Public Policy seems something distant for a commoner like us. Most of us do not even understand how public policy impacts all of our lives, every moment in unimaginable ways. All our actions, reactions and choices while living in a civilised society of a nation are influenced by public policy.
By Anuva S Agarwal, Former Team Member at Rashtram
Public Policy seems something distant for a commoner like us. There is a perception that discussions on public policy are limited to the parliament or prime-time debates of different news studios. Most of us do not even understand how public policy impacts all of our lives, every moment in unimaginable ways. If we try to put it in the simplest words then Public Policy is a dynamic framework of laws, legislation, rules, and guidelines to govern a nation, its citizens, its public, and private organisations.
All our actions, reactions and choices while living in a civilised society of a nation are influenced by public policy. What we eat, how we shop, the roads that we travel on, the taxes that we pay, the punishments that we get for committing a civic or criminal offence, the books that we read, or can’t read when it gets banned. So, it is not only for Parliamentarians to discuss public policy. The citizens of the country should also actively participate in discussions related to public policy to ensure that we keep policymakers on their toes.
Introduction of Public Policy Bootcamp By Rashtram
Rashtram’s Policy Bootcamp (PBC) is an endeavour to provide an immersive experience of public policy to bright, young and curious minds through a 16-day residential summer school. 150 public policy enthusiasts (delegates) from across the world are selected through a rigorous three-stage process to find the best talent committed to the cause of nation-building.
The delegation is mentored by 50 plus experts mentor over the course of 16-days via multidimensional classroom and on-field experiences. Over the past few years since its inception, PBC (Previously organised under the brand name of Vision India Foundation) has served its audience well in easing the entry barriers for these young policy enthusiasts. It is also co-creating with them a space to nurture such ideas and sustain ‘systemic reform’ that the country needs.
Here are the 10 reasons to attend Policy Bootcamp if you want to understand policymakers, policymaking and contribute to nation building.
A Dynamic, Curious and Bright Peer Group Enthused for the Nation
Finding a bunch of people who have the right intent, who are desperate to change the state of affairs hindering the holistic development of the nation is the most exciting thing about PBC. Going through this program for 16 days with like-minded people who are willing to challenge and change the status quo fills the delegation with hopes and optimism.
Learning from The Biggest Names in India’s Public Policy Space
Only a swimmer can teach you how to swim, what might go wrong in the pool, and what to do if something goes wrong. Right? That’s why we call the biggest names in the world of Public Policy to share their experiences, journey and wisdom with the delegation. Speakers from versatile backgrounds like Professors from Cornell, Consultants Mckinsey and Sequoia Capital, Cabinet Ministers, Founders of policy-related organisations and Principal Secretaries grace PBC with their presence and knowledge. Sarpanchs of model villages and social leaders are also invited to enrich the delegates with their experiences. Heads of the biggest think tanks in the world like the World Bank and J-PAL have also been PBC mentors. The speaker list from past PBCs and ePBC can be seen here.
Immersive, Engaging and Enriching Activities Like Idea Haat
Deadlines in PBC are strict to keep the delegation on their toes, fully attentive, and engaged both intellectually and physically. Seemingly impossible tasks like simulating a policy project on a topic that might require a decade of your life, in four days; to shooting a film in 48 hours on an abstract yet deep theme ‘BeAndMake’ are accomplished with teamwork and dedication. There are mind-boggling themes, herculean goals achieved with the people who were strangers a few days ago. All these activities are alongside 6 -8 hours of the daily classroom sessions during the Bootcamp. The entire schedule is power-packed with such intense learning experiences.
Alumni Sessions by a Committed and Supportive Alumni Base
Interacting with the Rashtram/VIF Alumni on various themes like decoding someone’s emotional quotient using their social media information, fun-facts on Bootcamp survival tactics, their experiences of the Bootcamp, their current work experience, and more. The delegates are intrigued, and inspired by their extensive fieldwork from Himachal Pradesh to Kerala, and from agriculture to social media. Rashtram alumni are long-term colleagues and partners in the nation-building movement.
Making Life Long Friendships & Connections
Policy Bootcamp is a place where a bunch of curious, deeply passionate, like-minded, and action-oriented people live together for 16 days while attending classes, simulating projects, making movies, and doing prolonged discussions. This 16-day extravaganza will bestow you with some lifelong friendships, and connections that will come in handy throughout your life. Some of you will become influential policymakers, some social leaders, and some technocrats and help each other in their efforts of making a bigger impact.
Delegates Engrossed in a Discussion at Policy BootCamp
Discussions on a wide range of topics: From Foreign policy to Indic frameworks
The delegation has participants from diverse backgrounds – both academically and professionally. They bring with them a multitude of ideas and experiences adding lots of perspectives, and dimensions to the endless discussions at PBC. Discussions during the Policy BootCamp go on till late night. There is a designated place exclusively for these discussions called the ‘Adda’. These discussions complement the formal sessions.
Exposure and Possibilities of New Career Opportunities
Interacting with heads of think tanks, social leaders, senior management from corporates, and Government teams looking for consultancy roles have opened up wider possibilities of career opportunities that go beyond the BootCamp. The legacy continues till today with continuous updates on vacancies, through CAN as well. Policy Bootcamp can be your launchpad if you want to make a career in public policy. This is an organic method to keep like-minded, action-oriented people connected filling the demand-supply gaps in policy.
Quality time with Rashtram Core Team, Founding Members & Long Term Guidance
People at the Policy Bootcamp get to live with each other and some of the core Rashtram team members and alumni. The connections and friendships you develop while working and learning together for 16 days will stay with you for life. Some of you will go on to become profound change makers and help each other in making bigger impacts on the ground.
Push Your Limits Intellectually and Physically
PBC is always buzzing. Something is always happening. The day starts with a morning yoga session, then there is Breakfast. Delegates have to reach in time for speaker sessions. Be fully attentive during the talks and take notes diligently. After a filling lunch, one has to fight lethargy and pay attention during talks then discuss projects. Have prolonged discussions at the Adda. Talk to people and learn from people’s experiences. Remember all of them. Do the pre-reads. Have tea. Have dinner. Listen to your peers share their vast wealth of knowledge. Internalise the overflow of information that you receive. Sleep and Repeat. During the PBC you will have to follow a seemingly superhuman schedule and do it every day for 16 days. And you’re going to love it. Listen to some delegates share their experience.
Multi-dimensional Exposure and Opportunities
Each domain needs leaders not just Policy. And Policy Bootcamp caters to that need too! Shark-tank-styled start-up pitches to VC firms like Unitus Seed Fund and Sequoia Capital, along with grassroots work mentoring from organisations like Shivganga and Pratham are also covered in PBC.
Policy Bootcamp attempts to open the minds of the sincere seekers to achieve their potential.