Policy in Action – Bengaluru 2018

Participating MPs & Institutions


Deepender Singh Hooda - MP (Lok Sabha)

Mr. Hooda is a three time Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Rohtak constituency in Haryana. He is a Whip of the Indian National Congress.

He is a member of the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology, Vice-Chairman of the Indian Red Cross Society, and the Chairperson of the Indo-UK Forum of Parliamentarians. He holds a B.Tech from Birla Institute, MD University, Rohtak and an MBA from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. Before joining politics, he worked with Infosys, Reliance Industries, and American Airlines/Sabre Holdings.

He is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Energy.

Ninong Ering - MP (Lok Sabha)

Mr. Ering is a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from the Arunachal Pradesh East constituency and a former Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs in the UPA government. He is a member of the Indian National Congress.

He began his political career as a member of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1989, where he served two terms. He has also served as a Minister of State of the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and as the Deputy Speaker of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

He is currently a member of the Committee on Ethics, the Standing Committee on Science & Technology, and the Standing Committee on Environment & Forests. He has also been associated with not for profits working in the sphere of health and sanitation.

NK Premachandran - MP (Lok Sabha)

Mr. Premachandran is a three time Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Kollam constituency in Kerala. He is a member of the Central Secretariat of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and received the Best Parliamentarian Award in 2016.

He received an education in law from the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram, and started his political career through student politics. He was elected to the Gram Panchayat, the District Council, and the Zilla Panchayat. He has also served as Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) before taking charge of the Ministry of Water Resources in Kerala. He was awarded the “Best Minister” by Asianet Channel for his reforms in water sector and for his handling of interstate water disputes.

He is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, the Joint Committee on Food Management, and the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Rajeev Gowda - MP (Rajya Sabha)

photograph-of-prof-rajeev-gowda-mpProf. M V Rajeev Gowda was elected to Rajya Sabha in July 2014 from the state of Karnataka. He is a national spokesperson for the Indian National Congress. He was Professor of Economics and Social Sciences and the Chairperson of the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bengaluru and taught a range of courses. He has served as a Director of the Central Board, Reserve Bank of India.

Prof. Gowda studied economics and political science at St. Joseph's College where he was elected as the Vice-President of the Student Union in 1982–83. He was awarded the Bangalore University gold medal in political science and secured a fully funded scholarship to pursue Masters in Economics at Fordham University, New York. Prof. Gowda holds a PhD in Public Policy & Management from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He was also a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Law & Economics from University of Berkeley, California.

Prof. Gowda leads ‘Bengaluru Needs You’ (BNY), a citizen movement to involve and empower people to engage with civic authorities to bring positive transformation in the city of Bengaluru.

Swapan Dasgupta - MP (Rajya Sabha)

Dr. Dasgupta is an independent Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) nominated by the President in 2016. He is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in the field of Literature and Education.

He has held several senior editorial positions at The Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, The Times of India, The Indian Express, and India Today. He graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi with a BA in History, and completed his MA and PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He has also been a Junior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He is also a member of the National Institutes of Technology, Science, Education and Research (NITSER) Council.

He is currently a member of the Committee on Ethics and the Standing Committee on External Affairs.

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe - MP (Rajya Sabha)

Dr. Sahasrabuddhe is a first time Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Maharashtra. He is serving as National Vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and heads BJP’s think tank, the Public Policy Research Centre (PPRC).

He started his political career in 1974 with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), rising through the ranks to become National Secretary in 1984. After a brief stint as Sub-Editor in Mid-Day, Mumbai, he joined the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini as its principal functionary. He was also elected as a Member of the Senate of the University of Mumbai, where he served for eighteen years. He is also a Member of the Board of Governors of the Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration in Ahmedabad. He was awarded a PhD by the University of Mumbai for his study on institutional decline of political parties in India.

He is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Energy, the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, and the Standing Committee on Information Technology.

NITI Aayog

The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. While designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States.

NITI Aayog was constituted to replace the Planning Commission instituted in 1950. An important evolutionary change from the past, NITI Aayog acts as the quintessential platform of the Government of India to bring States to act together in national interest, and thereby foster Cooperative Federalism. It is also developing itself as a State of the Art Resource Centre, with the necessary resources, knowledge and skills, that will enable it to act with speed, promote research and innovation, provide strategic policy vision for the government, and deal with contingent issues.



Live Projects

Our fellows were tasked to work on issues identified by the participating policymakers. Below you’ll find a list of the specific projects they worked on.

Project 1: Farmer indebtedness and crop insurance

1. Identify the major reasons for farmer indebtedness and study the impact of crop insurance on the same.
2. Study the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and compare its effectiveness to crop insurance schemes that preceded it.
3. Study policies and best practices in other countries and states, and suggest recommendations.

Project 2: Voting rights for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)

1. Study existing provisions on voting rights for NRIs and identify key issues such as logistical and operational constraints in enabling such rights.
2. Study overseas and absentee voting policies and practices of other countries and analyze their efficacy.
3. Lay out contours of the institutional mechanism needed to develop a robust electoral process for NRIs.

Project 3: Increasing women labour force participation in Haryana

1. Identify the extent of women’s labour participation in Haryana, and study its causes as well as its socio-economic and political consequences.
2. Identify central and state government schemes and policies to enhance employment and opportunities for women in Haryana, and determine their effectiveness.
3. Make policy recommendations to improve women’s employment and entrepreneurship, taking into account best practices from other states.

Project 4: Establishing menstrual leave

1. Analyze menstrual leave legislation and policies across the world and identify their impact on women’s employment and productivity, as well as earnings of firms and gender pay gap.
2. Compare the impact of menstrual leave with that of other women-specific policies such as maternity leave.
3. Help build an advocacy campaign – create awareness material and draft opinion pieces/ letters to help sensitize people and build support.

Project 5: Strengthening conflict of interest laws in India

1. Identify gaps in existing provisions governing conflict of interest and disclosure of assets by Members of Parliament in India.
2. Analyze laws, policies, and best practices in legislatures in other countries regulating disclosure of members’ financial assets and conflict of interest.
3. Make suitable policy recommendations.

Project 6: Parliamentary reforms

1. Study the current legislative process in the Parliament and identify laws, rules of procedure, and practices that limit the MPs’ participation in and scrutiny of legislation.
2. Study laws, rules of procedure, and best practices in other countries and suggest amendments to strengthen the legislative process and make it more accountable and responsive to public participation.

Project 7: Management of fiscal deficits and public debt

1. Study trends in fiscal deficits and public debt for central as well as state governments since the adoption of the fiscal responsibility legislation.
2. Explore policy tools used by central and state governments to promote fiscal discipline, along with their opportunity costs and potential repercussions.
3. Identify best practices across states as well as policy tools used by other countries to manage fiscal deficits and suggest recommendations.

Project 8: Measures to tackle Non-Performing Assets (NPAs)

1. Analyze the challenges faced by the financial sector in India due to rising NPAs and explore reforms to the regulatory structure to tackle the issue.
2. Study and critique the changes being made by the current government, such as the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Act, 2017 and the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017.

Project 9: World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on global e-commerce regulations

1. Identify the major principles that should inform global e-commerce regulations, especially in light of WTO negotiations on the same.
2. Identify the policy positions of other parties to the negotiations, including EU, US, China, Japan, and Australia.
3. Suggest policy positions on new global e-commerce regulations that can be adopted by India. 

Project 10: Archaeological policy of India

1. Identify laws and policies that regulate archaeological and heritage conservation activities in India as well as major schemes and initiatives taken by the central government to promote archaeology, conservation, and museums in India.
2. Analyze the impact of these laws, policies, and schemes and identify design issues and gaps in implementation.
3. Study laws and best practices of other countries to make suitable recommendations.

Project 11: Judicial Reforms

1. Study major judicial reforms that can be undertaken to ensure increased access and speedier delivery of justice. Identify the steps taken by the current government on the same.
2. Study laws and best practices in other countries and design institutional mechanisms that can translate these reforms into practice.

Project 12: Encouraging women entrepreneurship in India

1. Map the extent of women entrepreneurship in India and study the reasons for low participation.
2. Identify existing central and state government schemes to encourage funding and marketing of women-led startups as well as skilling of women entrepreneurs.
3. Suggest recommendations for consolidation and convergence between schemes. Analyze policies and best practices in other developing countries and suggest policy interventions.



Class profile


Total class size (Bengaluru 2018): 60


Educational background


Age profile