Initiated in 2012, the Rajiv Gandhi Research Assistants to Legislators (RG-RALs) Programme aims to engage highly motivated future leaders to public policy making and legislative actions. It is an opportunity for young and dynamic students from varied disciplines to learn about the interface of politics and public policy and develop variety of skills, understand policies as they exist on the ground and get perspectives on political, social and economic issues from political leaders, local people, NGOs, CBOs and academicians.
Research Assistants are selected through a structured selection process. Selected RG-RALs get unique opportunity to observe and assist firsthand in the processes of policy and law making in our country. They get chance to work with a cross section of MPs and selected national and international subject-matter experts, on cutting edge policy challenges facing India.
Duration of RG-RALS programme:
- The RG-RAL programme is a one year fellowship programme. It begins in the middle of July. Programme for the present third batch commenced on 16th July, 2014 and will conclude on 15th July, 2015.
Time commitments of RG-RALs:
- It is a one year programme and requires a full time commitment from the RG-RALs. During the programme, RG-RALs cannot engage in any other assignment, whether part time or full time.
- RGICS conducts an intensive training programme, where RG-RALs are trained in research methodology, academic writing, data collection and basic parliamentary procedures. RG-RALs are also oriented to various issues related to the socio-political context of India. This is supplemented by interactive sessions with MPs and academicians and visits to the Parliament.
Roles and responsibilities of RG-RALs:
- RG-RALs provide assistance to MPs. These include preparing background papers/briefings for MPs on key policy issues; preparing questions and other interventions in Parliament including committee work; analysing draft Bills presented to the Parliament. This is done under the supervision of RGICS Fellows and subject matter experts.
- Research Assistants also work with the Fellows at RGICS on research projects and Policy Analyses.
- Research Assistants are also involved in developing weekly policy newsletters called Policy Watch.