News & Events

MPP Students Win IIT Kanpur’s Public Policy Hackathon

May 9, 2022

We are extremely happy to share that our students from the MPP Programme have been declared winners of Lok Niti, the Public Policy Hackathon organised by IIT Kanpur.

Lokniti by IIT Kanpur was organised as part of the Policy Conclave 2022 in collaboration with Chennai Centre for China Studies, and Association for Democratic Reforms.

The competition aims to analyse real-world problems and devise new initiatives and changes in the existing policy framework of government to tackle the crisis at hand. The problem statements this year were from the fields of a) International Relations, and b) Electoral & Democratic Reforms. Participants could pick one of the two themes and had to present ideas and solutions to an esteemed panel of judges. The NLSIU team worked on the theme of Electoral & Democratic Reforms.

Divided into two rounds, the first stage involved the submission of a policy brief elaborating potential solutions for the given problem statement followed by a presentation round. The competition challenged participants in not only policy framing but also effective communication of ideas.

The event, which was held online this year, saw participation from 400 candidates overall. The team from NLSIU competed against 12 qualifying teams from colleges across the country, to clinch the winning title.

About the Team

The team comprised Aditi Mishra, Namratha Keshava and Supriya Nayak U, who are in the first year of the Master’s Programme in Public Policy.

Aditi Mishra is a mechanical engineer with experience in the public policy space. She has a penchant for evidence based policies, impact evaluations, and systems thinking, which led her to the world of public policy.

Namratha Keshava is a lawyer by training, with a keen interest in finance. She has previously worked in the capacity of a lawyer, a development practitioner, and has also dabbled in consulting.

Supriya Nayak U is a computer science engineer by training. She has worked as a software developer for four years before switching to public policy. She is passionate about education, energy, and tech policies, and has a keen interest in data analytics for social sciences.

The team shared their experiences with us regarding the competition.

Upon being declared winners of the hackathon:

We were overjoyed when we came to know that we had won the competition. When we first came across this competition, we realised it’s a great learning opportunity given our common interest in the theme. Initially, we did not even think about winning or losing; we simply enjoyed the journey of exploring the theme.

It was quite challenging to dedicate time and synchronise over an online platform, along with our ongoing client-led projects, and preparations for the upcoming term exams. However, when we came 5th in the preliminary round, it gave us a huge boost of confidence, and the thought of winning had taken root in our minds. We knew we had to do our best for the final round. Surely, all that late night brainstorming and intense presentation prep paid off when we realised we got the highest score (81 out of 100) across the two themes . This is also the first time we collaborated as a team and this victory has instilled in us the aspiration to collaborate for many more opportunities in the future!

On their experience of participating in the competition:

The competition was very well planned. The multi-stage process made it interesting and challenging. We were very passionate about the theme and were excited to participate in the Hackathon. The Association for Democratic Reforms has been leading the discourse of electoral reforms in India and we were honoured to present our ideas to the judges and the ADR members.  The judges also asked us some very thought provoking questions during the final presentation. They encouraged us to think differently and emphasised on the importance of evidence backed solutions which are not just logical and feasible, but also innovative. We had a great time preparing for the competition and are thankful to the organisers for providing us with this opportunity.