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The Good Politician

The Good Politician is a unique 9-month experiential program that invites 50 emerging grassroots leaders to embark on a political journey together. This experience will build political skills, a community of future politicians, and the moral courage and imagination to lead political change across India.

Application can be filled in Hindi or English

Final application deadline was February 14, 2021


Leadership development at ISD

The Good Politician is designed to nurture principled politicians who will become servant leaders. This learning journey identifies three key stages of leadership development - 


Seeing the change

Understand the system, identify problems and probe into the deeper realities of politics 


Being the change

Experience the lives and realities of the people we serve


Leading the change

Prepare for their future political paths, moving forward with their learning and their projects


The program is designed for active practitioners with - 

  • Three in-person residentials for 7 weeks in total
    3 weeks - August 2021
    2 weeks - January 2022
    2 weeks - May 2022


  • Rest of the time is field time spent in their own field /constituency

  • Online classes every week 

  • Residential immersion in the different parts of India 

  • Alumni support for 5-10 years 

Application can be filled in Hindi or English

Final application deadline was February 14, 2021

Why apply to The Good Politician?


Practical on-ground live learning


Focus on bringing change at the local level


A rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum


Regional mentorship by political leaders across parties


Interdisciplinary curriculum
to build political readiness

We believe political leaders need 6 different types of capitals for success in politics. Through the program, our participants will build and leverage these capital to create meaningful change on the ground, and accelerate their political aspirations.



Knowing self and people

  • Building public narrative
  • Forming grassroots team
  • Social Mediation
  • Mobilising masses
  • Decision making and managing conflict
  • Ethics and values
  • Adaptive leadership

Designing political interventions

  • Designing surveys & research tools
  • Interpreting constituent data
  • Managing a political budget
  • Planning community projects
  • Fundraising for campaigns
  • Evaluating progress

Creating change on the ground

  • Building low-cost election campaigns
  • Social media and image management
  • Speech and debating skills
  • Building partnerships and networks
  • Being a political worker on the ground

Immersing in current reality

  • India’s cultural history
  • Understanding state and national parties
  • Exploring political history of india
  • Caste, religion and gender in politics
  • How to deal with corruption
  • Big political challenges today

Seeing the whole system

  • Constitution
  • State and national parties
  • Panchayat system
  • Municipal corporation/council system
  • Working with local bureaucracy
  • Important policies and laws for governance

Curriculum that will prepare you to understand and practice principled politics 


Our Faculty


Amitabh Behar

CEO, Oxfam India


Ashutosh Varshney

Brown University


Charu Pragya

National Media Panelist, Bhartiya Janta Party


Dr. Jaya Prakash Narayan

LokSatta Movement


Kamla Bhasin

Feminist Activist


Praveen Chakravarty

Chairperson - Data Analytics, Indian Nation Congress


Rajeev Gowda

Former Member of Parliament, Indian National Congress


Rajni Bakshi


Sachin Rao

Member CWC, Indian National Congress


Dr. Sanjay Paswan

Former Member of Parliament, Bhartiya Janta Party


Shantanu Gupta

Author and Political Analyst


Dr S.Y Qureshi

Former Election Commissioner of India


Tara Krishnaswamy

Co Founder, Shakti - Political Power to Women


T.R. Raghunandan

Former IAS Officer


Yamini Aiyar

President, Centre for Policy Research

 ... and many more political practitioners 

Who are we looking for? 

We are looking to find the seeds of political leadership from across the country in young leaders who -

  • Are planning to contest elections at a village or city level in near future 

  • Are already serving in their field (party workers, student politicians, ex/current elected leaders, political action groups etc.)

  • Have a strong commitment to serve all

  • Have deep local political knowledge 

Other Criteria

  • Minimum 12th standard pass

  • Ages 25 - 40 years (exceptional candidates outside the bracket can be considered)

  • Fluency in Hindi or English

  • Stable source of financial sustenance


Watch these short videos to know more about 


Fees & Contribution

Our sincere intention is to make this valuable program accessible to everyone, irrespective of socio-economic status. We invite participants to look at it as an investment in your own self and your political future.


The actual base cost per participant for The Good Politician is 2 lakhs INR. To include and support varying paying capacities we provide generous need and merit based scholarships up to 100%.


Our selection process is completely merit based. We will collectively find a way for all deserving candidates to be a part of the cohort even if they cannot pay for it.


Don’t hesitate - Apply now. We look forward to having you with us :)

Application can be filled in Hindi or English

Final application deadline was February 14, 2021