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Frequently Asked Questions

She Represents

What is the selection process? How many rounds are there?


Each of our programs puts a lot of emphasis on understanding a candidate holistically. Therefore our selection processes are often more elaborate. The Good Politician’s selection has three rounds. The first is the online application form. Forms go live on 26th Nov 2020. Those shortlisted, will be invited for a video interview with a team member. Interviews will begin late Dec or in January 2021. The final round will be an in person weekend bootcamp. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to join us in one of our regional camps and will stay with us for 2 days. These will happen in March and April across India. Those who are selected will then receive a formal invitation via email and call. You can expect final results in May 2021.




Who is an ideal candidate for this program?


We are looking for young people aspiring to be principled politicians. We are looking for young leaders already involved in political work on the ground, associated with political parties, political action organisations, social movements, student politics, elections and campaigns, organised union groups etc. You will bring deep local political knowledge about the issue that you are working on or the region that you serve and will have some active experience on the ground.




Is there a minimum eligibility requirement for the program?


We require a minimum of 12th std pass academic requirement. This is important in order to access the course work and reading materials provided during the course. We have a broad age range of 25 - 45, however exceptional candidates beyond this range will also be considered.




How do I apply?


The link to the online application form can be found on the program page. The form is bilingual. You can answer the questions in either Hindi or English.




Is there an application fee?


No, there is no charge for the application. It is completely free. Only when you are invited into the program you will be asked to contribute.




I am working full time, can I apply for this program?


The program requires 7 weeks of mandatory in person residential training across the 9 months and weekly online sessions during the field time. If you can commit to these expectations, you can definitely apply.




I am already associated with a political party, can I apply?


Yes, we are looking for people who are already active on the field. Regardless of the party you are affiliated with, you are welcome to apply to the program.




What should I write for the subjective questions in the form?


The application form allows you to tell us more about you, your story, your experience and your aspirations. We appreciate honest answers and encourage you to write from the heart for each of the subjective questions.




Can I upload a CV or work experience certificate?


Yes, you can upload up to 2 documents to support your application.




How long will it take for me to receive a response after applying?


We receive a lot of applications during selection. We are a small team and it takes us a while to sift through all of them. Ideally you will receive a response from us between 3-6 weeks. Alternatively, you can refer to our program page to understand our timelines and expect a response closer to those timelines




When will I get the final decision of my selection into the program?


The final decisions for the cohort can be expected around May 2021. Throughout the process the team will be in touch and keep updating you with any shifts or changes in the timelines.




Can I upload a CV or work experience certificate?


Yes, you can upload up to 2 documents to support your application.




How long will it take for me to receive a response after applying?


We receive a lot of applications during selection. We are a small team and it takes us a while to sift through all of them. Ideally you will receive a response from us between 3-6 weeks. Alternatively, you can refer to our program page to understand our timelines and expect a response closer to those timelines.




When will I get the final decision of my selection into the program?


The final decisions for the cohort can be expected around May 2021. Throughout the process the team will be in touch and keep updating you with any shifts or changes in the timelines.




I am an Indian living abroad, can I apply?


Yes. If you are a citizen of India, you are eligible to apply. Your selection will still depend on your fit with our expectation of political aspiration and current political experience.




I am an Indian with a foreign passport, can I apply?


No, you need an Indian passport to be eligible to run for elections.




Can people with disabilities apply?


Yes, our program welcomes all. The program is designed for political work and engagement. If you are fit for politics you are fit for us!




What do you mean by a representative cohort? How will you ensure diversity in each cohort?


Our cohort proportionally represents the diverse backgrounds of caste, religion, class and region of India. This along with a 50-50 gender split as well. We work hard to reach out to different target areas, geographies to build the necessary networks and spread the word of this program. Democracy is owned by everyone and each of our supporters have helped us build our diversity.




Is there a special preference for any community, gender or background?


We highly encourage women and disadvantaged groups to apply to our program. Traditional channels already exist for the majority gender and majority groups to move into politics. We need to create alternate pathways for the ones who are left out. We do not lower our expectations or rigour of the program for anyone, but we do reach out and help those who are further away from the limelight to access the program more.




Do  I need to provide any certification for my disadvantaged background?


