New technologies are transforming the landscape of higher education. With the increasing digitization of the society, the communities that include formal students and those who are outside of it are looking for new avenues of learning. Here comes an opportunity for such people to learn in a flexible manner anywhere and anytime. The Government of India is encouraging such kind of learning through a portal called SWAYAM.

University of Hyderabad (UoH), one of the premier institutions of higher education in the country, is offering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Public Policy: An Introduction. This has been launched on 15 August, 2019. UoH has collaborated with another emerging university i.e., Central University of Rajasthan (CURAJ), Ajmer in designing the content and delivering it. The course is coordinated by a senior faculty, Prof. I. Ramabrahmam from Department of Political Science. The course is having the experts of higher education, Prof. Appa Rao P and Prof. Arun Kumar Pujari. Both are known in their respective fields in the country (Life Sciences and Computer Sciences respectively).  Besides, Shri N. Parameswaran, the Senior Consultant to the MHRD, Govt.of India has provided technical support in developing the content.

About the Course

Public policy has been evolving into a major sub- discipline in political science since the 1970s. It emerged as a separate discipline in recent time all over the world. In this context, it would be of utmost relevance to understand how policies are formulated in a national and international context and other nuances of policy making. This course “Public Policy: An Introduction” is designed to cater to the increasing demands of knowledge about public policy. This course aims at familiarizing the learners with the key concepts and theories of public policy. The course examines how different actors play their role in shaping and influencing the policy process.

Learning Outcomes

This course aims at familiarizing the learners with the key concepts and theories of public policy. At the end of the course, you would be in a position:

  • to understand as to why certain issues emerge as policy issues for the government to act upon,
  • to examine how different actors play their role in shaping and influencing the policy process,
  • to analyze how policy problems and issues are formulated and implemented; and to acquire skills of writing a policy brief

The course is targeted at students, teachers, bureaucrats, policy professionals, people working in NGOs, and corporate. More than 1000 learners have registered for this course. This will meet both academic and organizational purposes. The officers in public organizations can expand their horizons of understanding of how different stakeholders work together. They learnt to understand how to write policy briefs, with a hunch on legal dimension. The programme managers in corporate sector can learn the ways of monitoring their project and evaluate them.  For those working in NGOs, it is a good opportunity to understand the policy processes with reference to policy advocacy and policy networks. Finally, those who are at the decision making level can benefit from this course by examining the specific case studies.

This is offered free of cost to the learner.


Week 1: Public Policy Concepts

Week 2 and Week 3: Theories and Approaches to Public Policy

Week 4 and Week 5: Institutions and Policymaking

Week 6 and Week 7: Case Studies on select public policies in India 

Week 8: Policy Evaluation and Writing a Legislative Policy Brief

Launching of the Course by the Vice Chancellor

Credit Transfer

This is a 2 credit course. If learners intend to obtain SWAYAM certificate should register for the final proctored exams that come at a fee and attend in-person at designated centers on specified dates. Eligibility for the certificate will be announced on the course page and learners will get certificates only if this criterion is matched. Universities/colleges approving credit transfer for these courses can use the marks/certificate obtained in these courses for the same.

As an expert in the field of higher education, Prof. Ramabrahmam believes that this MOOC will meet the three principles of higher education in the country: equity, accessibility, and quality.

Prof. Appa Rao P, HCU Vice Chancellor congratulated the painstaking effort of the team, and pledged to popularize it across the universities/colleges in India. This is a major initiative to bridge digital divide in learning.

Mr. Devesh Nigam, Controller of Examinations said that such courses will help the students to augment their learning through online mode. Though the idea of MOOC is a novice in a traditional university, he is hopeful that the course gets wide publicity and acceptance of the students and faculty in future.