M.A. Public Policy

Course Start Date
01 Aug 2020

Course End Date
07 Aug 2022

2 Years

Program Fee (Yearly)

Rs. 2.50 Lacs

Programme Details


Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP)  MA Public Policy programme. This Masters programme will equip students to perform effectively in complex policy environments. It is interdisciplinary in approach and enables students to address contemporary political, economic and social issues in a coherent and comprehensive manner. The Masters programme imparts a strong training, in theory, covering key literature and debates. Students develop quantitative and qualitative analytical skills, receive an exposure to the real world policy making process, and enhance their managerial skills.

We encourage students to choose courses and topics which help them to explore their intellectual curiosity. The challenge before the policymakers and public leaders is to find solutions to the developmental problems, to defend democratic values, and to resist authoritarian impulses to ‘catch up’ with or mimic less democratic countries. The programme has been designed to equip future policymakers and public leaders with competence to perform effectively in challenging environments. Students are put through a rigorous process of assessment via class tests, research papers and final Masters Dissertation


Bachelor’s degree from any UGC recognized university in India or its equivalent. 

Credit Structure

Two year full-time, residential programme with practical exposure through internships will commence in first week of August. The students are required to successfully complete 16 courses spread over four semesters, write a dissertation or undertake Capstone Project.

Course Structure

Admission Helpline

Mr. Hemant Prakash Sharma
Deputy Director, Admissions and Outreach
M : +91-8396907494
Ms. Rekha Vashishth
Admission Counsellor, Admissions and Outreach
M : +91-7027850289

All Courses

Law, Governance and Institution

Governance refers to the theories of social coordination and the practices that give rise to dilemmas of allocation, rights, jurisdiction, and logic of decisions – issues that are increasingly determined by courts. New studies on governance replace a focus on the formal institutions of states and governments with a focus on non-state actors that have blurred the boundary between state and society. Governance is then seen as hybrid and multijurisdictional, with plural stakeholders who come together in 'network'. In this course, we focus on the network of governance and the role of institutions – state and non-state - and analyse three aspects of the new phenomenon of governance – its hybridity; its multi-jurisdictionality and the plurality of the stakeholders involved - in order to understand and identify the space within which governance. In doing this, we assess the role of organizations and laws in providing a canvass for these networks to operate.

Statistical and Data Analysis

Statistics is a method of, investigation that is used when other methods are of no avail; it is often a last resort and a forlorn hope. A statistical analysis, properly conducted, is a delicate dissection of uncertainties, a surgery of suppositions. The surgeon must guard carefully against false incisions with his scalpel. Very often he has to sew up the patient as inoperable. The public knows too little about the statistician as a conscientious and skilled servant of true science.

Qualitative Research Methodology

Qualitative Research Methodology is a field of inquiry that cuts across different disciplines viz., anthropology, history and political science. It is informed by a variety of epistemologies and is constituted of interconnected family of terms, concepts and assumptions. The aim of this course is to introduce students to various strands of qualitative research methodology and methods used to analyze the field data. The course will cover the following themes: Distinction between Research Methodology and Methods. Competing paradigms underpinning Qualitative Research Methodology An introduction to research process, including the use of literature at different stages of research Research Design Data Collection (introduction to text, voice and images) Data Analysis (Textual, sound and images) Developing Theory from Qualitative Data

Introduction to Public Policy Process

Understanding the policy process is crucial for examining policy problems and formulating appropriate solutions that can be implemented. This course examines the theoretical approaches and lenses to the study of public policy and policy process rather than the substantive content of the public policies. References made to the content of the policies will be incidental to the discussion of the public policy theories. The topics covered will include all the major theories and theoretical frameworks of policy process which are actively being pursued by current researchers of public policy. These include among others Multiple Streams, Punctuated Equilibrium, Advocacy Coalition Framework and Institutional Analysis and Development.

Economics for Public Policy I

Scarcity and trade-offs, opportunity cost, marginal analysis, positive vs. normative analysis, prices and markets, concept of equilibrium, ceteris paribus, competitive versus noncompetitive markets, real vs nominal price, the production possibilities frontier, specialization and trade, absolute advantage vs comparative advantage, representation of economic data with graphs, slope and elasticity.