Not at the application stage. If any such documents are required, they will be asked for only once you are invited into the program.




How many recommendations or references do you need?


3 recommendations are required from different sets of people - 1 manager, 1 peer, 1 constituency member.




What will happen in the video interview?


The video interview will be a 45-50 min one-on-one conversation with a team member. The conversation is meant to understand your prior experiences, your motivations to be in politics and your current experience so far. You don’t need any extra preparation for the conversation, just bring your rested self.




What will happen in the weekend bootcamp?


The bootcamp will be a weekend with other potential peers for the program. There will be debates, discussions, sessions and activities. You will get an opportunity to interact with the team, other political aspirants within the region, share about your work and learn from each other. Participants will arrive at the venue by Friday evening and leave by Sunday evening.





The Good Politician

Why should I apply? How is this different from other training programs out there?


Unlike other academic or training programs that expect students to take a whole year off, The Good Politician with it’s unique executive nature, allows participants to stay in their current roles and be part of the program. The rigorous ‘learn by doing’ philosophy that this program is based on allows participants to learn during the residentials and instantly practice and apply the learning to their work during field time. It is meant for active practitioners and is designed to help you in your current work.




When does this program start?


The program begins on 15th Aug 2021 and ends in May 2022.




What is the structure of this 9 month program?


The 9 months are divided into 3 trimesters. Each trimester will have a 2-3 week ‘residential’ when participants are expected to spend in person full time with the team and the entire cohort. The ‘residential’ is followed by 12-16 weeks ‘field time’ applying their learning and practicing in their own regions. During residentials along with rigorous academic and skill training, participants will also travel across different regions of the country to experience the diversity of India.




What is the time commitment needed for this program?


Working professionals or active political people can definitely apply as long as they can commit to 7 weeks of in person time and weekly online classes during the rest of the program. The 7 weeks in residentials will be intense. Each of our modules require an extensive set of pre readings to be completed prior. The days will be long with multiple sessions and discussions along with travel. They will also be part of small groups where they complete group tasks together as well be part of regional circles where they work on their field projects together. During the field time, they will apply relevant learning to their field and through weekly online calls, keep working on them. We expect our participants to take their commitment seriously, complete all expected pre readings, project related assignments and work as well as deliver their commitments to their team members




Where will this program happen?


Each residential will happen in different parts of the country. The first ‘residential’ will happen in Delhi and villages of Uttar Pradesh. The second ‘residential’ will begin in Mumbai, some rural villages of Maharashtra and end in Hyderabad. The third ‘residential’ will begin in Bangalore, rural Kerala and culminate in Tamil Nadu. The rest of the time you will be in the field, which is your own area and constituency of service.




What sort of training and curriculum do you provide?


The program provides an interdisciplinary curriculum to cultivate political readiness in our participants. We also use a variety of instructional methods, including peer learning, debates, dialogues, lectures, presentations and on ground immersions. Please refer to our program page for further details on the curriculum and program.




Can I skip a residential, come in a few days late or leave earlier?


No. Each residential and trimester is carefully designed to help the overall leadership development of the participants as well as caters to specific needs and skill sets for the field time. We run short and intense modules over a few days and missing a few days would mean missing a chunk of learning. However, emergencies will be considered on a case to case basis.




Do you provide a degree or certificate?


Yes. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a completion certificate which acknowledges that you attended and completed The Good Politician with us. ISD chose to be an action focused organisation and not an academic institution. Therefore we do not have the accreditations required to issue a formal degree or diploma. Our focus is to provide the right mentoring, support and direction to future political leaders, and we hope to provide that through each of our programs. We believe that is far more valuable that any certification could deliver.




What is the medium of instruction?


Our participants come from across the country and speak varied languages. To make it accessible most of the instruction will be in English and Hindi. We expect that our participants will be able to proficient in either of the two. We will provide all our reading material in both languages. During the course, there will be additional support provided to ensure bilingual instruction. If you have more questions, feel free to write to us.




Do you provide internships or placements with leaders and parties?


No, the Good Politician program or the team does not take responsibility for any internships or post program placements. The program provides ample opportunities to network, interact and hear several political leaders. It is upto the participants to use such opportunities to help their prospects. ISD remains a non-partisan stakeholder.




