FAQs – Policy in Action, Delhi

1. Should I consider applying to the Policy in Action Program?

The Policy in Action Program is ideal for those who wish to develop a better understanding of public policy and development. It is designed to give participants a sneak peek into the policymaking process in India, as well as to give them an opportunity to affect real change by working on live projects, while at the same time building on their leadership and communication skills.

If you are civic-minded and you want to know how the system works and how it may be pushed, this is the right place for you. In addition to helping you pick up skills to analyze policy, the program will equip you with tools to build influential advocacy campaigns and powerful public narratives.

If you are someone who is considering a career in public policy or development, this program will help you get the right exposure. Both the sessions as well as the projects are designed to give you an insight into the different roles available in policy and development. The program will also plug you into a network of professionals in the space and help you tap new opportunities. Many of our fellows from the earlier cohorts have already transitioned into the sector.

2. Am I eligible to apply?

Undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as young professionals between 18 and 30 years of age are eligible to apply. There are no prerequisites in terms of fields of study or prior experience.

3. What are the submission deadlines?

Your application must be submitted before 11:59 PM on 7th July, 2019 (Sunday). If you would like to be considered for a scholarship or if you would prefer an early decision, you must apply on or before 11:59 PM on 16th June, 2019 (Sunday). Please see all deadlines here.

4. What are the Policy in Action projects like?

There are two broad categories of projects: ‘Policy research’ and ‘Advocacy’. Project topics are decided on the basis of requirements specified by the participating policymakers. You may be asked to research and advise on a particular policy issue or develop an advocacy campaign. Details of projects from the previous editions of the program can be accessed here.

5. How often will I engage with policymakers or their offices?

YLAC will invite policymakers to address the Policy in Action cohort. In the past, speakers have spent time interacting with the class, giving insights into the their work, and the broader policymaking process. We have also had policy professionals from offices of Members of Parliament (and otherwise) come and speak with the participants.

However, please note that project related engagement with participating policymakers or their offices will be minimal. This design element is intentional. YLAC realizes that policymakers are stretched for time and often do not have the bandwidth to supervise projects. The Policy in Action Program in fact allows them to outsource some of their policy work. Training, project supervision and quality control is completely handled by YLAC and its panel of experts. The program is specifically designed to not add to the workload of policymakers.

This arrangement is a win-win for both the participants and the recipients of the output - it gives participants an experience of working on real and live policy issues, while supporting the work of our policymakers in the legislature and in government.

6. Do I get to choose my project?

Project allocations are made on the basis of your preferences. While we try to match projects with your areas of interest, a specific allocation cannot be guaranteed.

7. How much time do I have to devote to the project during the interim weeks?

Projects usually require about 10-12 hours per participant per week. This is over and above the time spent in attending classes.

8. On what basis are applicants selected?

The Policy in Action Program aims to select talented young individuals who are committed to leading social change in the future. Applicants are selected on the basis of their responses to the questions in the application form as well as their resume. We look for logic, nuance and structure as well as motivation and past initiatives.

9. When do I get to know of my selection?

Applications to the Delhi Policy in Action Program will be processed in two batches. Those applying on or before 16th June, 2019 shall be eligible for early decisions. For the others, admission decisions shall be announced after the applications deadline of 7th July, 2019.

10. What is the acceptance rate at the Policy in Action Program? What's the class profile?

The Policy in Action Program is a highly selective program that receives outstanding applications from a large pool of candidates. Candidates from the best universities and colleges in India and abroad apply to the program. We usually receive upwards of 250 high quality applications for each edition and select 50-65 fellows.

Fellows come from a diverse range of backgrounds – lawyers, engineers, chartered accountants, anthropologists, economists, political scientists, journalists, architects, writers and even start up evangelists! This diversity of the cohort has become a mainstay of the program and is one of its key highlights today.

A majority of the fellows are young professionals working in and around the city. The median age in the program is 25.

11. Do I get any certification for this program? Are there any specific requirements?

Yes, a certificate will be issued at the end of the program. However, certification is subject to attendance and successful completion of the assigned project work.

Please note that attendance is mandatory. Since the program involves working in teams, if members miss training or team meet-ups, it adversely affects the team's output. Please also keep in mind that as a participant in the program, you'll be working on live projects for policymakers and you'll be required to complete your assigned project work to the satisfaction of the facilitators. Your final submission must be analytically rigorous and well presented; it must meet the highest standards of quality.

12. How much does this program cost?

The program fees of Rs. 16,000 + taxes is payable after selection. You can also apply for a scholarship here.

YLAC will offer 50% scholarships to selected candidates. Applications will be assessed on the basis of need and merit.

13. What is the refund policy?

In case any unforeseen circumstances prevent you from joining the program, you can request our office to initiate the refund process. YLAC will refund 100% of your payment if the request is received 30 days before the beginning of the program. For requests received 15 days before the program, the refund amount shall be 50% of the payment received. YLAC shall not be able to issue any refunds in case the intimation reaches us at a shorter notice.