The Director of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), Dr. G. Raghuram, signed a contract with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, here today, to launch a new programme named the ‘Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship’ (MGNF).
The contract was signed in the presence of Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Dept. of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, GoI, Mr. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank, and officials from the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, GoI.
The two-year Fellowship programme will be delivered by IIMB’s Centre of Public Policy (CPP), which is an independent public interest-oriented policy think-tank engaged in pioneering research, teaching, training, and capacity-building.
The MGNF will be launched on a pilot basis in Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Eligible Fellows will need to have a graduate degree from a recognized university. They must be citizens of India in the age group of 21-30 years.
Elaborating on the partnership, Dr. K.P. Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said: “The launch of the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme is in line with one of our objectives of bringing about convergence of efforts of various governments and programmes right at the district level. We are certain this programme will attract great talent, which will further strengthen the skill component at the district administration level. It is also critical to us that we have a high quality truly global academic institution like IIM Bangalore as our academic partner to ensure the programme’s appeal and success. The MGNF is our tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, who was a proponent of decentralised planning, as we celebrate his 150th birth anniversary this year.”
IIMB Director Dr. G. Raghuram said, “The Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship programme is aimed to identify and train a group of young, committed and dynamic individuals, who will leverage the IIMB ecosystem in management, entrepreneurship and public policy and work with the district administration in strengthening the process of skilling to create a vibrant local district economy. Its unique design will allow the Fellows to take academic learning at IIM Bangalore and use it in the field, under faculty mentorship, with the goal of understanding challenges and barriers that the district ecosystem faces in fostering growth and development.”
On satisfactory completion of their engagement as well as the course requirements, the Fellows will be awarded a Certificate in Public Policy and Management from IIM Bangalore.
The Centre for Public Policy at IIM Bangalore, established in 2000 through a partnership agreement between the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India (GoI), United Nations Development Programme and IIMB, aspires to lead policy-thinking and praxis in India, promoting equitable, inclusive and sustainable solutions to the concerns of citizens and public governance.
Professor Arnab Mukherji, faculty from the Centre for Public Policy who will oversee the execution of the MGNF programme as one of its directors, said: “The Mahatma Gandhi Fellowship programme will prepare the Fellows to address significant practice deficits in public policy to strengthen institutions in fostering stronger skill and development outcomes in district economies. The two-year MGNF program will provide academic inputs, IIMB mentorship and involve field immersion to create an integrated engagement that will help the Fellow identify ways to raise skills, employment and economic output in a way that integrates the district to relevant state, national and even international markets.”
Professor Sankarshan Basu, faculty from the Finance & Accounting area at IIMB and one of the MGNF Programme Directors, explained that the programme incorporates two modules: Academic and District Immersion (DI). The Academic module focuses on management principles, economic development, public policy, and soft skills to be effective in rural areas. It is drawn on two of IIMB’s well established long-duration programs—the Post Graduate Programme (an MBA), and the Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy and Management that was initiated in 2002 (PGPPM). Across these two programmes, the students receive significant exposure to concepts in both management and public policy.
Additionally, IIMB has crafted short-duration certificate programmes that leverage the experience in degree-granting teaching programme to create a stable learning environment for a range of corporate needs. The Academic module has been designed on similar principles and customized to the needs of the MGNFs in allowing them to understand opportunities and challenges to enable a flexible, skill-based economy in their district and to identify opportunities and infrastructure needed to support it.
The District Immersion module provides a framework within which the MGNF may contextualize the fellow district experience. The focus of the District Immersion is to help the Mahatma Gandhi Fellow negotiate the district-specific challenges in the context of documenting institutional weaknesses at the district level, identifying schemes that work well, undertaking a detailed resource mapping, and formulating a rigorously researched District Development Plan (DDP) that chart out a strategy for economic development at the district that the fellows are assigned to.