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India needs public policy education

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability

 

Source: TH

 Context: Even though good public policies spur economic growth, and public welfare and improve the ease of living for citizens, there is little interest in public policy education in India.

 

Background:

  • Most executive jobs in the organised sector are in government/govt-owned agencies and require an understanding of public policy and public administration/public management.
  • Though the Indian bureaucracy has many talented people, governance is still perceived to be lagging behind private sector management (efficient, effective).
  • This is largely due to a lack of training in public management → policymakers are under-equipped to develop effective policies.

 

Why does public management remain a neglected field in India?

  • Inadequate formal education in public management as compared to business management education (there are ~3,182 institutions).
    • Only ~130 public, private and not-for-profit universities offer public administration programmes and only 29 institutes offer public policy programmes.
  • Few jobs available for people pursuing such courses are the reason why universities don’t have many programmes in public management.
    • Therefore, neither educational institutes nor students find any incentive to prefer public management courses.
  • Very few civil servants have had exposure to public management before joining the service. Also, there are a few opportunities for in-service officers to study public management in India and abroad.

 

Suggestions:

  • Public management should be one of the compulsory subjects for the UPSC civil service examination. This will help –
    • Civil servants have formal education in public management before they enter service.
    • In creating an opportunity or incentive for universities and private institutions to offer the subject at the graduate or PG level.
    • Students become better citizens as well as effective private sector managers.
  • The existing training institutions of the government should have a larger component of public policy as part of induction training.
  • The government can create certain specialised positions for public policy analysts to create new job avenues for the graduates of public policy programmes.

 

Insta Links:

Governance: Important aspects

 

Mains Links:

“Pressure groups play a vital role in influencing public policy making in India.” Explain how the business associations contribute to public policies. (UPSC 2021)