March, 2016

Applications invited for the Chief Minister’s Good Governance Associates programme – Ashoka University is knowledge partner

The University will select, mentor and monitor the Associates and their work on the field

By Tanita Abraham

Chief Minister’s Good Governance Associates (CMGGA), a unique initiative by the Government of Haryana, with Ashoka University as the knowledge partner, was launched on 10th March, 2016. The idea behind the programme is to familiarise youth with the intricacies of governance and administration, while at the same time using their training and fresh perspectives on projects.

On 31st January, an MoU was signed between Ashoka University and the Haryana State Government with an understanding that this programme would soon be launched. It was considered a mutually beneficial engagement, and one that would positively impact the development metrics of the state.

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CMGGA has been introduced through online channels and applications are being solicited at present. The CMGGA aspires to bring together 21 high calibre individuals from the country and place them in the 21 districts of Haryana for a year. These young leaders will get the chance to work with the District Commissioners of the state and will report to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

Within ten days of the launch, the programme has seen over 1,000 registrations and 60 applications for the 21 spots. These applications will be screened and shortlisted for the telephonic interview round and a subsequent shortlist will see applicants through to the personal interview round. The final list of applicants will be released in the end of May while the induction and training for the Associates will begin at the Ashoka University campus on July 1st, 2016. The last date for applications is 15th April, 2016.

For those that are keen to enter the policy and governance arena or want to experience first-hand how the government functions, this is a unique opportunity. The chosen Associates are expected to use their core skills and interests in furthering a specific development initiative or piloting a project at the districts. The Associates will also try and solve some challenging and critical issues that Haryana is dealing with.
The State of Haryana has recently taken a few encouraging steps as it elected a woman in the Fatehbad Zilla Parishad, who completed her LLM from Harvard University. It also brought a minimum qualification rule for its panchayat elections. The state’s flagship programme, and one that its officials are most proud of, is the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.

Despite some of the recent unrest in the state, there is a very strong effort from the government to bring Haryana back on the map, and for the right reasons. In this narrative of trying to undo the injustices of decades, it is important that young leaders and institutions lend a helping hand and do their bit to see people succeed and live a wholesome life.

It is in this vein that as the knowledge partner, Ashoka University, has designed and launched CMGGA. Associates will be selected from diverse backgrounds and must have the passion and dedication to trudge through both ambiguous and difficult situations. They are required to have a minimum of an undergraduate degree and one year of work experience or have a post graduate degree. The age limit to apply for the programme is 30 years. The Associates will regularly interact with mentors and leaders from various fields and be supported through skill training workshops that will hold them in good stead on the ground.
Although the Associates will work for a period of one year, given mutual interest in the programme, they could extend it to two years and get an in-depth understanding of the workings of the state and ensure the success of the key schemes in the district. They will be offered a competitive stipend and get lodging as well as travel facilities. Since they will be working in the field, a good working knowledge of Hindi is essential and comfort with handling big data and analytics will be an additional benefit.
Given the interest and momentum the programme has got, it will be heartening to see the first 21 Associates step up to the challenge and take this transformational journey with Ashoka University.

(The writer is Manager, Professional and Leadership Development, Young India Fellowship)

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