Wednesday, July 14, 2010

'I, Society & Public Policy' seminar by Centre for Civil Society

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pil...Image via WikipediaThe seminar started with a talk on liberalization, privatization and globalization by Professor Amir Ullah Khan, Dean and Director Research at the Bangalore Management Academy. Most of the students were mesmerized by the manner in which he pin pointed the inception areas for privatization in India. Following this was the ‘Who am I?’ session conducted by Manoj Mathew, Associate Director, Programs, CCS. The session saw the participants delving deep into each others backgrounds and perspectives.

The evening saw the first of many enlightening and provocative documentaries, the “Third Wheel” which covered the plight of auto-rickshaw drivers in Delhi due to government restrictions. The following days saw the screening “Hollow Cylinder” by Nandan Saxena and “Sex, Drugs and Consenting Adults” by John Strossel. Each screening was followed by discussion sessions that saw very active participation from the audience.

Activity during Bengaluru ISPPThe following days saw a focus on public policy, beginning with a session by Dr Parth Shah, President, CCS who analyzed the comparative use of public policy with direct action. This was followed by field visits wherein students were divided into groups and made to collect information on livelihood, health care, education and water resources from villages in the surrounding area.

The next day Naveen Mandava, an ex-ISPP graduate and Head of Policy Innovations gave a talk on the creation of public policy. This was followed by working groups where the students, using the data they had collected the previous day during their field visit had to create public policy solutions for specific problem of the area. Each group presented their policy recommendation on the final day.

Other outstanding sessions included a talk with P.D Rai, an MP from Sikkim, who is also an IIT and IIM graduate. The participants quizzed him incessantly about the process of joining politics and he obliged with much useful information. There was also a session by Ashok Kamath Chairman of the Akshara foundation where he shed light on various education related issues.

26 students from some sought after colleges like Lady Shri Ram College, St Stephen’s College, IIT Madras and Hyderabad, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Youth Development Nobel College, Kathmandu, and Kardan Institute of Higher Education, Afghanistan amongst other participated in the seminar. The seminar concluded with the graduation ceremony where students were awarded with a certificate.
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