February 21, 2023: Leaders from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), a premier global management institute, and US$ 22 billion JSW Group, India’s leading business conglomerate, today inaugurated the JSW School of Public Policy’s (JSW SPP) building, a state-of-the-art multi-facility center at IIMA’s New Campus.
IIMA representatives including Mr. Pankaj R Patel, Chairman, IIMA Board of Governors; Professor Arindam Banerjee, Director-in-charge, IIMA; and Professor Namrata Chindarkar, Chairperson, JSW SPP as well as the leadership team of JSW Group Mr. Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Group; Mrs. Sangita Jindal, Chairperson, JSW Foundation; and Mr. Parth Jindal, Managing Director, JSW Cement, and Paints, participated in the inaugural ceremony. The inauguration was also attended by dignitaries from academia, industry, and the government along with faculty and other members of the IIMA community.
India is at a critical juncture of development and public policy will play a crucial role in driving the economic and societal development of the country. Envisioning this, IIMA and JSW Group collaborated to establish the JSW School of Public Policy to undertake research and teaching in public policy and contribute to India’s roadmap for economic growth and sustainable development. IIMA has an enviable legacy of making exceptional contributions to India’s policymaking efforts that have actively shaped the policy-scape of the country.
For the JSW Group, IIMA served as the ideal platform for the establishment of a School of Public Policy as the Institute offered in-house expertise and capacity through its highly qualified faculty members. Since its inception, the JSW SPP has endeavored to bring together stakeholders across public, private, and social enterprises as well as policymakers to facilitate public policy dialogues that would facilitate the exchange of ideas and contribute meaningfully to India’s policy reforms.
The inaugural event commenced with Professor Namrata Chindarkar welcoming the dignitaries and the guests. Thereafter, addressing the gathering, Professor Arindam Banerjee, Director-in-Charge, IIMA said, “IIMA has a strong legacy of making exceptional contributions to India’s policy-making space that have actively shaped the policy-scape of the country. A significant amount of research, teaching, and advisory work has been undertaken, creating for IIMA a reputation for innovative, grounded, and future-oriented contribution to improving policy formulation and implementation. The JSW School was conceptualized to be an influential think tank that can contribute to building this public policy framework for the state and the country. The School took shape with the generous support of the JSW Group. Even as the brick-and-mortar facility was underway in the last few years, the school took the lead in bringing together stakeholders across the spectrum to facilitate public policy dialogues that would engage, influence, and contribute meaningfully to policy formulation.”
Delivering the inauguration speech, Mr. Pankaj R Patel, Chairperson, IIMA Board of Governors said, “India has led the way by showing the world how policy innovation through the use of technology, private sector involvement, and community partnerships can be brought about while remaining committed to equity. Just like in business, innovation and disruption is also required in the public policy domain. Public leaders need to experiment with new models of governance and new modes of service delivery. IIMA has been known to create management leaders and it wishes to grow this footprint by shaping a new generation of public leaders. The JSW School of Policy came into being as an outcome of this vision with the support of the JSW Group.
JSW SPP aims to become the knowledge hub for such cutting-edge thinking and has the potential to become the center of policy learning and diffusion by developing case studies on the unique Indian policy experience. The school, with its enviable infrastructure, also aims to become the platform for hosting the best minds on various aspects of public policy. In doing so, it hopes to create opportunities for interactions and engagement between policy thinkers and policy practitioners. I congratulate the JSW Group and IIMA members who have played a significant role in bringing the school to fruition.”
According to Mr. Sajjan Jindal, Chairman of JSW Group, “India’s roadmap to become a US$ 10 trillion economy requires structural collaboration from the public sector, private enterprise as well as Academia. These collaborations are crucial to evolve the next phase of policy reforms and to planning efficiently for the next decade of India’s economic growth. Public policy is the backbone of our society and is linked to good governance. Over the last couple of decades, we have witnessed the positive impact of public policy on our society as well as certain challenges. Hence, there is a crucial need to promote Public Policy education in India so that we have a cadre of skilled public policy professionals who can design, implement, and evaluate policies that are effective, efficient, and equitable. The JSW School for Public Policy at IIM Ahmedabad campus has been established to meet this need. Our aim is to create a world-class institution that will foster a new generation of public policy professionals who are knowledgeable, skilled, and ethical. The School will engage with domain experts to identify research gaps and training needs necessary to promote and institutionalize new ideas. We are hopeful that these ideas will empower our future generations to eventually translate the impactful research into world-class innovations leading to policy solutions.”
