From Boardrooms to Public Service: The Indian Administrative Fellowship in Punjab

Unique opportunity to go beyond the limits of a traditional boardroom.

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When a successful sales and marketing professional was searching for ways to give back and create an impact in his home state, he found a unique opportunity to go beyond the limits of a traditional boardroom. Puneet joined 9 accomplished senior leaders on a transformative 18-month journey to shape governance in Punjab…

The IAF Punjab cohort is working to support the State government with technology adoption and innovation. <tag all Fellows here>

This is the sort of thinking that drives an IAF Fellow — the desire to catalyse modernization of public systems, a passion for innovation and tech, and a commitment to actualize the vision for a ‘New India’. The Indian Administrative Fellowship stands out in this space, offering a unique full-time opportunity for talented senior executives leading large-scale transformations to work with civil servants and support the government’s agenda.

Expanding Horizons: From Karnataka to Punjab

Launched in 2021 in partnership with the Government of Karnataka, IAF has already demonstrated its potential to drive impactful change. The Karnataka cohort mobilised public funds of INR 850+ crores to implement system reforms and innovation. Dr. Shalini Rajneesh, IAS, the program sponsor in Karnataka, shared the program’s success with her network, sparking great enthusiasm in Punjab. With strong support from Shri. Tejveer Singh, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Dept of Governance Reforms, IAF Punjab took flight in December 2022. 

Leveraging Talent to Solve for Punjab

Punjab boasts of a rich cultural heritage, a nascent start-up environment and a vast tourism potential. However, post the white revolution, growth in the state largely stagnated. Punjab needed a renewed focus on livelihood generation and tech-enabled governance. Given the opportunity to propel innovation and institutional change in their home state, 200 private sector leaders from across the world applied to be a part of the cohort. 10 Fellows were selected to work with state departments to conceptualize policies, and test and implement sustainable theories of impact.

Nation building in real-time

Since the Punjab cohort started 11 months ago, Fellows have already created a palpable impact. Collectively, Fellows’ projects are expected to mobilize over INR 200 crores of public funds and impact 750,000+ program participants across Punjab.

Fellows visited a Primary school in Tarn Taran District as part of “Punjab immersion” – a series of field visits to understand on-ground work at a deeper level

Here are a few spotlights from their journey so far:

  • Building the pipeline for the leaders of tomorrow means prioritising the youth today. Addressing this, Kumud Jha, Fellow – Dept of Higher Education worked on the NEP implementation handbook to ensure that the youth of Punjab will be future-ready.
  • To rejuvenate tourism and livelihoods in Punjab, Puneet Mahajan, Fellow – Dept of Tourism & Cultural Affairs has worked on building a distinct brand for the state. To that end, launching the first-ever Tourism Summit and Trade Mart saw a plethora of innovative ideas including adventure tourism in the state. 
  • The drain of talent from the state due to a lack of employment opportunities has been a key focus area. Saurabh Saha, Fellow – Dept of  Employment Generation & Training was instrumental in organizing the Smart India Hackathon 2023 which nudged innovators from the state to contribute tech-based solutions for the flagship employment generation app. 

The Indian Administrative Fellowship is now expanding its horizons to collaborate with Union Ministries, with a potential impact to scale across the population of this country. 

IAF is set to launch the first cohort in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, with more in the pipeline. To learn more about our journey, the program, and upcoming cohorts, click here <bitly>

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