NLSIU Bangalore

Master’s Programme in Public Policy

India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world, continuously faced with challenges of justice, inequity, exclusion and progress. The study of public policy informs the state as to how it could respond to the new dynamic challenges that emerge in the society. As every legislation requires clear policy formulation, there is demand for trained professionals who will be equipped to design, implement, and evaluate policies and programmes. We derive inspiration from our transformative Constitution while addressing the challenges of diverse national needs.

The University offers the Master’s Programme in Public Policy – a two-year residential interdisciplinary programme focusing on the interface between policy and the law. Introduced in 2014, this programme provides comprehensive training in designing public policies for the complex societal problems, translating policies into deliverable programmes, and in evaluating the efficacy of policies.  Through this programme, NLSIU  trains young professionals to become policy practitioners capable of supporting inclusive and sustainable development.

Pedagogy: We emphasise on a dialectical pedagogy that encourages students to question the complexities in the practice of public policy arising from real-life situations of people from a diverse set of social and economic backgrounds. The programme has adopted an innovative pedagogy which combines reflective learning through classroom discussions, in-field exposures, solving problems for real-world clients, internship and research dissertation.

Candidates with any graduate degree can apply for the MPP programme.  To view the academic and examination regulations, please click here.

For more details on eligibility and admissions process, please click on the admissions tab on this page. For other details, please visit:

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Live Information Session on the MPP Programme 2023


Any person holding a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized national or international University is eligible to apply to the programme. Applicants in the General Category should have graduated with an aggregate of not less than 50% of total marks. Applicants in the SC or ST or OBC-NCL or PWD category should have graduated with an aggregate of not less than 45% of total marks. Students in the final year of their Bachelor’s degree are also eligible to apply. However, their final offer of admission shall be contingent upon successful completion of their Bachelor’s degree with the minimum aggregate marks specified above. Proof of completion of the qualifying degree has to be submitted no later than December 31, 2023.


The total intake capacity for the 2-year MPP programme in the Academic Year 2023-24 is 100 (One hundred).

Admission to the programme will be through a two-stage national-level examination process – an all-India written admission test (NLSAT-MPP) followed by a personal interview.


All candidates seeking admission to the programme shall first appear for the National Law School Admission Test for Masters in Public Policy (NLSAT-MPP). The NLSAT-MPP will have a single question paper comprising two parts – Parts A and B. All candidates shall be required to attempt both parts of the question paper. The examination shall be for a duration of 2 hours (120 minutes).

Part A

Part A will consist of Multiple-Choice Questions and shall be for a maximum of 60 marks. Each question will be of one mark. 0.25 marks shall be deducted for each wrong answer, and for each unanswered question. A rank list of candidates will be prepared first based on their performance in Part A of the NLSAT-MPP. To qualify in Part A of the NLSAT-MPP, the candidate has to satisfy the following requirements:

(a) Candidates should have secured more than zero marks in Part A of the NLSAT-MPP.

(b) Candidates seeking admission in the General or EWS categories must secure a score above the 75th percentile in Part A. Candidates seeking admission in the SC or ST or OBC- NCL or PWD categories must score above the 50th percentile in Part A. Part B of the answers scripts of candidates who have qualified in Part A shall be selected in a ratio of 1:5 for evaluation. That is, five candidates per seat available will qualify for the evaluation of Part B of the examination.

Part B

Part B will consist of policy related subjective questions which shall be for a maximum of 25 marks. A fresh rank list shall be prepared based on the on the cumulative performance in Parts A and B of the NLSAT-MPP for those candidates who meet the qualifying criteria in both Parts A and B.

To be considered for the next round, a candidate has to satisfy the following conditions:

(a) The candidate should have secured more than zero marks in both Parts A and B of the NLSAT-MPP.
(b) A candidate seeking admission in the General Category or EWS categories must secure a score above the 75th percentile in both Parts A and B respectively of the NLSAT-MPP, as well as in the aggregate score of Parts A and B. A candidate seeking admission in the SC or ST or OBC-NCL or PWD category must secure a score above the 50th percentile in both Parts A and B respectively of the NLSAT-MPP, as well as in the aggregate score of Parts A and B.


Calls for interview shall be sent to candidates based on this overall NLSAT-MPP scores’ rank list. The personal interview will be for a maximum of 15 marks. The final rank list shall be generated based on the total scores of candidates in the NLSAT-MPP (85 marks) and personal interview (15 marks). Offers of admission shall be made
according to this final rank list.

Note: The applicable reservations policy shall be applied at each stage of the admissions process.

