Mydeep interest in pursuing a career in Governance and Public Administration, in hindsight,was not serendipitous. Growing up in a country with a third of its populationbelow poverty line, I have always been drawn to the interaction betweenpolicies and on-ground impact. With time and education, I realized that myinterest was not limited to any particular realm of policy; everything fromforeign trade to infant mortality fascinated me. My predilection for thenonprofit and public sector was further cemented whenI volunteered with a charitable trust, working to improving thelivelihoods of orphan children.Throughmy undergraduate courses, I developed a nuanced understanding of the publicsector, supplemented by a focus on the range of developmental issues plaguing Indiaby means of both quantitative and qualitative analyses. My stint as a ResearchFellow at India’s leading Public Policy think tank, the Centre for CivilSociety (CCS), enabled me to pursue core policy research.
I undertook researchon the Right to Education Act (RTE), wherein I used quantitative methods toevaluate the grievance redressal mechanism and identify key problems with designand delivery, such as poor accountability, lack of coordination betweenministries, and disproportionate budget allocation.Mydeep involvement with this project at CCS propelled me to take-up an evaluationof the legislation’s implementation status for my senior year dissertation. Usingquantitative data from secondary sources, and qualitative primary research, Iexamined the factors affecting the quality of education delivery, and areasrequiring intervention.Oneof the defining professional experiences of my journey was my time at theIndian Political Action Committee, India’s first cross-party advocacy group.
There could have been no better education as to how policy making interactswith politics. I also gathered hands-on experience on how demographics andinter-departmental administrative linkages between the executive and politicalparties shape the policy landscape. I studied demographics, electoral behavior,and political trends based on stratified random sampling and used that to conceptualizethe campaign strategy for the Punjab state elections. While working forAmarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, I measured socioeconomic andpolitical indicators of development for 33 localities by strategic interactionwith stakeholders and data analysis of demographic data. This led to thepreparation of policy briefs and manifestos, and helped finalize resourceallocation on Election Day, contributing to Amarinder Singh’s victory margin of 38%.Mycurrent position at the Suryodaya Rural Development Trust has allowed me to contributeto the transformation of rural lives by bridging the demand-supply gap betweenpeople’s needs and the system’s provisions.
Through evidence-based research, Ideveloped a monitoring and evaluation system to increase the efficiency of thedistrict administration.