ISPP trains its scholars to be leaders for policy action. Our scholars not only undergo a comprehensive academic programme in Public Policy, but are also rigorously trained in management, communication and leadership skills. The one year academic session is divided into 8 terms of 6 weeks each.
Academics at ISPP is designed on skills, ethics and leadership to nurture masters of theory and practice, with the objective of impacting change. The curriculum integrates classroom learning, skill building, application and leadership and management training consisting of foundation, core and supporting courses.
At ISPP, we believe that the core components of learning are peer-to-peer interactions, healthy debates and discussions. Hence, we developed a discussion platform that is rooted in academics. The forum will allow the scholars to engage in conversations on a range of topics and will allow them to link those with academic components from the various courses and workshops offered at ISPP. The scholars can use the platform to make posts, reply to posts, and like/dislike posts and replies.
Even faculty members will have access to the platform and can use it to directly engage with scholars. They will be able to respond to questions and issues that scholars raise even outside the class. At ISPP, we are of the view that scholars should be participants in their studies rather than mere consumers. The platform is being developed based on inputs and guidance from the class of 2021. Hence, the scholars are helping us further build on that view.
Nishant Chadha and Soma Wadhwa
Workshops are academic sessions aimed at application based skill-building. Through the workshops, scholars will familiarise themselves with key policy analysis tools. Workshops will also serve to introduce scholars to theoretical tools, as well as essential soft skills required in the public policy field.
Six domains have been identified as issues that India will grapple with as it transforms itself into a more evolved society. During their time at ISPP, scholars will opt for 3 domains for further studies. Through a combination of lectures and assignments, these will serve to improve the scholars’ understanding of key policy issues in that domain.
Amir Ullah Khan
The Policy Writing and Communication Lab (PWCL) works closely with scholars to train them to write clearly and concisely on policy matters. It enables them to develop critical thinking skills such that they are able to express their thoughts and ideas in a lucid and well-reasoned manner. This is a hands-on training course which gives multiple opportunities to scholars to practice their writing.
At ISPP we provide language support to our scholars through language workshops. These workshops are conducted throughout the year and serve as an academic bridge programme to help scholars improve their writing and communication skills.
The PWCL holds one-on-one tutoring/feedback sessions every week. These are 20 minute sessions in which scholars are given feedback on their assignments and are individually tutored to improve their written work. Scholars are encouraged to discuss all stages of the writing process: brainstorming ideas, structuring and developing an argument and finally presenting it in a coherent manner. These sessions are crucial to the academic development of scholars who are required to regularly attend them.
The Antarang Leadership Lab (ALL) is an experiential lab. Antarang means ‘intimate’ and the lab is meant to create a comfortable space where scholars can have conversations amongst friends on issues that are relevant to their personal development as leaders. ALL gives our scholars hands-on, practical experience to build their leadership skills to help them both at ISPP and when they start working. ALL aims to make our scholars more aware of themselves and their surroundings.
ALL workshops kick off with a session on understanding yourself and identifying areas of your personality that need to be challenged. Subsequent sessions cover topics like first impressions and feedback; networking and building relationships; handling cross cultural situations; working in groups; making effective presentations; exploring what success means to you; and building resilience. We end with a 3-day leadership retreat in the hills. These workshops are led by professional trainers.
As part of the Antarang Leadership Lab, the class is divided into squads of around 6 scholars each. The squads are informal spaces where scholars can explore a range of academic and non-academic ideas. Each squad has a Squad Facilitator from the management team. Squads meet frequently during the year to help scholars build close relationships with other members of their squad.
Each scholar is assigned a mentor, who is a sounding board for their personal and career development during the year. These mentors are senior professionals from the government, corporate and non-profit sectors.
Public policy governs every action one takes as well as the outcomes of these actions. The Policy Praxis Lab will train one to understand why and how to make public policy work for the public. The lab explores a range of policy-related questions: How should markets be organised? What is health policy? How does public policy handle the diverse interests of people? How do we find out these diverse interests? How do we make people agree on a common set of choices, allowing them to choose differently from the same set? Through a series of policy exercises characterised by curiosity and empathy, through thought experiments as well as real life experiences of successful and unsuccessful policy interventions, scholars will be trained to master the science and art of ethical policy objectives.
Policy Parallax is a monthly discussion group that brings unconventional, out-of-the-box, quirky perspectives and analytical frameworks to bear on some of the most wicked public policy problems. The purpose is to expand the universe of possible alternatives and extend one's range of curiosity by bringing radically different view points to the discussion. Discussion topics include the desirability and consequences of economic growth versus distribution; the battle between capital and talent and its relationship with income inequality; how should one think about technological solutions that actually solve serious problems and what role policy plays in furthering or hindering innovations; voting paradoxes and why politics is more broken than economics; the challenges of democracy and how random selection could provide a possible remedy.