Policy in Action – Hyderabad 2019

Participating Policymakers


Ninong Ering - MP (Lok Sabha)

Mr. Ering is a Member of Parliament 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 in 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.

Vikas Mahatme (Rajya Sabha)

Dr. Vikas Mahatme is a Padma Shri awarded Indian ophthalmologist and social entrepreneur. A Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, Dr. Mahatme is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He is the Founder and Medical Director of the Mahatme Eye Bank Eye Hospital in Nagpur which is a recognized postgraduate teaching institute run by the S.M.M. Eye Welfare Charitable Trust. The trust has been the first to start eye hospitals and mobile eye units at several places including Nagpur, Mumbai, Amravati, Gadchiroli, Melghat, Yavatmal, Gondia, Chandrapur, etc.

Dr. Mahatme holds an MBBS degree and a Masters in Surgery from the Govt. Medical College, Nagpur where he also served as a lecturer. He is an eye surgeon of international repute and was awarded the Padma Shri in recognition of his work.

In Parliament, he sits on the committee on Health and Family Welfare and continues to espouse the cause of his home state as well as the Dhangar tribal community to which he belongs.

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.

Supriya Sule (Lok Sabha)

photograph-of-ms-supriya-sule-mpMs. Supriya Sule is a member of the Nationalist Congress Party and currently an MP in Lok Sabha. She has been representing the Baramati constituency of Maharashtra since 2009. Before getting elected to the Lok Sabha, she was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 2006 to 2009, also from Maharashtra.

In Parliament, Ms. Sule sits on the Standing Committee on External Affairs as well as the Committee on the Empowerment of Women. In 2011, she launched a statewide campaign in Maharashtra against female foeticide. Recently, she has been honoured with "Mumbai Women of the Decade Achievers Award" for her outstanding contribution to social service.

She was educated at Jai Hind College in Mumbai where she earned a B.Sc. degree in Microbiology.

K Kanimozhi - MP (Rajya Sabha)

Muthuvel Karunanidhi Kanimozhi is an Indian politician, poet and journalist. She represents Tamil Nadu in the Rajya 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.

In Parliament, she sits on the Standing Committee on External Affairs. She was also a member of the Select Committee on the GST Bill.

Asaduddin Owaisi - MP (Lok Sabha)

Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi is the President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and a three-time Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Hyderabad constituency in Lok Sabha. Previously, he was twice elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly during the 1994 and 1999 elections from the Charminar constituency.

Mr. Owaisi did his BA from Nizam College. He is a barrister by profession and studied at Lincoln’s Inn of London. Besides being a Member of Parliament, he is also the chairman of Dar-us-Salam Board and is the founder member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, New Delhi. He is also the Chairman of Hyderabad-based Owaisi Hospital and Research Centre. The hospital functions in the field of Medical Education, Research and Medical care.

In Parliament, Mr. Owaisi sits on the Standing Committee for Social Justice and Empowerment. He is a vocal advocate for the rights of minorities.

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

The Hyderabad 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: Promoting organic farming in Arunachal Pradesh

a) Study the agricultural sector of Arunachal Pradesh. Map the basket of produce, analyze patterns in local consumption and exports to other parts of India and abroad, and understand the potential of organic farming in the State as well as the likely challenges to the growth of this sector.
b) Examine organic farming initiatives and best practices of other states and countries. Assess the viability of implementing some of these initiatives in the context of Arunachal.
c) Suggest policy measures to encourage organic farming, increase productivity and enable market linkages. Critically analyze existing schemes at the state and the central level and make suitable recommendations.

Project 2: Preservation of tribal and indigenous languages in India

a) Trace the history of India’s laws and policies towards language preservation to understand the evolution of India’s ‘Language Policies’. Contrast the same with ‘Language Policies’ of other countries.
b) Analyze government schemes and initiatives at preserving languages and dialects, particularly in the North-East, and identify shortfalls, if any.
c) Examine international best practices and case studies to understand ways by which tribal and indigenous languages/dialects can be preserved and revitalized; undertake a comparative analysis of interventions in other states.
d) Frame policy recommendations basis the above, with specific focus on preserving tribal and indigenous languages from the North-East.

Project 3: Supplementing the rural healthcare system in India

a) Analyze the issue of providing healthcare services in rural India. Identify relevant metrics and map differences in access between urban and rural areas across Indian states, at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
b) Examine potential solutions, especially with respect to the primary and tertiary levels. In particular, examine the possibility of creating a system of paramedics with the objective of treating routine illnesses in rural areas and understand the likely effect of such a system on the broader healthcare ecosystem in rural areas.
c) Undertake a comparative analysis to identify best practices from other states and countries. Assess the viability of implementing some of these initiatives, at scale, in the Indian context.
d) Based on your analysis, make suitable policy recommendations.