For any queries regarding NLSAT, please write to


  • The NLSAT-MPP will be held on April 29, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in centres across the country.
  • Application fees of Rs. 2500 (Two thousand five hundred only) shall be payable at the time of submission of the application. Candidates belonging to the SC or ST or OBC-NCL or PWD or EWS shall be required to pay Rs. 2000 (Two Thousand only).
  • The application deadline has been extended to April 10, 2023 (11:59:59 pm). View the corrigendum here.
  • The final admissions list will be published by the first week of June 2023.
  • Classes will commence from July 1, 2023.

NLSAT will be held in several centres across the country. List of centres is available on the application portal ( The syllabus for the NLSAT-MPP will be available on the website. Fees and other details of the programme are also available on the website.


The total number of seats available are 100 (One hundred). Seats shall be reserved as follows:

  • Scheduled Caste – 15%
  • Scheduled Tribe – 7.5%
  • Other Backward Classes (NCL) – 21.6%
  • Economically Weaker Sections – 8%
  • 5% of the total intake shall be reserved horizontally for Persons with Disabilities (PWD)
  • 24% of the total intake shall be reserved horizontally for Women
  • 25% of the total intake shall be reserved horizontally (compartmentalised) for Karnataka Students*.

* Karnataka Students Category:

1. Candidates who have studied for not less than 10 years in a recognized educational institution in Karnataka shall be eligible to be considered as ‘Karnataka Students.’

2. Candidates who have not completed ten years of study in Karnataka shall be eligible to apply under the Karnataka Students category if they fall under any of the below categories:

a) Children of defence personnel/ex-servicemen, who at the time of joining service, have declared their hometown to be in the State of Karnataka, and who have served or are serving outside Karnataka, corresponding to the candidate’s years of study outside Karnataka.

b) Children of employees of the Karnataka State Government who have served or are serving outside Karnataka corresponding to the candidate’s years of study outside Karnataka.

c) Children of serving or retired employees belonging to the Karnataka cadre of the All India Services (IAS/IFS/IPS), who have served or are serving outside Karnataka corresponding to the candidate’s years of study outside Karnataka.

d) Children of working or retired employees in the Central Armed Police Force service, who upon joining service declared their hometown to be in the State of Karnataka, and who have served or are serving outside Karnataka, corresponding to the candidate’s years of study outside Karnataka.

Illustration: If the candidate has studied in Karnataka for three (3) years, they must prove that their parent/s were serving outside Karnataka for at least seven (7) years corresponding to their own period of study outside Karnataka.

If the candidate has not studied in Karnataka continuously for at least one (1) year, they must prove that their parent/s were serving outside Karnataka for at least ten (10) years corresponding to their own period of study outside Karnataka.

3. Eligible candidates must keep their Study Certificates issued by their School/s and other relevant documents ready to be submitted at the time of counselling/admission.

The official admission notification containing the above details for the Academic Year 2023-24 has been released. View the official notification here.

Apply for the Programme


Master’s Programme in Public Policy at NLSIU is a two year residential programme organised through six trimesters. The programme is a good blend of skill-based courses and theoretical courses. Apart from the courses focused on the theory and practice of public policy, there are courses on economics, law, sociology, finance, Indian society and political economy. Classrooms follow innovative pedagogy encouraging participants to share their perspectives on contemporary policy issues, and learning revolves around discussions in the light of theories and practices.

The course intends to combine reflective and interactive learning with field exposure and problem solving tasks. The pedagogy encourages the amalgamation of divergent and convergent thinking which is further judged in the dissertation writing exercise where students are given the opportunity to use their quantitative skills and effectively articulate their innovative ideas over a six-month period. The evaluation is based on the dual criteria of knowledge, which is periodically assessed through end-term examinations and the skills are continuously assessed through various means like assignments, projects, presentations and debates.

Course Structure

  1. Core Courses: 50 credits.
  2. Elective courses: 16 credits.
  3. Field Work: 2 Credits (exposure to communities)
  4. Client-led Projects: 2 Credits (exposure to public/private/non-profit organizations)
  5. Seminar Courses: 4 credits
  6. Dissertation: 10 credits

Click on each of the titles below to know more about the different components:

Field Work

Fieldwork is an essential component of public policy pedagogy. NLSIU policy graduates bridge the division between ‘policy makers’ and ‘policy scholars’ through this grounded field experience where various kinds of problems are tackled. After the first trimester, the participants spend three weeks in a community facilitated by grassroots organizations. This field work will be carried out in groups of 2/3 participants to develop hands-on understanding on social and political institutions that facilitate or hinder policy efficacy.

