Ms. Sarah Berry
Sarah Berry is a consultant in the domain of specialized outreach, training and public diplomacy. She is currently serving at the Indian School of Public Policy
As any youngster, I had dreams of changing the world; some saw fulfilment, some are still in the process of fulfilment, while the remaining found a peaceful burial – the tools at hand were not many; the choices few, but the will remained in abundance.
Today’s time and age has seen drastic changes in the way future decision makers perceive change and work towards it – the approach sports better planning and careful preparation, and rightfully so, as challenges have become more complex, and demand customized, yet creative solutions.
India, with its rich demographic dividend is no exception – the resource is waiting to be tapped – eager to contribute and determined to succeed, but what is needed, besides being socially conscious and intellectually curious, is a training that can amalgamate theoretical vigour with experiential learning. The good news is that specialized educational institutions have geared up to meet this niche, yet growing demand of studying public policy. So, why does public policy hold the magnetism in the education domain, and more recently, as a full-fledged career?
Dr. Ajay Shah, Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, says, “When we take interest in the world, it's impossible to avoid thinking about state action. The state is the most powerful actor in human societies. Most of us are repelled by the behaviour of states that we see, but hope springs eternal, and we wonder about how States can be made to behave better. This takes us into the field of public policy, into the complex interactions between economics, law, public administration, political science and philosophy. It is fascinating, it is heart breaking, it is hard, and it is the task for people who like to climb difficult mountains.”
For a domain like public policy, where the required skill sets are based on fulcra such as derivation of logic from unstructured and voluminous data, multilateral intelligence, out-of-the-box thinking, communication and presentation, determination and perseverance, amongst a whole bunch of other pre-requisites, imparting professional know-how and training are based on amalgamation of a number of elements and subjects; in other words: a 360-degree comprehensive training philosophy, with a curriculum based on the theory and best practices of public policy from across the globe, supplemented and supported by technical, managerial and leadership skills to navigate complex challenges facing the county and sub-continent.
A career in public policy serves not only as a platform to be the change an individual wishes to see, but could also serve as an opportunity for holistic growth, unlimited professional opportunities, network enhancement and dynamic career progression – be it in the private or public domains; be it in the fields of research, academics, consultancy, politics…you name it.
Lakshmi Ravi, a student of public policy, at the Indian School of Public Policy recalls the reason why she decided to opt for this domain as a career: "Public policy serves as a platform for me to understand Government policies and challenges faced through a wider lens that enables me a clearer perspective. The study of the subject has helped me analyse feedbacks, ideas, opinions and solutions with an open mind, enabling me to understand the designing of customized solutions for everyday problems. As a practitioner of public policy, I wish to create an effective channel of communication between the Government, industry, communities and societies, amongst other relevant stakeholders.”
It is no wonder that with changing times and tides, the youth are encouraged to contribute, in whatever possible ways, to facilitate this change that remains the only constant; a change that is hoped to be for a better and brighter tomorrow; a change that is positive and sustainable, serving as a stepping stone for betterment and progress.