The second annual three-day Public Policy Dialogues of the Bharti Institute of Public Policy, Indian School of Business, was held from January 3-5, 2024, at the Hyderabad campus of the Indian School of Business. This year, the Dialogues—which serves as a platform to delve into multiple public policy issues, focusing on challenges and innovations, bringing a congregation of policymakers, researchers, practitioners, civil society, media, and academia under one roof— focusses on the theme of Human Development and its importance.

Dr Aarushi Jain, Policy Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, & Convenor, Public Policy Dialogues, extended a warm welcome to the esteemed guests and introduced the panellists of the inaugural plenary. She also introduced the theme and sub-themes of three-day event.

Addressing the congregation, Prof. Ashwini Chhatre, Executive Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, set the context of the conference. In his address, he shared two key motivations that underpinned the discussions to follow. He said, “The first motivation emphasises a deliberate shift- ‘back to basics’ by concentrating on human development rather than only sustainable development goals.  As much as the sustainable development goals are valuable, they might be too many, and not all equally significant. I urge that we renew our emphasis on critical aspects such as learning outcomes in primary education, early childhood nutrition, and universal healthcare that leads to human development. The intention is to draw attention to unmet challenges, encouraging a serious consideration of human development issues”.

Laying emphasis on experiential knowledge, he said, “The second motivation centers around the wealth of practical knowledge that already exists. The challenge lies in translating this practical knowledge into effective policies. Together, these motivations underscore the need to prioritise human development concerns and leverage existing practical knowledge to inform and shape impactful public policies.”

Speaking at the inaugural plenary session on ‘Human Development Perspective from India’, Amarjeet Singh, Retd. IAS & Member, Public Enterprises Selection Board, highlighted the importance of public policy dialogues in understanding and crafting credible public systems. He said, “There is a disconnect, sort of a gap between the micro and the macro. How do we fix the broken ladder of aspirations even if these are those of students from ramshackled buildings of government schools? The gap has to be filled in with a purpose”. He said that the exploration of the six sub-themes of human development is not solely for the sake of research but rather to gain insights into what contributes to the establishment of credible public systems. “The insights obtained from these dialogues will be translated into evidence-based studies,” he added.

Sinha mentioned that six volumes of knowledge products will be generated to capture experiential learnings, subject them to rigorous academic scrutiny, and contribute to grassroots knowledge.


Delivering the keynote address, Padma Bhushan awardee Dr K Srinath Reddy, used the analogy of a digital camera to stress that policymakers need to “zoom into the ground level while also keeping a panoramic view of the overall goals for development of a country”.

Dr Reddy, Honorary Distinguished Professor at the Public Health Foundation of India, said, “Public policy has to be both multi-disciplinary and grounded. Its essence lies in the welfare and happiness of those who depend on the practitioners of public policy.” Stressing upon the diverse aspects of human development, he said that these require attention equally and are not isolated entities. Taking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an example, he highlighted their bidirectional nature – as in, how they are inter-related and affect each other, such as climate change and food security, or even biology and social development.

The second annual Public Policy Dialogues, with the theme being Human Development, had six sub-themes: Improving Learning Outcomes in School, Institutional Challenges in Social Development, Healthcare for All, Climate Action and Justice; Livelihood Diversification and Skills; and Improved Nutritional Outcomes. Experts from the social development sector, policy-making, academia, media and civil society, will participate in expert panel discussions and roundtables, among other events. The annual congregation is a platform to delve into multiple public policy issues, addressing challenges and discussing innovations.

Over the course of next two days, experts from social development sector, policy making, academics, media, civil society, participated in expert panel discussions, roundtables, innovation sandbox, research poster presentations and deliberated on innovations to drive change, ensuring that human development in India becomes a global success story.

To keep the delegates and participants enthralled in the evenings, gala dinners, a qawwali night and a theatrical performance by Ekjute Theatre, titled, “With Love, Aap ki Saiyaara” written, directed, and acted by Juhi Babbar Soni were also held.

Sub Themes

The second annual Public Policy Dialogues at the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad Campus delves into the multifaceted landscape of "Human Development." This year's event encompasses six compelling sub-themes, each addressing critical facets of human development that are pivotal for India's growth and well-being.

Improving Learning Outcomes in School

Education is the cornerstone of human development. This sub-theme focuses on strategies to enhance school learning outcomes, bridging the knowledge divide, and nurturing the next generation's potential. By discussing innovative capacity-building interventions, policy interventions and technology integration, we aim to pave the way for a brighter education ecosystem in India.

