CHANDIGARH: Want to be a political leader like Prime Minister Narendra Modi or West Bengal and Punjab Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Amarinder Singh? Wannabe politicians can now join Punjabi University in Patiala for a PG diploma course in ‘Political leadership and governance,’ which will include internship with a political party.
The one-year course to be run by the Centre for Public Policy and Governance from the coming academic year, will admit 30 students with a minimum 45% marks in bachelors and a fee of Rs 18,117.
Its objective: to refine personal leadership styles, develop emotional intelligence and provide skill sets to budding leaders with a panache to make it big as community leaders. Prof Rajbans Singh Gill, the Director of the centre, claimed the course would be the first of its kind in the country and only “the second of its type in the world” after the International Institute for Management Development Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“Great leaders have the power to motivate behaviour, create change and inspire others to do their best. In short, they possess skills that deliver results. With our course, you’ll gain the competencies required to lead,” said Gill.
The idea to start the course came because “it was felt that democracy in particular and politics in general, are two significant areas of public life where capacity-building mechanisms are absent. Most officials mandatorily undergo some training and those who delegate powers are believed to be born with the skill to govern. But this presupposition is a potential threat to welfare states and development administration.’’
Instructors said the objectives of the course are to impart necessary skills for politics, management and governance through classroom study.
There will also be field visits, internship and research. The centre plans to attach and place students with various specialized cells of political parties for a hands-on experience in various aspects of political, administrative and governing systems.
Not everyone is enthused by the course, though. Former Punjab education minister, Daljeet Singh Cheema, said, “The course can be of little help. You need an inner drive and instinct for politics. No classroom can prepare a person to be among the people. Practical experience is essential."
But chartered accountant Raman Aggarwal differed. “It’s good that aspiring leaders can be trained in sound concepts and be prepared to professionally handle socio-political situations. I wish all politicians are trained,” he said.