Myimpetus for pursuing Honors in Governance and Public Administration was never achance occurrence. Growing up in a third-world country with one-third of itspopulation below poverty line, I was captivated by the evidence of impact govt.
policies and schemes created on innumerable aspects of life–from infantmortality to foreign trade. My discussions about public sector developmentswith my grandfather, who was a Rank 1 officer in Indian Administrative Service,furthered my interest in the field, and my affinity for the nonprofit andpublic sector was confirmed when I volunteered with a charitable trust, workingon improving the livelihoods of orphan children, during my high school years.Myundergraduate coursework in Public Administration and International Relationscomplemented by my internship with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, where Iclosely observed urban policy execution, shaped my perspective on the processesinvolved with urban development. Through this, I recognized the importance ofresearch in the field of policy and wrote my first research paper on SmartCities, where I examined the connection between urbanization and sustainabledevelopment. This kindled a strong desire in me to pursue research pertainingto policies and develop my analytical skills. And my selection as a ResearchFellow 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 top5% selected international applicants.
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Guided by India’s elite policy analysts,I undertook the research on Right to Education Act (RTE). I quantitatively evaluatedthe grievance redress mechanism and identified key problems in the monitoring ofthe Act, such as missing accountability, lack of coordination betweenministries and disproportionate budget allocation. My findings not only assistedCCS with its pilot project on RTE, but my study was also published on itswebsite setting standards for the future interns to follow.
Myresearch at CCS inspired me to assume in-depth analysis of RTE Act and I designedmy dissertation to evaluate the implementation status of RTE through conductingcase studies of public and private schools. By reviewing the literature of UNICEF,UNESCO, examining educational statistics of India and interviewing directorateof education, school principals, teachers and parents; I probed the factorsaffecting the quality of education delivery.