What does a day during the residential look like?


We come together for a very short time during residentials, so these days are pretty intense. Our days begin fairly early by 6 am with a morning circle with the entire cohort. We then engage in some physical exercise, meditation and shram daan across the campus. After breakfast our days will begin around 8:30 am and will engage with content sessions, meet external speakers, travel etc. Our day ends together with a closing circle with the team around 9:00 pm after which the participants will retire for the day, or engage informally.




What does a day during the field time look like?


Field time differs for each of our participants, based on where they are working. During field time, participants will have weekly touch points online. These will happen mostly over the weekends. Alternate weeks will be sessions with faculty, team and external guests. In the meantime, participants will be expected to send in a few reflections from their field experiences, share progress and also receive need based support.




What are important expectations during the program?


  • Completion of necessary pre and post work for the trimester
  • Attendance to residentials and field sessions
  • Respect towards everyone and integrity towards commitments




What are the boarding and lodging arrangements during residentials?


ISD is a frugal organisation and our travel, lodging and food arrangements are simple and basic. The team and the participants will live in same gender dorms or community rooms during the residentials. Simple vegetarian food will be provided on campus. We will account for food allergies and other medical conditions. Travel will be conducted via sleeper class trains or non AC buses.




How do you ensure safety for participants during residentials and travel?


50% of our team and participants will be women. It is our prime responsibility to ensure all our participants are safe and taken care of. All residential areas are surveyed in advance to ensure all safety precautions are available. During residentials, participants and team members live in same gender dorms together. We travel in groups and ensure that all our people are taken care of. All arrangements for travel will be made in advance and account for special needs. We have strict policies that our team members and participants have to adhere to. Any reported instances of threat to safety, harassment or bodily harm will be immediately addressed and proper action will be taken.





The Good Politician- Application & Selection

What is the selection process? How many rounds are there?


Each of our programs puts a lot of emphasis on understanding a candidate holistically. Therefore our selection processes are often more elaborate. The Good Politician’s selection has three rounds. The first is the online application form. Forms go live on 26th Nov 2020. Those shortlisted, will be invited for a video interview with a team member. Interviews will begin late Dec or in January 2021. The final round will be an in person weekend bootcamp. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to join us in one of our regional camps and will stay with us for 2 days. These will happen in March and April across India. Those who are selected will then receive a formal invitation via email and call. You can expect final results in May 2021.




Who is an ideal candidate for this program?


We are looking for young people aspiring to be principled politicians. We are looking for young leaders already involved in political work on the ground, associated with political parties, political action organisations, social movements, student politics, elections and campaigns, organised union groups etc. You will bring deep local political knowledge about the issue that you are working on or the region that you serve and will have some active experience on the ground.




Is there a minimum eligibility requirement for the program?


We require a minimum of 12th std pass academic requirement. This is important in order to access the course work and reading materials provided during the course. We have a broad age range of 25 - 45, however exceptional candidates beyond this range will also be considered.




How do I apply?


The link to the online application form can be found on the program page. The form is bilingual. You can answer the questions in either Hindi or English.




Is there an application fee?


No, there is no charge for the application. It is completely free. Only when you are invited into the program you will be asked to contribute.




I am working full time, can I apply for this program?


The program requires 7 weeks of mandatory in person residential training across the 9 months and weekly online sessions during the field time. If you can commit to these expectations, you can definitely apply.




I am already associated with a political party, can I apply?


Yes, we are looking for people who are already active on the field. Regardless of the party you are affiliated with, you are welcome to apply to the program.




What should I write for the subjective questions in the form?


The application form allows you to tell us more about you, your story, your experience and your aspirations. We appreciate honest answers and encourage you to write from the heart for each of the subjective questions.




Can I upload a CV or work experience certificate?


Yes, you can upload up to 2 documents to support your application.




How long will it take for me to receive a response after applying?


We receive a lot of applications during selection. We are a small team and it takes us a while to sift through all of them. Ideally you will receive a response from us between 3-6 weeks. Alternatively, you can refer to our program page to understand our timelines and expect a response closer to those timelines




When will I get the final decision of my selection into the program?


