A group of students from the Indian School of Business (ISB) had an opportunity of gaining insights and understanding of best practices in policy making by the government from Ajit Seth, Cabinet Secretary to Government of India, in the Civil Services Officers’ Institute, New Delhi.

These students are currently enrolled in the Government Performance Management (GVPM) course offered under the aegis of the Bharti Institute of Public Policy at ISB. The course is taught by Prajapati Trivedi, former Secretary (Performance Management) in the Government of India as a part of the ISB’s one year Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP).

The objective of the course, says a press release from ISB, is to give students a firsthand experience of a top bureaucrat’s perspective and leverage the opportunities presented by Government's interest to involve young people in public services. In an insightful meeting lasting over 90 minutes, the Cabinet Secretary, Ajit Seth, shared some of the challenges and excitement of public services. He provided a bird's eye view on many important matters of economy and administration concerning the nation and also shared examples of best practices and challenges faced by the government in the areas of policy and management drawing on his vast experience and exposure. He fielded several questions from the students on how they could work with the government and contribute towards nation building.

Speaking about the significance of this meeting, Pradeep Singh, CEO of Mohali Campus and Deputy Dean of ISB, said, “ISB is one of the few schools in the world that offers a course on Government Performance Management and the student interaction with Cabinet Secretary represents the essence of our approach at ISB’s Bharti Institute. We view public policy from an additional lens of ‘effective management’. The course helps students to understand the various facets of a government’s functioning, objectives and evaluate its performance in a systematic manner.

Sharing her experience Lipika Rao, a student of the PGP Class of 2015 at ISB said, “The meeting helped us to understand how the administrative machinery works, the best practices implemented and how every professional can play a part to help run the nation. I realized that contrary to the popular belief, the Government’s functioning is very dynamic and has an effective performance management system in place, is technically advanced and open to implementing innovative ideas that create impact. Even as an MBA graduate working in the private sector, I can create opportunities of bringing effective change in the government.”

This interface with the government was led by Professor Prajapati Trivedi who is a Senior Fellow (Governance) and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Indian School of Business. Dr. Prajapati Trivedi was till recently Secretary to the Government of India with the responsibility for Performance Management. He was appointed in January 2009 as the first Secretary, Performance Management. Based in the Cabinet Secretariat, he reported directly to the Cabinet Secretary/Prime Minister on the performance of all government departments. In addition, he was Chairman of the National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention. Prior to joining the Government of India, Dr. Trivedi worked for the past fourteen years (1994-2009) as a Senior Economist for the World Bank in Washington, DC. Trivedi was also Economic Adviser to the Government of India from 1992-94.

The Bharti Institute of Public Policy, one of the four institutes at Mohali campus of ISB, headed by Professor Rajesh Chakrabarti, is an independent think tank which seeks to promote high quality research to guide policy formulation and implementation; to train students to better appreciate, formulate and implement public policies; as well as to engage with and inform policy formulation and implementation. The Institute is closely associated with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA. Together they have successfully launched a unique degree programme entitled “Management Program in Public Policy (MPPP).

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