Commenting on the JSW Group’s partnership with IIM Ahmedabad for JSW SPP, Mrs Sangita Jindal, Chairperson of JSW Foundation, “Education is the cornerstone of building a better future for our country. JSW Group has been dedicated to promoting education in various forms across the value chain. The partnership with IIM Ahmedabad enables us to deliver a focused Business Management curriculum in Public Policy. The curriculum of the JSW School of Public Policy has been designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of public policy and its various dimensions delivered by a faculty of renowned academics and practitioners who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the classroom. Our aim is not just to create skilled professionals but to create empowered leaders who are committed to serving our country with dedication and excellence.”
Outlining the future plans of the JSW SPP, Professor Namrata Chindarkar, Chairperson and Associate Professor at JSW SPP said, “The JSW School of Public Policy (JSW SPP) has set out a vision to develop a unique school of thought on public policy that embraces and tries to make sense of the complex and oftentimes messy policy cape of India. It also aims to play a role in overcoming “policy myopia” and become a platform that brings government, industry, and academia together to take a citizen-centric view and open-mindedly discuss both policy successes and failures with the objective of learning and diffusion. The JSW SPP has the privilege of being a part of IIMA, the country’s best management institution. It aspires to facilitate cross-fertilization of ideas with the rest of the institute to examine the relationship between government, business, and society.”
Design and Infrastructure
Designed by the renowned architect and educator Mr. Rahul Mehrotra, faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, JSW SPP covers more than 56,000 square feet within IIMA’s New Campus. In Professor Mehrotra’s words, the central ideas that inspired him while designing the building included the creation of an armature with a central promenade that brings together spaces of disparate characters and scales and specifically enhances sociability. The concept also integrates greenery across all levels throughout the building, structural innovations that allow play of light, natural ventilation and most importantly, the creation of a space that favors social interactions. The building houses a large forum, a 120-seater auditorium, one sixty-seater classroom, two seminar rooms – 60-seater and 30-seater, eight syndicate rooms, 18 faculty offices, a library extension, a program office, and spaces for research and teaching assistants.
JSW SPP – Objective, Activities, and People
Professor Namrata Chindarkar, Chairperson and Associate Professor at JSW SPP, and Mr. Parameswaran Iyer, Professor of Management Practice at JSW SPP and CEO of NITI Aayog lead the academic and research activities at the JSW SPP supported by a group of faculty members from diverse disciplines and focus on public policy. Since its inception in 2015, JSW SPP has been actively working on various studies, and organizing conferences and discussions related to public policy in India with participation from eminent policymakers, academicians, and industry leaders. Over the years, it has evolved into an influential think tank that contributes to public policy through high-quality research and training programs for practitioners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, academics, and young minds pursuing policy issues. It has hosted the likes of the Late Shri Pranab Mukherjee – former President of India, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman – Union Minister for Finance, Shri Amitabh Kant – former CEO of NITI Aayog, Shri Rajiv Mehrishi – former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Shri Sunil Kant Munjal – Chairman of Hero Enterprise, among others as guest faculty and speakers.
As part of the MoU between IIMA and the JSW Group, the JSW SPP will undertake cutting-edge research studies on various aspects of public policy in India with global reference. The findings from such research will inform and support India’s economic and societal transition. Some of the key themes that JSW SPP will focus on include institutional reforms to enhance state capacity and improve governance; policies for sustainable development including energy, water, and climate change; data-driven and experimental work to identify policy impact and inform policy design; and creating 21st-century public administrators. The school will enjoy academic freedom in authoring this report.
Event to mark the inauguration
The inaugural ceremony was followed by a high-profile panel discussion on ‘Making Public Policy Education Relevant for India’s Development’ with Professor Pranab Bardhan, Professor Ashwini Deshpande, Professor Arvind Panagariya and Dr Shamika Ravi as the panelists.