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 concerns how the state can respond to the new dynamic challenges that emerge in 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 interdisciplinary programme focusing on the interface between policy, social sciences, 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.

Related Videos

Watch videos on the programme here.

The Academic Year will commence on July 1, 2024.


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 45% 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 40% 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, 2024.

International Students

Candidates can apply for the NLSAT – International Examination for “international student” category, if they fulfil the following conditions:

  • They should be a citizen of a country other than India; AND
  • They should have completed a minimum of ten years of their education in a school/college/university outside India.

For more details, click here.

Admission Process

The maximum intake is up to 120 students for the 2-year MPP programme in the Academic Year 2024-25 and ONLY students qualifying as per the criteria set out below will be admitted. Admission to the programme will be through an all-India written admission test, the NLSAT-MPP.


All candidates seeking admission to the programme shall 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 150 minutes.

Part A

Part A will consist of Multiple-Choice Questions and shall be for a maximum of 75 marks. Each question will be of one mark. 0.25 marks shall be deducted for each wrong answer, and for each unanswered question. Part A of the NLSAT-MPP will consist of questions relating to (a) Comprehension; (b) Current Affairs; and (c) Critical reasoning.

Part A will constitute the first stage of the admissions process. A rank list of candidates will be prepared based on their performance in Part A of the NLSAT-MPP. To be eligible for evaluation of Part B of the NLSAT-MPP paper, a candidate should have secured more than zero marks in Part A of the paper.

From amongst these eligible candidates, Part B of the NLSAT-MPP answer scripts will be evaluated in a ratio of 1:5 based on performance in Part A. 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 questions related to policy, and quantitative skills which shall be for a maximum of 75 marks. Themes for questions about policy will be rooted in the social sciences. A fresh and final rank list shall be prepared based on the cumulative performance in Parts A and B of the NLSAT-MPP.

Offers of admission shall be made according to this final rank list subject to the candidate satisfying 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 of the eligible candidates 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 40th percentile of the eligible candidates of the aggregate score of Parts A and B.

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

Important Dates

  • The NLSAT-MPP will be held on March 17, 2024 (Sunday), from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm in centres across the country.
  • Application forms for the programme are available here from December 29, 2023.
  • Application fees of Rs. 2500 (Rupees 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 (Rupees Two Thousand only).
  • Application deadline has been extended to 11:59 pm IST, on February 28, 2024. View official notification.
  • The final admissions list will be published in May 2024. A candidate’s provisional admission will become final only after verification of the originals of documents and payment of fees. The Academic Year will commence from July 1, 2024.

NLSAT will be held in several centres across the country. List of centres will be available on the application portal ( Fees and other details of the programme are also available on the fee tab of this page.

Intake and Reservation

Seats shall be reserved as follows:

  • Scheduled Caste – 15%
  • Scheduled Tribe – 7.5%
  • Other Backward Classes (NCL) – 27%
  • Economically Weaker Sections – 10%
  • 5% of the total intake shall be reserved horizontally for Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
  • 30% 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.

For any queries regarding NLSAT, please write to 

Master’s Programme in Public Policy at NLSIU is a two-year programme organised through six trimesters. The programme is a strong blend of theory-driven and skill-enhancing courses. Apart from the courses focused on the theory and practice of public policy, the programme includes courses across several disciplines including economics, law, sociology, and politics (including political economy), in ways that allow participants to reckon with complex features of Indian society. Classrooms follow innovative and integrative pedagogy encouraging participants to share their perspectives on contemporary policy issues, and the 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 where students are given the opportunity to use the research training received in the programme to explore, analyse, and effectively articulate their findings on policy relevant questions. The evaluation over the two years is based on the dual criteria of: (i) knowledge, which is periodically assessed through end-term examinations; and (ii) the skills, that are continuously assessed through various evaluations including 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:

Rural Experiential Learning and Investigation (Field work)

Rural Experiential Learning and Investigation is an essential component of public policy pedagogy. MPP participants bridge the division between ‘policy makers’ and ‘policy scholars’ through this grounded field work experience where they observe how various interconnected social, political, and economic problems are addressed. 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 or 3 participants to develop hands-on understanding on structural as well as institutional apparatuses that facilitate or hinder policy efficacy.

Client-Led Projects

Policy analysis can serve as advice provided to a client to solve public problems. Therefore, working with clients that regularly advise the government on public policies is an important part of our pedagogy. After the second trimester, students will work with diverse kinds of client organizations to gain experience in addressing real-world policy related issues. This first hand exposure to public policy projects provide them with an opportunity to apply policy analysis 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.


Integral to the requirements of the Master’s Programme in Public Policy is the writing a dissertation worth 10 credits, work for which is carried out in the fourth, fifth and sixth trimesters. Students’ course work, as well as out-of-class-room learning via fieldwork and client-led projects, in the first three trimesters of study introduces them to potential research topics related to policy for conundrums faced by human communities in their internal interactions as well as with the wider ecosystems they are connected to. Thus, by the end of the first year, students in the programme receive sufficient grounds for formulating research problems that can be interrogated in a dissertation.

Working toward the dissertation requirement provides students fulsome training in evidence-based research involving skills in judgment for engaging data and finding suitable conceptual frameworks for the collection and/or analysis of both data and relevant scholarship on the theme of research.

