Good governance and efficient public administration are prerequisite for the development of the state. The average age of an Indian citizen is 29 years and we are poised to be one of the world's youngest country. This young generation is brewing with new ideas, innovation and enthusiasm.So it becomes even more important for the youth to be given the right opportunities and the right kind of support.
With this in mind, the Maharashtra government had launched the Chief Minister Fellowship Program, an initiative by Honorable Shri Devendra Fadnavis, to provide youth a platform to participate in policy making, governance and development of the state. The program is a unique opportunity for today’s youth to get hands-on experience in tackling problems on ground with a fresh perspective and contributing to the development of a new Maharashtra.
If you’d like to be a part of the Chief Minister Fellowship Program apply here.
What is the program all about?
The 11-month-program is open to anyone between the ages of 21 to 26 with one year of work experience. In its fourth year currently, till date almost 200 fellows have been part of this program. Every year the program receives close to 4,000 applications of which 50 are picked to receive the Fellowship. Since its inception, the state government has made some policy changes, eliminated redundant policies, updated old ones and proposed new ones, thanks to the unique and refreshing perspective of these Fellows.
Based on their education and work experience, the Fellows are posted at different departments and district collectors’ offices. Each fellow has a senior officer as mentor who guides them. They work with different government stakeholders to remove bottlenecks and expedite processes, and see how best to apply technology to solve problems faced in today’s digital age. As they are from outside the system, their unique points of view can assist the administration to tackle problems differently and effectively.
Why should you be a part of this program?
Chief Minister Fellows get a close-up view of how the government machinery functions as they have the opportunity to collaborate with government leaders, civil servants and experts to create high-impact, and scalable solutions to real problems. They also get to spearhead government schemes and ensure effective service delivery of these schemes to citizens. The experience and exposure gained helps Fellows who want to pursue a career in developmental sector, policy making, management sector or who aspire to join the civil services.
“This experience is very blissful and satisfying. Through the last four years, I have been in contact with about 200 fellows. These young people are socially aware, more vocal, hardworking and creative. They will leave no stone unturned if given the right opportunity.”
Priya Khan, Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Minister
A glimpse into the impact
From cyber-security, to education, implementation of sustainable development goals, to upliftment of marginalized communities, here are some examples of the significant work on ground by fellows that has borne results.
Dr. Mayur Munde had the opportunity to work on implementation of several programs for upliftment of marginalized tribal communities in the state. “Initially I was assigned the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program, but when I joined the Tribal Department, I realised a plethora of work was awaiting me. I worked on ambitious projects in education, health, infrastructure development for the most marginalized communities of this state. Dealing with such different kinds of work both on field and at the secretariat was at times overwhelming, but mostly exciting. With a great team and immense opportunity, there was never a dull day at Tribal Development Department,” he says.
Pallavi Sangle worked with the District Collector’s office in Osmanabad across as many as 25 diverse areas including health, education, agriculture, management of the Tuljapur yatra, the NITI Aayog Aspirational District Program, SVEEP and District Internship Program, among others. According to her, “The exposure provided by The Chief Minister Fellowship program has helped me to develop my professional and personal skills to a great extent. It was like a lateral entry into the system, placing you right under IAS/IPS officers, to use your fresh perspective, innovation and abilities for a larger good.”
Shruti Prasad, another Chief Minister’s Fellow, has this to say. “The Chief Minister’s Fellowship has been an enriching and challenging journey – perfect for young professionals who are interested to make their careers in public policy. My placement in the UN Action Room to Reduce Poverty – an initiative in collaboration with the Planning Department of the Government of Maharashtra -- has given me the opportunity to see how policy-making works first-hand. It is an irreplaceable experience to work at the cross-roads of international policy mandates and state-level institutionalization of the same. My work has mainly revolved around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and therefore has been a unique chance to learn innovation, positive drive as well as challenges in the application and actualization of policy within the State Government.”
A Public Policy Maker, a Project Manager, a Research Analyst, a Consultant, a Cyber Security Analyst and a Cop! Kartik Saboo got to play these roles in the 11 months as a CM’s Fellow. “From the Chief Minister’s Office to a Police Station in rural Vidarbha, be it the Chief Secretary’s meeting table or a Cyber Crime Scene in Kolhapur, I owe my key learning experiences in the State Government to this wonderful platform led by Priya Khan, and to my amazing mentor Brijesh Singh, a man who has changed the way I saw the Police force and the Civil Services,” he says.
“I received a unified platform to experience how bureaucracy and government work at ground level through the Chief Minister fellowship. I got to work on already existing project such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, Swachh Bharat Mission, GIS-based property Tax Assessment system as well as I got an opportunity to initiate my pet projects such as the Happy School Project, POCSO training, Central Library etc. The CM fellowship program is a unique medium which allows the fellows to develop a plethora of skill sets under the guidance of highly qualified bureaucrats,” says Akanksha Narode.