Client-Led Projects

Policy analysis is an advice provided to a client to solve public problems. Therefore, working with clients that regularly advise government on public policies is an important part of our pedagogy. After the second trimester, students will work in small groups to solve a policy problem experienced by a real world client. This first hand exposure to public policy projects provide them with an opportunity to apply tools to real world policy settings. For these client-led projects, students may be required to work with the organization or undertake fieldwork in localities where the organization is making intervention.


The programme provides a thorough training in evidence-based research. Through the course work, out-of-class-room learning of fieldwork, and client-led projects in the first year, students are exposed to potential research topics relevant for human communities and policy agencies. Thus, the programme provides sufficient ground to formulate a research problem by the end of first year.

At the beginning of second year, each participant is allocated a dissertation supervisor. Under this supervision, the participant prepares a research proposal which is examined (20% of weight of dissertation component) by two faculty members at the end of fourth trimester. In the fifth trimester, the participants are clustered into small groups for ‘dissertation seminar’. Through these seminars, participants gain interdisciplinary exposure to the research theme of their choice. Further, at the end of the fifth trimester, the participants finalise the tools of data collection and other protocols for dissertation research. These are examined by two faculty members through a progress seminar (20% of weight of dissertation component). In the final trimester, candidates complete data collection and write up their dissertation. The final dissertation is examined for the written submission as well as through oral examination.


Courses | AY 2022-23

Year 1


Introduction to Public Policy (2 credits)
Principles of Economics (2 credits)
Politics and Society in India (2 credits)
Introduction to Data Systems (4 credits)
Transformative Constitutionalism (3 credits)
Reading Judgments and Statutes (2 credits)
Fieldwork (2 credits)


Policy Analysis and Clinic (2 credits)
Economics for Public Policy (3 credits)
Rights, Duties and Institutions (3 credits)
Social Transformation (2 credits)
Research Methodology (3 credits)
Contract Management and Negotiations (2 credits)
CLP- Client-led Projects (2 credits)


Economic Development of India (2 credits)
Law, Policy and Development (3 credits)
Accountability and Governance (2 credits)
Electives (4 credits)
Policy Dialectics (Seminar Course – 2 credits)


Year 2


Policy Design and Evaluation (2 credits)
Public Finance (3 credits)
Regulatory Governance and Sectoral Workshops (4 credits)
Electives (8 credits)
Internship (Optional)


Policy Practice (2 credits)
Responsible Business (2 credits)
Dissertation Seminar (2 credits)
Electives (4 credits)


Dissertation (10 credits)

Academic Calendar for AY  2022-23 | March 2023 – June 2023 Term

6-March-2023 Monday Commencement of term
22-March-2023 Wednesday Holiday Ugadi
07-April-2023 Friday Holiday Good Friday
14-April-2023 Friday Holiday Ambedkar Jayanti
01-May-2023 Monday Holiday May Day
20-May-2023 Saturday Deadline for Elective paper submission
26-May-2023 Friday Last day of classes
27-May-2023 Saturday Oral Presentations for Elective & Intensive Elective Courses





End Term Examinations for Elective








End Term Examinations
03-July-2023 Monday Commencement of Trimester I (AY 2023-24)
Note: No elective classes will be held during the period from April 17, 2023 to  April 28, 2023 due to conduct of Intensive elective course.

Fee Structure for the Academic Year 2022-23 (First Year Students)

Admission fee- one time          10,000.00 
Tuition and facilities fee – Per annum    2,21,590.00 
Hostel residential Charges        36,650.00 
Mess  charges        43,575.00 
Refundable deposits – one time for General Category       16,000.00 
Refundable deposits – one time for SC/ST Category         12,000.00 
General Category- per annum    3,27,815.00 
SC/ST  category – per annum     3,23,815.00

Note: The fees/charges are provisional and subject to confirmation & revision as per the decision of the University authorities.

Read the official AY 2022-23 fees notification here.

Information for Students

  • Download Placement Brochure for the MPP programme (2022-23) here.
  • View recruitment timeline here. 

Information for Recruiters

Embedded in the values of collaboration and participation, our students are equipped with analytical skills and critical thinking. They are trained to engage in all levels of policy from design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Our students have acquired skills in policy memo writing, preparation of policy briefs, desk and field research with advanced knowledge in research methodology, case preparation, data analysis, policy design and evaluation through training and on the job internships with select organisations. Besides, they have been exposed to managing negotiation and case presentation.

Many of our students also voluntarily take up internship opportunities in diverse fields, from social policy to economics and agriculture to international affairs. Previous internship avenues have included governmental organizations, NGOs, inter governmental institutions, research organizations, policy think tanks, academic institutions and corporations.

If you are interested in hosting an intern or recruiting our students, please write to