The session was inaugurated by Ms Fiza Mahajan, a researcher at IMPRI, who welcomed and gave a brief introduction to the chair and panelists of the discussion. After the brief introduction by Fiza Mahajan, Researcher at IMPRI of Shri Bhartendra Singh Baswan, Former Secretary, Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
Process of Policy Making-
He discussed the concept of Public Policy Drivers by delving into the process of policymaking that starts with consulting the policymakers who prepare a white paper that is presented in the legislation and on the contrary opposition prepares the black paper. After detailed discussion, a committee from where ministries are formulated after rational discussions and shredding out the nitty gritty policies are finally implemented at ground level.
What drives Public Policy?
There are three issues that act as a binding force behind any public policy First deals with ideology provides a framework regarding what actually the government wants but it can also make one lethargic. He further described the process of policymaking by drawing instances from history as to how the policies of the Soviet Union impacted the final outcome of the war, along with some examples of World War II. Then taking into consideration the policies formulated by India after the 1991 Crisis of Liberalisation, Privatisation, and Globalisation, and how earlier restrictive trade practices have impacted the country’s economy. So ideology behind every policymaking plays a crucial role.
The second Driver of Public Policy is related to accountability and a transparent system which is being eaten by the bug of corruption in our society. Most of the policy makers believe that taking bribes is their right but in the long run, it is impacting the system our society works and has created a shallowness in the development of our economy because it reduces the total revenue of the government which can be utilized for better infrastructure building and upliftment of the society as a whole.
The third driver that he mentioned was Populism by drawing parallelism between politics and bureaucrats. There has been a misconception that politicians are unaware of the facts but in reality, bureaucrats pass only one difficult exam whereas politicians have to pass many during their five-year tenure. There needs to be transparency and accountability associated with politicians as well as in the case of judiciary and media.
For better implementation government can’t follow the policy of communalism as it explores only one aspect of policy making and the second challenge is related to the impatience being raised by the democratic structure as it is slow and requires consensus of the larger section of people in general.
At last Prof Mukul Asher highlighted the importance of understanding history while formulating policies that have been neglected in recent policy-making processes and urged the participants to read quality books on history for better policy understanding and better policy analysis.
The enthusiastic participants asked several mind-boggling questions related to the implications of public policy in real-life scenarios, the role of various stakeholders such as media, industrialists, the common public, and the government at large for ensuring the smooth implementation of policies, and then tools required to access and monitor the outcomes of public policy.
After a question and answer session, the program was concluded with closing remarks by Prof Mukul Asher, who thanked and praised the team at the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute for hosting a successful web policy learning course and for ensuring the smooth functioning of the event. The event was concluded with a final vote of thanks by Ms Fiza Mahajan on behalf of IMPRI, New Delhi.
Acknowledgement: Bhanvi is a research intern at IMPRI.
Teaser Youtube Video of Fundamentals in Public Policy Programme: https://youtube.com/shorts/mf-BjX1_C0c?si=sxDNu1yXzpmexPyc.
Read more session reports on web and policy learning events conducted by IMPRI: