Policy in Action – Delhi 2019

Participating Policymakers

 

Aparajita Sarangi (Lok Sabha)

Ms. Sarangi currently represents Bhubaneshwar in the Lok Sabha. She is a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1994 batch. In 2018, she quit IAS and joined the BJP to contest the 2019 Indian general elections.

She last served as a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development. Previously she has worked as the Bhubaneswar Municipal Commissioner and as the Secretary of the state’s mass education department. As an IAS Officer, she was actively engaged in organising a large number of social and cultural activities and has worked extensively on urban development, particularly with street vendors.

Ms. Sarangi is a recipient of the Shakti Samman that was awarded to her in 2012 by the Governor of Odisha for excellence in the social sector. She holds a B. A. (English Hons.) from the S. M. College, Bhagalpur University, Bihar.

Binoy Viswam (Rajya Sabha)

Mr. Viswam is a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Kerala. He is a senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader who has been with the party since he turned 18, and is currently the president of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Employees' Federation. He also serves the CPI in his capacity as its Central Secretariat Member.

Prior to his nomination to the Parliament, he has been a Forest Minister in the Government of Kerala and was elected multiple times to the Kerala Legislative Assembly from Nadapuram constituency, Kozhikode. During his time as an MLA, he has served as Member (Estimates Committee), as Chairman (Assurance Committee) and was one of the five members of the Constituency Delimitation Committee.

A well-known youth leader in his younger days, he has served as Vice President of World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), and also as the Head of its Asia Pacific Commission. A lawyer by profession, he has also worked with the Nottingham University, UK as a creative writer.

Government of NCT of Delhi

The Government of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi is the governing authority of the national capital territory and its 11 districts. Fellows at the Policy in Action Program will be supporting the work of three departments in the Delhi government: (1) Health & Family Welfare; (2) Urban Development; and (3) Power. These three departments are currently handled by Mr. Satyendra Kumar Jain who is a Cabinet Minister in the Delhi Government and a Member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The Department of Health & Family Welfare is responsible for healthcare services in the capital and caters to the health needs of nearly 160 lakh people in Delhi, while also accommodating the migrant population from neighbouring states. The Department of Urban Development plans for various infrastructure facilities and essential services, such as water supply, sewage disposal, sanitation and is responsible for urban poverty alleviation, and providing funds to as well as coordinating among urban local bodies. The Power Department is the nodal agency to plan for and monitor the power supply in the capital.

K Kanimozhi (Lok Sabha)

Muthuvel Karunanidhi Kanimozhi is an Indian politician, poet and journalist. She represents the Thoothukudi constituency of Tamil Nadu in the Lok Sabha, and is a member of the Indian Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) political party, where she functions as the chief of the DMK’s wing for Art, Literature and Rationalism.

She has an MA in Economics from the Ethiraj College in Chennai. Prior to her entry into politics, she was the sub-editor for The Hindu, as well as the editor-in-charge of the Tamil publication Kungumam, and a features editor for a Singapore-based Tamil newspaper called Tamil Murasu.

Ms. Kanimozhi has been known to champion pan-Tamil issues, and is keenly involved in cultural revitalization activities. She is one of the founders of Chennai Sangamam - a yearly festival that features traditional and folk arts from across Tamil Nadu. She also champions women empowerment programs, and is keenly interested in the welfare of differently abled and transgender people.

Ninong Ering - MLA (Arunachal)

Mr. Ering is a Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Pasighat West constituency in the East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Until recently, he represented Arunachal in the Lok Sabha. He was also the 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 in the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and as the Deputy Speaker of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

While in Parliament, he was 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.

Rahul Shewale (Lok Sabha)

Mr. Rahul Shewale is a Shiv Sena MP who represents the Mumbai South Central constituency in the Lok Sabha. He is currently a member of the Committee on Public Accounts in the Parliament.

In the previous Lok Sabha, he was a member of the Standing Committee on Urban Development, member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers as well as member of the Railway Convention Committee.

He has served several terms as a corporator in the BMC (Municipal Corporation of Mumbai) where he worked closely on issues affecting the city, including infrastructure, urban poverty and grievance redressal. He is a four-time chairman of the influential standing committee of the BMC. He studied civil engineering from the Government Polytechnic, Bandra.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Lok Sabha)

Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been elected for a second term in the Lok Sabha from the Jaipur (Rural) constituency. He has previously served as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the Narendra Modi government.

Col. Rathore served in the Indian Army and is a former Olympic shooter. He has been the recipient of the Padma Shri, the ‘Ati Vishisth Seva’ Medal, the Arjuna Award and the Khel Ratna.

In Parliament, he sits on the Committee on Estimates. Previously, he has also been a member of the Standing Committee on Defence.

 


 

Live Projects

 
The Delhi cohort was tasked to work on issues identified by the participating policymakers. Below you’ll find a list of the specific projects the fellows worked on.
 
Project 1: Performance of Drinking Water Schemes under the Jal Shakti Ministry

a) Catalogue all major government schemes under the newly constituted Jal Shakti Ministry, including a study of their budgetary allocations;
b) Undertake a detailed performance analysis of past schemes for drinking water provision by the central government, including extent of coverage and institutional arrangements put in place by states such as Rajasthan for implementation; highlight best practices if any;
c) Through stakeholder consultations and literature review, evaluate the overall impact of such schemes on rural habitations, in terms of access to improved water services; identify trends and shortfalls, if any;
d) Based on the above analysis, make suitable recommendations to the Jal Shakti Ministry for prioritising schemes and/or instituting changes, with a focus on water scarce states like Rajasthan.

Project 2: Analysing design and implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Mission

a) Study the policy design of Ayushman Bharat, and contrast it with that of its predecessor, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). Identify design strengths and weaknesses, if any;
b) Based on the available data and through stakeholder conversations, evaluate the implementation of the Mission till date, and identify major challenges faced in implementation;
c) Compare and contrast the Mission with the various state-level schemes being implemented across the country, with respect to design (in particular, the insurance and assurance models), budgetary allocations, beneficiary coverage, and actual implementation;
d) Based on the above analysis, identify bottlenecks and make suitable recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI while also identifying specific interventions for Rajasthan.

Project 3: Analysing education reforms in Rajasthan

a) List flagship education programs and policies implemented by GOI across the country over the past two decades, and examine them through the lens of access to schools versus quality of education in government schools; consult evaluations and studies done on the same, if any.
b) In addition to the reforms championed by the centre, critically analyse reforms undertaken by the government of Rajasthan during the same period for improving learning outcomes in the state, and identify opportunities and challenges;
c) Undertake a comparative analysis of school reforms undertaken in other states as well as best practices by other countries, to address quality of education in government schools;
d) Make suitable recommendations for the state of Rajasthan.

Project 4: Water conservation in India

a) Undertake a brief landscape analysis of water concerns in the country, and highlight causal factors of the same;
b) Analyse India’s key policy interventions relating to water conservation, including the National Water Mission and any other policies/programs/initiatives in the recent past, and evaluate their efficacy in improving long-term availability of water resources;
c) Study traditional water conservation systems implemented/restored by states in India and document international examples and case studies that offer best practices in water conservation and management;
d) Basis the above, draft specific recommendations to the central government to help inform water conservation in India.

Project 5: Impact and implementation of the Street Vendors Act in India

a) Analyse the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihoods and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 and the rules published under the Act;
b) Through secondary research and stakeholder consultations, study the Act’s implementation in states across India (specifically Odisha);
c) Document international best practices in solving identified problems. Assess the viability of implementing some of these interventions in the context of India, and Odisha. Make suitable recommendations for GoI as well as the government of Odisha;
d) Draft a Bill to amend the national Act basis the above analysis.

Project 6: Access to credit for urban poor in Maharashtra

a) Examine the access to credit for urban poor in India, with a particular focus on the state of Maharashtra; identify sub-groups within the state that are most excluded;
b) Analyse the challenges faced by the urban poor in Maharashtra in accessing credit, and examine the efficacy of existing systems of alternate or informal credit channels;
c) Identify and analyse relevant government schemes and policies in the state (both central and state). Look at issues with beneficiary identification in particular – are genuine urban poor being left out? If so, why?
d) Use case studies from other states and countries and draw learnings for Maharashtra;
e) Make suitable recommendations basis the above analysis.

Project 7: Socio-economic schemes impacting urban poor in Maharashtra

a) Study the demographic profile of urban Maharashtra and critically analyse socio-economic parameters that are/may be used to identify the urban poor. Map the incidence of urban poverty across major cities in the state;
b) Undertake an evaluation, including a study of budgetary allocations of major schemes aimed at the urban poor in the state, particularly within the health, education and sanitation sectors, over the last decade;
c) Study regional and global best practices for improving the lives of the urban poor in the state, including (but not limited to) better targeting, introduction of and/or restructuring schemes catering to their demographic;
d) Based on the above, suggest suitable policy recommendations.

Project 8: Improving connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh

a) Identify the state of current and on-going infrastructure projects seeking to improve/strengthen road, rail and air connectivity in the northeast, with a specific focus on the state of Arunachal Pradesh;
b) Undertake a detailed analysis of the central and state government’s flagship schemes/policies and proposals for improving connectivity in the region, and highlight any special policies in place for infrastructure development in tribal regions of the northeast;
c) Conduct a detailed study of budgetary allocations by scheme, utilisation of funds and private participation to understand the efficacy and impact of the identified interventions;
d) Draft recommendations for the state government based on the above analysis.

Project 9: Evaluating policies aimed at eradicating manual scavenging in India

a) Study in brief, the history of and socio-economic factors that have led to the existence of manual scavenging in India;
b) Analyse steps taken to eradicate this practice, including provisions of the Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. Review any progress made with respect to the Act’s implementation across states with a specific focus on Tamil Nadu;
c) Through stakeholder consultations and by studying best practices (peer-state based and global), make recommendations on how best to eliminate this practice;
d) Basis the above, prepare advocacy material in the form of op-eds or articles to build support for the cause.

Project 10: Electoral reforms in India

a) Undertake a detailed study on the need for electoral reforms in India, specifically looking at the following subjects: simultaneous elections, state funding, and voting rights for NRIs.
b) Analyse the pros and cons for each of the above, accompanied by a cost benefit analysis to understand opportunity costs and potential ramifications of implementing these reforms, including implications with respect to federalism, transparency, and accountability of elected representatives.
c) Using global case studies, analyse best practices with respect to these subjects;
d) Basis the above analysis, make recommendations to the government on the feasibility and/or desirability of implementing the aforementioned electoral reforms in India.

Project 11: Effectiveness of the Delhi Arogya Kosh

a) Study the design of the Delhi Arogya Kosh (providing healthcare to EWS patients in Delhi), and analyse its implementation; rely on stakeholder conversations, and undertake budgetary investigation for the same;
b) Identify key issues with respect to the scheme, such as beneficiary targeting and scheme uptake. Evaluate its efficacy & impact;
c) Compare the implementation of this scheme with other similar schemes in states across the country, and identify advantages as well as potential areas of improvement;
d) Draft suitable recommendations to the state government based on the above analysis.

Project 12: Drafting an implementation plan for the Solar Farm Scheme in Delhi

a) Study the Virtual Net Metering (VNM) regulation under the ‘Mukhyamantri Kisan Aay Badhotri Yojana’ (CM scheme for increasing farmer’s income), which was notified recently in Delhi, and assess its integration with the Solar Farm Scheme;
b) Through stakeholder conversations and basis secondary research, understand and lay down the requirements from DISCOMs for implementing the scheme, as well as potential challenges;
c) Study best practices from across the country and globally to draw learnings for Delhi;
d) Draft recommendations for implementing the Solar Farm Scheme with VNM, based on the above analysis and formulate an appropriate intervention plan.

Project 13: Examining the implementation of Unified Building Bye Laws for Delhi 2016

a) Study the Unified Building Bye Laws for Delhi 2016, and subsequent modifications in 2019; identify and highlight the need for the changes undertaken;
b) Develop an organogram for the building construction approval process in Delhi for different types of buildings (residential and others), highlighting the various stakeholders involved and their functions;
c) Analyse the building approval process in one municipal unit,* prepare a status chart of implementation of the bye laws and highlight challenges faced by different stakeholders;
d) Propose recommendations for improving the implementation process, and suggest additional provisions, if needed, to better implementation.

 


 

Class profile

 

Total class size (Delhi 2019): 66

 

Educational background


 

Age profile