Legislators from North Head to B-School for Lessons on Policy Making
By Harpreet Bajwa - CHANDIGARH
Published: 22nd Dec 2013 07:56:45 AM
It’s back to school for legislators from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Starting next year, MLAs from these states will attend classes at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Mohali on government policies and how to work in tandem with the bureaucracy.
According to sources, ISB will impart training to MLAs on gaining insights into policy making under a programme “The India Leadership Workshop” which is targeted at MLAs who want to be more effective in their work and rise to positions of greater influence. “Encouraged by their success at Hyderabad campus, ISB is now planning to extend its MLA training programme to the Mohali campus. The school plans to conduct two programmes in 2014 and 2015,” said Pradeep Singh, deputy dean and chief executive officer of ISB Mohali.
The weekly courses are meant to address major issues faced by legislators in different states. The speakers of the state assemblies have been approached to nominate MLAs for the programme. “The school is engaged in delivering executive education programmes for legislators in association with PRS Legislative Research, a not-for-profit research and consulting organization, exclusively for legislative members in India for the last three years at our Hyderabad campus. MLAs from states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala have been imparted training so far,” Singh said.
“Under the programme, an MLA will be sensitized to his role. If he needs to be effective, then it is important to know what his role really is and how he should leverage his resources. A key element of the curriculum will be the effective management of resources: time, people and the media,” explained Singh.
He added, “The other objectives are gaining insights into policy making: What is his role as a policy maker? How can he shape the future of the state by making policies that work for the people? How to engage with stakeholders, how he can work with the bureaucracy to make sure the various development schemes are being uniformly implemented?
The state budget and how he can determine the funds available for his constituency?”
Sources said the process of selection of the MLAs is simple. The PRS Legislative Research writes to the speakers of the state assemblies. The speaker then nominates MLAs for the training programme. The legislators are approached and initial inputs are compiled by PRS, which in turn are provided to ISB to design the programme.
Punjab speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal said, “Legislators must attend such courses as one gets to learn a lot. If any MLA wants to go for it, I have no objections. I will be pleased to recommend names of those interested.”
However, the beneficiaries of such courses themselves may not be too thrilled at the idea. Only six MLAs had turned up for a workshop organised for Haryana legislators at ISB Hyderabad campus a few months ago. This session was a follow-up of a special orientation course organized by Haryana Vidhan Sabha at Pinjore. Even at that time, only 25 out 90 MLAs attended the course and only ten stayed back after the chief minister left.