My the grievance redress mechanism and identified key

My
impetus for pursuing Honors in Governance and Public Administration was never a
chance occurrence. Growing up in a third-world country with one-third of its
population below poverty line, I was captivated by the evidence of impact govt.
policies and schemes created on innumerable aspects of life – from infant
mortality to foreign trade. My discussions about public sector developments
with my grandfather, who was a Rank 1 officer in Indian Administrative Service,
furthered my interest in the field, and my affinity for the nonprofit and
public sector was confirmed when I volunteered with a charitable trust, working
on improving the livelihoods of orphan children, during my high school years.

My
undergraduate coursework in Public Administration and International Relations
complemented by my internship with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, where I
closely observed urban policy execution, shaped my perspective on the processes
involved with urban development. Through this, I recognized the importance of
research in the field of policy and wrote my first research paper on Smart
Cities, where I examined the connection between urbanization and sustainable
development. This kindled a strong desire in me to pursue research pertaining
to policies and develop my analytical skills. And my selection as a Research
Fellow at India’s leading Public Policy think tank, Centre for Civil Society
(CCS) enabled me to do so. It was a moment of pride for me being among the top
5% selected international applicants. Guided by India’s elite policy analysts,
I undertook the research on Right to Education Act (RTE). I quantitatively evaluated
the grievance redress mechanism and identified key problems in the monitoring of
the Act, such as missing accountability, lack of coordination between
ministries and disproportionate budget allocation. My findings not only assisted
CCS with its pilot project on RTE, but my study was also published on its
website setting standards for the future interns to follow.

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My
research at CCS inspired me to assume in-depth analysis of RTE Act and I conducted
my dissertation to evaluate the implementation status of RTE through conducting
case studies of public and private schools. By reviewing the literature of UNICEF,
UNESCO, examining educational statistics of India and interviewing directorate
of education, school principals, teachers and parents; I probed the factors
affecting the quality of education delivery.

Policy
making of all kinds takes place in a political setting. As a Campaign Executive
at Indian Political Action Committee, I studied demographics, electoral behavior
of past three elections and political trends based on stratified random
sampling to gauge candidate suitability and thereby conceptualizing the
campaign strategy. While working with Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of
Punjab, I measured socioeconomic and political developments of 33 localities by
strategic interactions with stakeholders; and prepared policy briefs, speech
inputs, reformed manifesto and finalized resource allocation at booth level on Election
Day, eventually increasing Amarinder Singh’s victory margin by 38%. At IPAC, I
gathered hands-on experience on how the demographics of an area, future prospects,
linkages between administrative departments and political parties, and
interests of a politician shape the policy processes. 

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