Institutional Challenges in Social Development

Social development is intrinsically linked to institutional effectiveness. This sub-theme focuses on the hurdles and solutions in building robust institutions that can efficiently drive social development programs. The focus will be on various interventions focussed upon multiple domains of social development, decentralisation and democratisation- success stories, hurdles, public-private partnerships, and policy implementation, through which we seek to foster a more inclusive and equitable society.

Healthcare for All

Healthcare for All is a fundamental step towards social inclusion. This sub-theme explores various interventions in the area, policy analysis, proposed interventions, best practices, and challenges which can lead to robust healthcare infrastructure improving society's overall well-being.

Climate Action and Justice

Sustainability and climate justice are indispensable aspects of human development. This sub-theme addresses various academic and action-oriented ongoing interventions for combating climate change, commitment to environmental conservation, and pursuing sustainable development goals. By discussing biofuels, green initiatives, renewable energy, and climate adaptation, we strive to create a greener and more equitable future.

Livelihood Diversification and Skills

Economic empowerment is central to human development. This sub-theme delves into understanding various academic and action-oriented ongoing interventions in livelihood diversification and skill development as pathways to economic growth. We will examine the benefits and challenges of job creation, vocational training, and entrepreneurship and its overall impact on society.

Improved Nutritional Outcomes

Nutrition is the foundation of human well-being. This sub-theme focuses on academic and action-oriented ongoing interventions in improving nutritional outcomes. By addressing issues such as malnutrition, food security, and sustainable agriculture, we aim to ensure everyone can access nutritious food for a healthier, more prosperous life.

In the spirit of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, Bharti Institute of Public Policy at the Indian School of Business invites submissions for roundtable discussions, panel proposals, innovation sandbox projects, and research poster proposals across these six sub-themes. One can also attend the conference by registering as a delegate. Together, we can chart a course towards holistic human development, creating a brighter and more equitable future for all.

Conference Design

The conference has been designed to integrate research presentations, group discussions, expert opinions, and participant interactions through diverse expert panels, roundtable discussions, innovation sandbox, and research poster presentations. The conference will not uphold any ‘live’ research presentations but will have poster presentations of shortlisted  research submissions.

Expert Panels

These panels will include leading experts on a specific topic or issue within the broad public policy domain. The panelists will bring their experience to bear on the topic, preferably from multiple perspectives within each panel. Specifically, these panels will be designed to provide the audience with a state-of-the-art understanding of the topic through an informed conversation among experts and serve to frame the broad contours of a problem or issue through moderated discussion.


Roundtables are most suited to facilitate conversations across divides – between different disciplines and researchers and practitioners – and are, therefore, designed to take the form of informed discussions rather than sequential presentations. The main thrust is to generate a lively debate wherein participants can discuss tough questions, discover partners, review developments, and propose novel ideas for discussion. The conversations of each roundtable will be transcribed, and a report will be produced for further publication.

Innovation Sandbox Presentations

Public policy design and implementation have witnessed an explosion of various forms and types of innovations. Case studies and best practices in public policy and implementation should be shared for broader reach. Considering this, Public Policy Dialogues will focus on sharing innovations and best practices, which will be presented during the conference.

Research Poster Presentations

Using technology to our advantage, we request the submission of abstracts and posters of the research presentation. Advanced Research (which presents results and conclusions for discussion) and Research in Progress (which presents ongoing work where results are either preliminary or yet to be obtained) are encouraged. Authors must provide the co-authors' names, designation, affiliations, email id, and contact numbers.

Theatrical performance

Theatrical performance by Ekjute Theatre Group featuring Juhi Babbar Soni.

Organising Committee

  • Amarjeet Sinha -  IAS (Retd), Member, Public Enterprises Selection Board (Chair, Organising Advisory Committee
  • Ashwini Chhatre -  Associate Professor, Economics and Public Policy Chair - IRB; Executive Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB (Conference Chair)
  • Aarushi Jain - Policy Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB (Convener)
  • Anjal Prakash - Clinical Associate Professor (Research) & Research Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB
  • Deepti Soni - Associate Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB
  • Nimisha Jain - Manager-Research, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB
  • Sharique Hassan Manazir, Sr Manager-Trainings, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB
  • Himani Gupta - Senior Associate, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB
  • Nitisha Jaiswal - Associate, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB
  • Avantika Sharma - Sr E-content Developer, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB
  • Kanika Rana - Graphic Designer and Visualiser, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB