Education

Ringing in a change

Public Policy is an applied and interdisciplinary programme requiring knowledge of not only the Social Sciences but also of Health Sciences.

Public Policy is an applied and interdisciplinary programme requiring knowledge of not only the Social Sciences but also of Health Sciences. | Photo Credit: Freepik

Colleges, universities and higher educational institutions (HEIs) have been breeding grounds for political movements to bring about societal transformation. Though Public Policy as an applied sub-discipline of Political Science emerged in the West after World War II, it has started to gain traction in India only in the last decade or so.

This is because, first, India is a relatively new democracy vis-à-vis the United States, France, and United Kingdom. Thus, the formation of a spirited civil society that can create communicative rationality, which is a pre-condition for a dynamic democracy, took some time. Second, percolation of ideas from the top (bureaucracy, corporate heads, and civil society networks) started happening more frequently only in the last two decades with the advent of communication technology. Third, the pre-Liberalisation, Privatisation, and Globalisation (LPG) era not only stalled economic growth but also democratic progress. Last, in this Information Age, students are so informed that they are thinking of solving problems on the ground at an early age. Given the diversity of opportunities this applied discipline of Public Policy can provide, the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Public Policy in India are seeing a massive upsurge in demand.

Multidisciplinary nature

It is important to understand that Public Policy is an applied and interdisciplinary programme requiring knowledge of not only the Social Sciences but also of Health Sciences like Public Health policy or of Natural Sciences in climate or energy Policy. Management Sciences form a core aspect of the implementation science. So, it is important to understand that a slow movement from the current intra-disciplinary frameworks of learning to multidisciplinary teams and even interdisciplinary learnings at the individual level and at different organisational levels is the way forward to bring about social transformation. The current challenge is the SDGs 2030; apart from achieving financial growth, social and ecological balances must be maintained.

It is important to understand that, in the 21st century, “Public” does not point only to the government sector. To achieve social transformation and impact the private sector, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the government have to work in tandem. Public Service is the approach and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - whether the mandated regulatory one or voluntary contributions - is the way the private sector contributes.

Not only that there is a need for negotiators between the government and the private sector, there is also a need for private organisations to establish links with CSOs that work on the ground. So, private organisations are seeing an upsurge in demand for Public Policy professionals who are skilled negotiators and have the necessary technical and soft skills!

The writer is an Assistant Professor at Alliance School of Arts


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 4:43:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/education/ringing-in-a-change/article65421807.ece