Jyotsna Sripada is a student of Masters Programme in Public Policy from the batch of 2014-16 at the National Law School of India University.
Jyotsna works as a Research Assistant for the Right to Food Team at the Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of Indian University, Bengaluru. She recently started pursuing PH.D in Public Policy at National Law School of India University.
Through Lokniti, Jyotsna converses to aspiring and current students of Public Policy at the Law School on her journey.
Tell us about your life before NLSIU. Why did you choose to pursue Public Policy?
I was pursuing my triple major bachelor degree (B.Sc in Economics, Mathematics and Statistics) in Mount Carmel College, and was very keen to pursue my higher education in the field of Public Policy. However, I wanted to take a year’s break before plunging into anything concrete. I started teaching at Friendship Foundation, a non-profit organization working towards the upliftment of intellectually challenged and underprivileged children. This one year gave me a lot of time to introspect about my field of interest, and I had developed a key passion for Food and Nutrition policy. That is when I came across the call for Masters of Public Policy at the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. I decided to apply for it and there has been no turning back ever since.
I thoroughly enjoyed my two years here!
How did your experience at NLSIU help you find the career of your choice after Masters in Public Policy?
One of the key advantages in doing a Masters in Public Policy Course in Law School is the inter-disciplinary approach. The interface between Law and Policy is extremely important for a Public Policy Professional and I strongly believe that Law School has contributed significantly to the same.
That apart, the course gave us ample opportunities to explore our fields of interest through client-related projects and internships. I got an opportunity to work at the International Secretariat of Food Information and Action Network (FIAN), Heidelberg, Germany. This experience proved very important for me in terms of interacting with professionals across different countries and understanding Right to Food and policy from a global perspective.
Further, I had the opportunity to work as part of the World Bank for a project with the Karnataka Nutrition Mission, as a Documentation Consultant. This experience was extremely useful as it helped me understand the nuances in policy making, challenges involved in implementation at the field level, as well as the importance of constant monitoring and evaluation of policies.
Present nature of work at the current organization?
I am currently working as a Research Assistant for the Right to Food Team at the Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of Indian University, Bengaluru. My work profile involves planning and designing the research framework, evaluation of legal and policy frameworks, designing of tools for data collection, as well as monitoring and evaluation.
What would you look for if you were in the position to hire new MPP graduate(s) from NLSIU to this organization?
I would certainly look for graduates who are passionate about working on the different aspects and challenges of public policy. The candidates must keep themselves updated about the field and it’s developments. It is imperative to have a strong foothold in research methodology. Knowledge of statistical tools is a huge plus point.
What role does internship and dissertation have in securing the career of your choice?
Internships are extremely important in terms of networking and engaging with individuals who have the experience in a particular field. That apart, they play a huge role in orienting ourselves about the several components of policies-formulation, implementation, evaluation etc. These opportunities are gateways to understanding how these policies really pan out in the field level. That apart, internships aid in firming up our topics for dissertation as well.
The dissertation was an excellent experience to know further about the field of interest. I did it on the “Role of Anganwadi Centres in Preventing, Reducing and Addressing the problem of Malnutrition in Children below three-A Study in Urban and Rural Anganwadis in Bengaluru”. The study was primarily qualitative and involved a field component as well. The whole experience was significant as it brought to fore challenges associated with policy implementation. These field level insights are important to re-design policies at a formulation stage, factoring in the array of components that influence the same.
I am delighted that I am continuing my career in the same field and my dissertation helped me pursue the same.
Any concluding thoughts?
I am absolutely delighted to see how the course has developed and has engaged with students from different backgrounds. Wishing students of the future batches the very best of luck!
Jyotsna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org