The final decisions for the cohort can be expected around May 2021. Throughout the process the team will be in touch and keep updating you with any shifts or changes in the timelines.




Can I upload a CV or work experience certificate?


Yes, you can upload up to 2 documents to support your application.




How long will it take for me to receive a response after applying?


We receive a lot of applications during selection. We are a small team and it takes us a while to sift through all of them. Ideally you will receive a response from us between 3-6 weeks. Alternatively, you can refer to our program page to understand our timelines and expect a response closer to those timelines.




When will I get the final decision of my selection into the program?


The final decisions for the cohort can be expected around May 2021. Throughout the process the team will be in touch and keep updating you with any shifts or changes in the timelines.




I am an Indian living abroad, can I apply?


Yes. If you are a citizen of India, you are eligible to apply. Your selection will still depend on your fit with our expectation of political aspiration and current political experience.




I am an Indian with a foreign passport, can I apply?


No, you need an Indian passport to be eligible to run for elections.




Can people with disabilities apply?


Yes, our program welcomes all. The program is designed for political work and engagement. If you are fit for politics you are fit for us!




What do you mean by a representative cohort? How will you ensure diversity in each cohort?


Our cohort proportionally represents the diverse backgrounds of caste, religion, class and region of India. This along with a 50-50 gender split as well. We work hard to reach out to different target areas, geographies to build the necessary networks and spread the word of this program. Democracy is owned by everyone and each of our supporters have helped us build our diversity.




Is there a special preference for any community, gender or background?


We highly encourage women and disadvantaged groups to apply to our program. Traditional channels already exist for the majority gender and majority groups to move into politics. We need to create alternate pathways for the ones who are left out. We do not lower our expectations or rigour of the program for anyone, but we do reach out and help those who are further away from the limelight to access the program more.




Do  I need to provide any certification for my disadvantaged background?


Not at the application stage. If any such documents are required, they will be asked for only once you are invited into the program.




How many recommendations or references do you need?


3 recommendations are required from different sets of people - 1 manager, 1 peer, 1 constituency member.




What will happen in the video interview?


The video interview will be a 45-50 min one-on-one conversation with a team member. The conversation is meant to understand your prior experiences, your motivations to be in politics and your current experience so far. You don’t need any extra preparation for the conversation, just bring your rested self.




What will happen in the weekend bootcamp?


The bootcamp will be a weekend with other potential peers for the program. There will be debates, discussions, sessions and activities. You will get an opportunity to interact with the team, other political aspirants within the region, share about your work and learn from each other. Participants will arrive at the venue by Friday evening and leave by Sunday evening.





The Good Politician-Fees & Scholarships

Does ISD align with any political party?


No. ISD is an independent entity without any affiliations with any political party or organisation.




What do you mean by non-partisan?


As a non-partisan organisation, ISD doesn’t align with any political or ideological school of thought. We hope to be a Sabarmati ashram, which hosts people of different thoughts and perspectives to come together and engage in meaningful dialogue. We are proud of our diversity and accept each of them equally with respect.




Who runs ISD?


We are a small team of committed individuals who are working to redefine public leadership. You can find more details on our team page.





Participants & Alumni

Does ISD align with any political party?


No. ISD is an independent entity without any affiliations with any political party or organisation.




What do you mean by non-partisan?


As a non-partisan organisation, ISD doesn’t align with any political or ideological school of thought. We hope to be a Sabarmati ashram, which hosts people of different thoughts and perspectives to come together and engage in meaningful dialogue. We are proud of our diversity and accept each of them equally with respect.




Who runs ISD?


We are a small team of committed individuals who are working to redefine public leadership. You can find more details on our team page.





Organisation & People

Does ISD align with any political party?


No. ISD is an independent entity without any affiliations with any political party or organisation.




What do you mean by non-partisan?


As a non-partisan organisation, ISD doesn’t align with any political or ideological school of thought. We hope to be a Sabarmati ashram, which hosts people of different thoughts and perspectives to come together and engage in meaningful dialogue. We are proud of our diversity and accept each of them equally with respect.




Who runs ISD?


We are a small team of committed individuals who are working to redefine public leadership. You can find more details on our team page.