Every Saturday, the students of M.A. PPG meet online for a webinar on various topics pertaining to public policy. It is organised and presented by the students of first-year M.A. PPG, mainly for the students of M.A. PPG, though it is open to all.
9 January 2021: Code of Social Security, 2020
On the first Saturday Webinar for 2021, held on 9 January, the student panel discussed the ‘Code of Social Security, 2020’ The three-member panel consisted of lead speaker Ms. Priyanka Walter, and the discussants were Mr. Arth Mishra and Ms. Aswathi Prakash. The session was moderated by Ms. Sivapriya Ambalavana.
The lead speaker shared insights on the evolution and working of the code thus educating the audience on the implementation aspects of the policy. She also provided a comprehensive analysis of the policy and the aspects which required further research. She concluded saying the involvement of stakeholders in the policymaking process at the grassroot level, was essential for the success of the policy.
Aswathi spoke on how the code overlaps already existing responsibilities leading to duality of roles and how the funds collected do not reach the focused sector, emphasizing the need for stricter regulations. She also focused on the requirements of formalised organisations to empower the labour force of the country, through unions or cooperatives. Arth highlighted a different perspective, wherein he emphasized the need for appropriate definitions within the code. He also spoke on how the code should not be seen in isolation but in relation with already existing policies of the government like Ayushman Bharat, PMJAY etc. The argument was supported with instances of medical care for labour, which has not been focused on in the code, which if supported by schemes like PM Jan Arogya Yojana, PM Jeevan Suraksha Yojana and others would not require further provisions and would focus on labour from a holistic perspective.
The discussion saw active participation from the audience and many areas were discussed in-depth to uncover the merits and demerits and the code in relation to the other policies. It was also pointed out by the audience how the labour often has no power in the policy formulation stages and how it is most often the elite who make policy decisions, which are often not questioned or retaliated within the country.
23 January 2021: SpaceCom Policy 2020
On 23rd, the second Saturday of 2021, the student panel discussed the ‘SpaceCom Policy 2020’. The three-member panel consisted of the lead speaker Mr. Arun Kumar, and the discussants were Ms. Aswathi Prakash and Mrs. Veena Mahor. The session was moderated by Ms. Sivapriya Ambalavanan.
The lead speaker shared insights on the evolution and working of the Code thereby educating the audience on the implementation aspects of the policy. He also provided a comprehensive analysis of the policy and the aspects which required further research and the challenges that would be faced in the future. He concluded saying the involvement of private sector companies within the space industry would provide a competitive edge for the defence sector of the country in the long-run.
Ms. Aswathi spoke on the space sector reforms and its interdisciplinary approach, focusing on the Space sector requiring the support of other sectors, especially through capacity building in the fields of science and technology, and skill development measures on the whole. She also focused on a contrary perspective to the policy, highlighting that ISRO’s hand holding of private companies is not a sustainable plan of action in the long-term. She further shared her insights on how FDI’s should be reduced to encourage the participation of commercial organisations within the country.
Mrs. Veena began by highlighting the negative attributes of the Policy. She shared her thoughts on the space pollution that would be caused in the orbital environment by the number of satellites that would be launched. She also focused on a similar stance on FDIs as the previous discussant, as that would be the outsourcing of the country’s Space sector. She also recommended having a joint body consisting of members from varied disciplines as a part of the policy to ensure accountability and responsibility in the undertaking.
The discussion saw active participation from the audience and many areas were discussed in-depth to uncover the merits and demerits of the Code, and the code in relation to other policies. It was also pointed out by the audience how the space sector could soon be entrusted into the hands of a few powerful private organisations, which is contradictory to the formulation of the policy. There were also thoughts highlighting the dire need for privatisation and if it was the only option towards better efficiency within sectors.