Introduction to Public Policy

Session Report

Fundamentals of PUBLIC POLICY is An Online Spring School Program and A Four-Week Immersive Online Introductory Certificate Training Course organized by IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, in the month of March 2023. Prof Mukul Asher took an informative and interactive session on Introduction to Public Policy. He is a Former Professor, at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and a  Visiting Distinguished Professor, at IMPRI.

He began by pinpointing the weak areas where people especially civil servants lack while formulating public policy as they lack quality data, poor economic reasoning, and poor legal backing. The key to good policy-making is relevant content along with thought logic. Then Intelligently he described the art of public policy with the help of a graph in which various indicators were highlighted such as population density concentrated in some parts of the country especially Uttar Pradesh and accordingly policies will be formulated, he pointed out the development activities near coastal areas vai Sagarmala, Bharatmala.

The major challenge associated with public policy and its proper implementation is richness in linguistic culture as there are multiple states with various languages and so are courses offered in native languages but the main task is to ensure unity in those diverse languages. Moreover for effective public policy trust in leadership at all levels and confidence in the integrity of systems and institutions is necessary. He further explained the elements of trust as well and emphasized ensuring a balance between the fundamental rights and duties of citizens for the proper implementation of public policy.

Moving further he touched upon the global and domestic context of public policy along with the relation between Micro-Economic Reasoning and Public Policy. Demand, Supply, and Productivity are considered the primary components of microeconomic reasoning with high degree of numerical literacy is essential some of the important key economic aspects are opportunity costs, moral hazard, principal-agent issues, asymmetric information, etc. He also shared some of the economic measures by Bibek Debroy with the participants by providing a brief introduction of what are reforms as they are more time-specific and context-related.

Mr Bibek Debroy has further mentioned that three organs of the state as per the constitution are the executive, legislature, and judiciary and reforms look into examining them and acting as a watchdog on them. Moreover, reforms are about generating a consensus of what we want the government to do and not to do and deciding which level of government should perform which specific task. So from a wider perspective reforms should be about the responsibilities of citizens and not just their demands.

Moving towards the end of his session Prof Mukul Asher concluded by showing a twilight in the dark as more people are adopting Public Policy which is a positive sign and a major challenge lies with India’s complex political economy to obtain citizen-centric outcomes.

In the end, he discussed four major criteria for evaluating public policy first is to make it economical by spending less and using resources at their best, second is to enhance efficiency by spending well, third is to work on its effectiveness by spending wisely and last but not the least is to ensure equity by spending fairly. To conquer this strategic use of technology can be adopted at a required scale that can he;p achieve these goals in the best possible manner.

Fiza Mahajan extended her gratitude to the speaker, and the engaged audience for their active participation.

In this insightful session, participants gained valuable insights into the complex dynamics of conflict and its relevance to public policy in practical life.

Acknowledgement: Bhanvi is a Visiting Researcher at IMPRI.

Teaser Youtube Video of Fundamentals in Public Policy Programme:

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