Beyond the inked finger, Instagram post

Beyond the inked finger, Instagram post

Aditya Dash

Elections are over. Is that it? Have you ever wanted to contribute more towards nation building? The traditional option is to start a career in politics or government service. But what if your dream job involves managing an aquaculture business? Organizations such as Young Indians (the youth arm of CII), Round Table India, Rotary and other similar civil society organizations give you a platform where you can give back to the nation. However, guidance and mentoring always helps, and where can you find such guidance if your goal is to transform India. My goal is not that grand, it is more local, like how to eradicate mosquito borne diseases, 24×7 electricity for my processing units, rejuvenate the lakes in Old Town Bhubaneswar etc.

In 2012, I came across an online course. The Graduate Certificate Course in Public Policy (GCPP) by The Takshashila Institute. I was familiar with online courses, I had completed an online course in Sustainable Aquaculture from the University of St. Andrews in 2010. Public Policy was interesting, politics had been a childhood dream. College made me a realist and decide that building a thriving business organization is a more efficient way to contribute towards Odisha’s and India’s development. That is how I became a part of the first graduating class of GCPP.I have enrolled in the course again, this time with an emphasis on Foreign Affairs and Defence. I have been selected as a member of Marine Products Development Authority (MPEDA), and GCPP will give me the tools and the network to advocate for more effective trade diplomacy in the seafood sector.

GCPP is an intensive, online graduate course in Public Policy. Just because it is online do not take it for granted. A minimum of 1 hour a day reading is recommended. The course duration is 12 weeks long, and every Saturday you have webinars that you can attend from anywhere with a good internet connection. The Webinars are 1.5 hours long and there are 3 webinars per week. Apart from this, there are 2 workshops conducted by the institute for which you have to attend physically. Usually these workshops are held in Bangalore. The curriculum consists of Public Policy analysis, Economic Reasoning and Effective Communications. Apart from that you can specialize in different modules such as Foreign Affairs and Defence, and Technology and Public Policy.

But why sign up for it? Upon successful completion, you will get a nice certificate which you can hang in your office. Hopefully, that may impress the bank manager when 100% collateral cannot. Or like the Takshashila Institute says, transforming India is a marathon and signing up for this course is like training for one. In the age of social media, the cost of transformation has been greatly reduced. The GCPP course gives you the tools to bring about change more effectively and efficiently. We can all participate and bring about change. Most importantly through the Takshashila Institute you will meet other likeminded individuals. Magic happens when capable and likeminded individuals get together. Like a Hebrew proverb says, If not now? Then when?

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