It isn’t everyday that you look at a list of courses that will help you get into politics, right? Allow us to make a disclaimer – through the term politics, we mean to include related areas of governance, administration, development and diplomacy too.
Moreover, this is an indicative list of the courses that will better arm you towards the field of politics in this day and age.
Political science is actually a vast field which can be taken up in the Bachelors, Masters of Research level at any Liberal Arts education provider in India. You then have to choose which area of specialization you want to undertake in political science. Do you want to study Public Policy, Public Administration, Political Theory, Contemporary politics or political history?
Public Administration, for instance, is an extremely popular and diverse branch of political studies, wherein you are trained to interpret and execute public policy, review problems of governance, study administrative law, understand the role of various departments of the government and much more.
This is a course that has been gaining tremendous amount of popularity in the recent years. With opportunities to work in the government and global developmental agencies such as WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF, doing a specialization in IR will take you places, literally.
If you take an IR course, you will be well equipped to understand relationships between countries and roles of global governmental organizations. To have a better overview of public policy field, culture studies, terrorism, organized crime, globalization, human rights, state sovereignty and other such aspects, studying IR would be ideal.
Of course, the obvious thing to do after studying 5+ years of an exhaustive law course would be getting into practicing law full time. But after practicing for a few years, you could be in a very good position to get into mainstream politics.
This is simply because lawyers tend to have an inherent interdisciplinary approach towards topics of governance, diplomacy, administration, commerce, finance and much more. They are exposed to a variety of fields during their studies and are trained to closely work with the governmental agencies for legal procedures from the very beginning.
A degree in developmental studies in India would hold a lot of relevance since it is a developing nation poised for growth with many challenges to be faced. A multidisciplinary branch of the social sciences, developmental studies include areas of gender studies, women’s development, security, disaster management, social policy, public heath, human rights, community development and much more.
Students of developmental studies usually opt for positions in the government or international organizations, research centers or not-for-profit sectors.
As a subject of study, ethics has not received as much prominence as it should have in India. Traditionally a branch of philosophy, modern studies in ethics relate to areas of governance, business, justice, the relevance of certain laws and policies, criminal affairs and much more. Imagine how much of a difference it would make if the person holding an important office in the government of a public institute has a background and an understanding in Ethics as a discipline?
If you are raising the question of whether an academic background is necessary to get into Indian politics or not, than the debate is a long drawn one. Let’s just rest the case with a conclusion that the choice is personal and this is the more sophisticated way of going about it.
Otherwise, if your only motive to be become a politician / MLA with a white ‘topi’ is to have a car with a ‘batti’ at your beck and call and to stash a lot of cash, you know which way to go!