Project 4: Framework for a Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme for all Indian households

a) Consider the possibility of creating a Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme (MIGS) for Indian households as a way of empowering the poor; study literature to understand the potential effects of such a scheme on the economy and whether it can increase economic growth through higher consumption.
b) Basis initial analysis, examine the implementation of the scheme and the corresponding burden on the Indian exchequer. Explore avenues for funding MIGS.
c) Analyze India’s current spending patterns on subsidies and welfare schemes. Explore the option of rationalizing existing expenditure and identify schemes or subsidies that could be cut down.
d) Make suitable policy recommendations basis the above. In particular, consider financial implications and political acceptability as key metrics to evaluate your recommendations.

Project 5: Women’s reservation in India

a) Map gender representation at different levels of governance in India – at both the centre and within states. Identify trends, if any.
b) Undertake a historical analysis of women’s reservation in governance, especially in panchayats and municipalities in India. Examine literature and survey evaluations undertaken, if any, to identify the impact of reservations on political participation and policy-making. Do reservations for women help bring more attention to women’s issues?
c) Using case studies/best practices, study affirmative action relating to women’s political representation internationally and make suitable recommendations.
d) Critically evaluate the Women’s Reservation Bill of 2008 and identify changes, if any, that may help mitigate the downsides and improve political acceptability.

Project 6: Addressing water issues in Tamil Nadu

a) Study changes in water supply and consumption as well as the underlying reasons to understand water issues in Tamil Nadu.
b) Examine in detail, the water issues faced by the district of Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), particularly in the light of water scarcity and sterilite pollution crisis in the district. Identify shortcomings in water management, if any.
c) Using international best practices/case studies, and stakeholder analysis, identify policies by which proper water apportionment can be achieved in the district, giving first priority to drinking water and agricultural needs.
d) Draft recommendations basis the above analysis.

Project 7: Affirmative action for disadvantaged groups

a) Study the history and origin of India’s policies aimed at providing socio-economic mobility for disadvantaged groups, including those belonging to religious minorities. Identify and analyze affirmative action policies beyond reservations/quotas for various disadvantaged groups in India, especially in Telangana;
b) Examine literature and study evaluations undertaken, if any, to measure the impact of the key policies undertaken by the government. Highlight gaps in evidence, wherever applicable.
c) Undertake a comparative analysis to identify international best practices for affirmative action.
d) Make suitable policy recommendations basis the above analysis.

Project 8: Framing a youth policy for Telangana

a) Analyze the 2014 National Youth Policy and its allied initiatives, with respect to the progress in achieving its 11 priority areas.
b) Map the demographic profile of Telangana and critically evaluate the major youth focused central and state government programs being implemented in the state. Identify shortfalls and implementation challenges, if any.
c) Study the youth policies framed by other states, and identify best practices (including schemes, programs, and pilot interventions) adopted by them in realising the aims of their policies.
d) Basis your analysis, identify priority areas of intervention for the state of Telangana. Make recommendations to frame a policy for the youth consistent with the new state’s priorities, and identify ways to appropriately implement them.

Project 9: Framing a housing policy to reduce homelessness

a) Analyze the Indian government’s housing policies (including budgetary allocations) and examine their impact over the last decade;
b) Understand India’s major initiatives at tackling homelessness particularly with respect to vulnerable groups like women, and identify shortfalls in design and implementation.
c) Through international examples, case studies, and stakeholder consultations, analyze frameworks for preventing homelessness in general, and for providing housing to the homeless.
d) Draft policy recommendations for India basis the above analysis.

Project 10: Making data a public good

a) Map all monolingual, parallel, and multilingual data corpora created under government led initiatives by MeitY, TDIL, CIIL, LDC-IL etc.
b) Undertake consultations with stakeholders including, but not limited to, academic researchers, lawyers, industry experts and others to identify copyright and IP issues in allowing the use of these and other corpora that may be created by mining the web, for research and commercial purposes.
c) Identify the potential benefits and downsides of making such corpora publicly available. Analyze policies in linguistically diverse geographical areas such as the EU to identify best practices.
d) Based on the above analysis, make suitable policy recommendations and changes in Indian law, if required.



Class profile


Total class size (Hyderabad 2019): 50


Educational background


Age profile