NEW DELHI: The Congress has thought of a novel way to woo the urban educated youth by launching a first ever course in politics and public policy, titled ‘Future of India’.
As many as 35 fellows, shortlisted from over 500 who applied, are now undergoing a monthlong course during which Congress veterans and academicians will help them get insights into the politics behind policy and how democracy plays out on the streets.
“Civil services and research are the two areas that interest me. I came here to find out the Congress’ views on government policy,” Malvika Tyagi, who recently completed her PhD in economics from IIT-Delhi, told The Sunday Standard.
For Harshal Kats, who has done M.Tech in technology for development from IIT-Bombay, the reasons for joining the course are slightly different.
“Most of my friends are rightwing.
I wanted to know the Congress’ views on governance,” he said.
Kats has worked as a research assistant in Union Ministry of Rural Development in 2016 and is keen on pursuing a PhD in economics from IIT-Delhi.
Deepsha Dhal, an LLM in international law from Graduate
Institute, Geneva, who has worked with ILO and Unicef, wanted to hear about public policy “straight from the horse’s mouth”. “I was a bit sceptical about the whole affair. But the good part is that the speakers here are open about the mistakes the Congress governments made in the past,” she said after hearing former finance minister P Chidambaram on economy and finance related issues.
“I liked the way Prof Apoorvanand of the Delhi University
dissected the ongoing debate about nationalism,” said Kats.
For the Congress, besides the outreach, the course will also help it identify talented youth who might be interested in working with the party.
“Rahul Gandhi is opening the party to professionals. The idea is to expose these youngsters to a host of platforms that they can find with the Congress, not necessarily electoral politics,”
Ruchi Gupta, AICC joint secretary in-charge of National Students Union of India (NSUI), told The Sunday Standard.
“This course will help youngsters engage with senior Congress leaders and give the NSUI, which is currently seen only as operating in colleges and universities, a more serious image,”
Over the coming days, Congress veterans like Shashi Tharoor and Kapil Sibal are likely to brief them about issues related to foreign policy and law.
While a session with two-term Delhi councillor Abhishek Dutt on how politics plays out at the ground level is lined up, people in the Congress media department may also address the participants.
Some field visits may also be organised, said Gupta. Happy over the profile of participants who belong to the IITs,
IIMs and even foreign institutions like Imperial College, London and Dartmouth College, Singapore, among others, for the first such attempt, Gupta said similar initiatives will be rolled out in other cities over the coming weeks as part of the NSUI changeo