Understanding Public Policy with Policy Professional Yash Agarwal

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On 3rd December, Journalism students of Batch 2022 received an opportunity to interact with Yash Agarwal, an alumnus of SCMC and Twitter’s first-ever Public Policy Fellow from India.

The Journalism students witnessed a paradigm shift since the Covid pandemic began, courtesy the hyybrid mode combining an online and offline session, as they sat together in the classroom to attend an online guest lecture after a long time.

As a Journalism major from SCMC himself, Mr. Agarwal explained his transition to the field of Public Policy and how the institute’s courses laid the groundwork for his long journey ahead. When discussing the scope of public policy in terms of career and education, he repeatedly emphasised the importance of networking and building a portfolio for oneself.

From Big Tech to Think Tanks, every organisation revolves around public policy. Mr. Agarwal believes that pursuing policy necessitates the desire to affect change which has the potential to have a significant impact. “Education in public policy is on the rise, and now is a good time to get started,” he said. Providing information about specific policy courses and boot camps to assist interested students in launching their policy careers, he said, “There’s so much to look at and so much to do in public policy.”

Mr. Agarwal is a firm believer in the importance of communication and networking. “We have the most important soft skill as media students – communication,” he said. He shared his experience of sending regular e-mails to public policy professionals, sharing his thoughts with them, and developing a portfolio with maximum exposure. According to Mr. Agarwal, public policy is a field where you must demonstrate grit and determination to succeed. It’s a people’s game, and it’s built entirely on trust.

Guest lecture conducted by Mr. Yash Agarwal.

While working as a LAMP fellow in the Indian Parliament, he worked with the Member of Parliament (MP) assigned to him on drafting laws and speeches while dabbling with different issues every day. “The point is not about how much you know already, it’s about how much you are willing to learn,” he commented. “Allow yourself to make mistakes, but also allow yourself to explore and discover,” he added.

Mr. Agarwal started Public Policy India (PPI), a knowledge platform dedicated to help the public understand government policies in a simple and engaging manner. A networking element of PPI is their Instagram page (@thepolicygram). PPI’s weekly newsletter lists several fellowship programmes, internships and job opportunities in the ideation, planning and execution of public policy in India.

During the session, Mr. Agarwal’s responses were helpful in answering the questions from SCMC’s curious journalists in waiting.  

Shared memories and learnings from every stage of his adulthood – Mr. Agarwal’s experiences at SCMC, his learnings from working as a LAMP Fellow to a Lok Sabha MP for a year, make Mr. Agarwal’s journey of launching a start-up called ‘Public Policy India,’ and now, his work as a Public Policy Co-ordinator at Twitter,  truly inspiring.

His invitation to the students to reach out to him for any help was appreciated by the Journalism batch. We wish Mr. Agarwal the best for his future endeavours and hope to see him flourish in all spheres of life.

Shirin Pajnoo

(Batch 2022)