprising of two events (A paper presentation and MUN Simulation).

The Paper presentation (Theme:”Fostering Equity“) saw several groups sharing original work on National polity issues. Jury included Dr. Anant Maringanti, Dr. Amir Ullah Khan, Ms. Sharmila Chavaly, and Ms. Srividya Reddy.

Following it was Model United Nations Simulation, centered around UNSC (Theme:”Ecological Degradation: A Threat to International Peace“). As preparatory process, three eminent personalities- Amb. Sanjay Bhattacharya, Lt. Gen. Sanjiv Langer (Retd.), and Amb. DB Venkatesh Varma were mentoring competing groups in nuances of Global Affairs & Diplomacy.

Left to Right: Amb. Varma, Amb. Bhattacharya, Lt. Gen. Langer
Lt. Gen. Sanjiv Langer (Retd.) reflecting on his UN Peacekeeping stint
MUN Delegates

Policy specialists are often solicited for legislative or proposal drafting, CSR compliance and recently Government advocacy (FinTech, Emerging Technologies like AI, Pharma, Space etc). Such events are vital for holistic development and impart lessons in public speaking, cooperative negotiation & mediation.

Images credits belong to KSPP Community.

राज्‍यों से जुड़ी हर खबर और देश-दुनिया की ताजा खबरें पढ़ने के लिए नार्थ इंडिया स्टेट्समैन से जुड़े। साथ ही लेटेस्‍ट हि‍न्‍दी खबर से जुड़ी जानकारी के लि‍ये हमारा ऐप को डाउनलोड करें।

Prabhu Pradhan

International Consultant (Tech Affairs), Ex- AI Research Scientist

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