30 December 2020: Indian School of Democracy (ISD) founded by Teach For India Alumni Hemakshi Meghani (2011 Cohort) and Prakhar Bhartiya (2009 Cohort) launched their new programme beginning 15 August 2021.
Applications to the program began on 26 November 2020. ‘The Good Politician’ is geared to nurture grassroot political leaders who are already involved in the political sphere. Spanning over one year, it is meant for leaders aspiring to be elected as sarpanches and municipal councillors. To ensure access to a range of people, the programme will be taught in Hindi and English. After the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns, we have seen how it is essential to cultivate principled leaders to build the nation. This is especially true for understanding rural and urban scenarios in different contexts.
Indian School of Democracy was founded with the basic principle of sarvodaya – upliftment of all. One of the biggest barriers to attaining sarvodaya is a dearth of principled leadership in public service.
‘The Good Politician’ will comprise 30% residential training and 70% field application. The faculty is a range of political leaders, political practitioners, and academicians. The curriculum involves visiting different parts of Maharashtra, Delhi, and South India; travel is an important part of immersing the cohort in the realities of India which facilitates deeper understanding of the needs of the people. The one-year long course has rigorous in-person training with expert practitioners and academic faculty. Several panel discussions with guest speakers and active politicians across different parties are conducted, to enable working individually as well as in groups to cultivate learning.
The fees of the course are Rs 2,00,000 and Indian School of Democracy offers generous full scholarships too. Nobody will be denied the course, on financial grounds.
Unlike other courses, The Good Politician is based on hands-on immersion of the cohorts in scenarios, and through travel which enables conversations at the grassroot level. The Good Politician prepares leaders to mobilise lobbies and corporates and builds skills to set up reliable financial sustenance for candidates’ pre-election.The students go on to become politicians at village, district and city level to make democracy come alive for disadvantaged Indians.
Hemakshi Meghani Founder ISD on the course “The Good Politician, is a political journey which invites aspiring grassroots political leaders who want to contest elections, to come and learn the hard skills to be a principled leader and also find a community of people who will walk with you towards sarvodaya – the upliftment of all”
Some of the noteworthy faculty at ISD are Prof. Rajiv Gowda, Former MP, INC, Mr. Sanjay Paswan, Former Minister, BJP, Former CEC, S Y Queraishi, Kamla Bhasin and Rajni Bakshi.
Indian School of Democracy is mentored by Paresh Sukthankar, Tara Krishnaswamy, Venkat Krishnan, Ujwal Thakar, Preeta Bansal and Arun Maira.
Applicants can apply via the website: https://www.indianschoolofdemocracy.org/