Each candidate is allocated a dissertation supervisor under whose supervision they work to prepare a research proposal, an appropriate research methodology and a complete dissertation that addresses the identified research questions. Different components of the written work for the dissertation are evaluated on an ongoing basis by the supervisor and an appointed co-examiner; the process involves viva-voce too. Candidates’ work for their dissertations is facilitated by a 2 credit Dissertation Seminar course that is offered in the fifth semester of their studies. Through these seminars, participants gain interdisciplinary exposure to the research theme of their choice.

Altogether, the dissertation component of the Masters Programme in Public Policy offers a rare and valuable opportunity for students at this stage in their academic careers to consolidate their skills for independent research and for producing written policy-relevant documents of a good standard.


Courses | AY 2023-24

Note: The exact trimester in which the courses are taught may vary at times.

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)
Field work (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)
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 A.Y. 2023-24 | Trimester III (March 2024 – May 2024)

Date Day Particulars
Repeat examination for Trimester II
11-Mar-2024 Monday Commencement of classes (core and elective)
29-Mar-2024 Friday Holiday
Good Friday
9-Apr-2024 Tuesday Holiday
11-Apr-2024 Thursday Holiday
Intensive fortnight 1. Two hours of classes every week from March 11, 2024 to April 12, 2024 and April 29, 2024 to May 30, 2024 [16 hours in total]
2. Two hours of on-campus classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and four hours of on-campus classes on Wednesday between April 15 and April 26, 2024 [24 hours of classes]
1-May-2024 Wednesday Holiday
May Day
24-May-2024 Friday Deadline for Elective Term / Seminar paper submission
30-May-2024 Thursday Last day of classes (core and elective)
31-May-2024 Friday Oral Presentations for Elective & Intensive Elective Courses
1-Jun-2024 Saturday Elective Examination
End Term Examinations
17-Jun-2024 Monday Holiday
Repeat examination for Trimester III
1-July-2024 Monday Commencement of Trimester I classes (core and elective) of Academic Year 2024-25


Fee Structure for AY 2024-25 (First Year Students)

Admission fee – one time – Rs. 12,000/-
Tuition and facilities fee – Rs. 2,69,000/-
Off-Campus housing fee (optional) – Rs. 1,12,500/-
Total fee per annum – Rs. 3,93,500/-

One Time Refundable Deposit 
Refundable deposits for SC/ST category students – 15,500/-
Refundable deposits for other students – 20,000/-

The total amount payable by SC/ST category students is Rs. 4,09,000/-
The total amount payable by other students is Rs. 4,13,500/-


  • MPP students will be provided with an off-campus housing option. The fee is for a single student on twin sharing basis.
  • All students availing the off-campus housing option will be eligible for the University’s food plan at no additional charge.
  • The food plan includes breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, and dinner at the University mess.
  • All students availing the off-campus Housing Option will have to make their own arrangements for transport to and from the University campus at their own cost.

Financial Aid

The University offers means-based scholarships. To know more about NLSIU’s financial aid options for students, click here

Fee Structure for Foreign Students for AY 2024-25 (First Year Students)

Admission fee – one time – Rs. 36,000/-
Tuition and facilities fee – Rs. 8,07,000/-
Hostel residential charges – Rs. 45,000/-
Mess charges – Rs. 67,500/-
Total fee – per annum – Rs. 9,55,500/-

One Time Refundable Deposit
Refundable deposits – Rs. 60,000/-
The total amount payable at the time of admission, by foreign students is Rs. 10,15,500/-

* Fees mentioned above are provisional and subject to ratification by the University Governing Bodies.
* Mess fee includes meal plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and an evening snack.

Information for Students

  • View Placement Brochures of the MPP programme for the year 2023.
  • 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 across a variety of organisations. Additionally, they have been exposed to managing negotiation and case presentation.

Many of our students also voluntarily take up internship opportunities in diversefields including agriculture, development, gender and social inclusion, urban infrastructure, and 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

Is the MPP a full time programme?

Yes, the MPP is a full time programme.

What career opportunities will be available after I graduate from this programme?

Watch this video on career opportunities with Prof. Sony Pellissery, founding faculty of the MPP Programme at NLSIU:

How do I apply for the MPP Programme?

Admissions will be through the National Law School Admissions Test (NLSAT-MPP), scheduled to be held on March 17, 2024. For more information, visit 

What is the date and time of the entrance examination?

The NLSAT-MPP for the next Academic Year will be held on March 17, 2024 between 10 am-12:30 pm.

Are calculators allowed for the NLSAT-MPP exam?

Candidates will be permitted to carry basic calculators inside the Test Centre.
Note: Scientific calculators are not permitted.

Can candidates underline keywords in comprehension passages or write keywords next to the passage?

Candidates are allowed to underline parts of the passage or questions. However, making any other marking or writing notes directly on the question paper is prohibited. A separate page is provided for making notes and for rough work. 


Will sample questions be released?

Sample questions for NLSAT 2024 have been uploaded on the admissions portal and will be accessible to candidates who have completed their application process for the NLSAT 2024.

How much space will we get to answer questions in Part B?

The sample questions uploaded on the admissions portal include illustrative space allocations for writing answers in Part B. Please note that some questions may have specific word limits. 

Does the time limit for attempting the exam exclude filling up the name, roll number and other personal details? Do candidates get separate time to read the questions?

No. The examination lasts two and a half hours. The question paper booklets can only be opened at the start of the examination at 10:00 am and no separate time is provided for filling in details or for reading the questions.