Public Finance and Administration

The objective of the course is to prepare students to understand the principles of public finance and the theory and practice of public administration with respect to India. It includes budgeting i.e. taxing and spending activities of government, what those activities ought to be and how the real resources of an economy could be used for furthering human wellbeing. The course focuses on the role of the government and addresses issues like why does government engage in some activities and not others, why this scope is changing over time and how it could perform its chosen economic role more efficiently and effectively. It would explore some evolving issues in public finance for emerging and developing economies at the national and sub-national levels. It would discuss the institutional framework for planning, implementing and managing public programmes and services and how that may be evolving over time, the role and conduct of civil services and the decision making processes. The course lays emphasis on intuitive learning of concepts with only a limited reliance on statistical or mathematical techniques. Students who are mathematically inclined will be guided to pursue that line of analysis and understanding.

Programme Design and Evaluation

This course is designed to give students a broad overview of Program Evaluation and the methodological tools used. Program Evaluation course would describe the process of collecting information to determine if a program is working as intended, whether it is being implemented well, and what can be changed to make the program more effective. Program Evaluation also provides accountability to key stake-holders, who might want to know if the program is effective, efficient and sustainable. Program Evaluations provide valuable information for program staff and clients.

Economics for Public Policy - II (Macro)

The objective of the course is to prepare students to understand and use the language and data of macroeconomics, build their understanding of macroeconomic theory and analysis and expose them to macroeconomic policy issues at the national and international levels. At the end of the course students are expected to be able to use macroeconomic concepts and data to describe and assess the state of an economy. With the help of the analytical tools learnt they are expected to understand how policy and external events alter the path of an economy. The course lays emphasis on intuitive learning of concepts with only a limited reliance on statistical or mathematical techniques. Students who are mathematically inclined will be guided to pursue that line of analysis and understanding.

Political Philosophy for Public Policy

This 13-week course is designed to introduce students to philosophical questions and discourses of political relevance that pervade time, space and different cultural contexts. We will cover fundamental questions of political order and leadership, peace and conflict, socio-economic and environmental justice, gender, class and race discrimination, as well as globalization and new technologies that are beginning to revolutionize the way we think and act. The object of the course is not merely to read classic texts, but more importantly to understand and to critically assess their arguments. As a result of that, we want to see how these texts resonate with our presence and whether we can draw meaningful lessons from them.

Policy Action Workshop

Course co-ordinators: Vinod Vyasulu and Kaveri Haritas. Other faculty members from the School will participate at various times. This is a semester long Workshop, in which the objective is to apply what has been learned in various courses to an understanding and analysis of specific important policies of post Independence India. Such an exercise will enable the student to look at new policy issues that emerge from time to time both from a theoretical, and practical perspective, and thus contribute to making the student an effective policy analyst. The basic premise that underlies the course is: There is nothing so practical as a good theory. The course will begin with an overview of relevant theory. Students will be divided into groups, and debates will be held on the pros and cons of important policies of India. One group will argue for a particular policy; a second against it. Each student will circulate a one page note of their main points on a text assigned to them on the theme. Based on the texts prepared by each, the group will make a joint debate presentation and the class will vote on the outcome. For the write up students get an individual grade and for the debate the group gets a common grade.

Social and Cultural Theory

The course on social and cultural theories provides an introduction to the theories of the State, Society and State Society Relations, through focusing on selected works of classical thinkers of the West and the critiques developed by researchers in other contexts such as India and Africa. The course will then consider the dominant theoretical strands that have influenced policy process both at the international and the national contexts. The twenty lectures are designed to provide an understanding into the logic underpinning the ordering of social life in the Indian context. Theordering of social life in any context is done through defining the norms of use and control over space and time of different social actors; and which in modern societies is realized through laws, cultural norms, and institutional arrangements. Besides, the course is expected to provide students with analytical tools to develop a critique of the policy and political process. In this light, the participants along with the tutors will be examining the texts of Western classical and contemporary thinkers including Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Foucault and the critiques developed by scholars in the Eastern Contexts such as Edward Said, Shiv Visvanathan, Ramachandra Guha, Veena Das etc.