Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why Public Policy Matters

I recently applied for this public policy course offered by The Takshashila Institution. For one of its essays on 'Why public policy matters?', I wrote the following. 
At the very basic level, there is usually a rather surprising agreement among the various groups about the end goals to be pursued in a society; be it then eradication of poverty, removal of corruption or the establishment of an egalitarian order. What, however, differs is the means these various groups advocate for achieving these objectives.

Fortunately, since the ends are causally related to the means, these means or policies can be studied and evaluated in a scientific manner and their merits/demerits be discussed objectively. (Same thing can not, however, be said of the ends to be pursued which fall in the realm of desires and aspirations and are hence beyond any objective evaluation.)

Further, in a democratic society like India it is essential that even though the formal responsibility for policy making rests with the elected politicians, the general populace is also sufficiently capable of understanding and discussing various policy options and their nuances. For, ultimately in such societies it is the masses who decide which policy options get preference over the others.
Therefore, insofar as public policy provides a vocabulary to discuss and debate various issues of public importance and develops frameworks and models to objectively study and understand these issues, it is important.
Comments welcome. 
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