How many of us haven’t cursed the way our Government functions? However, how many of us ever got an opportunity to work closely with the Government? Ministry of Social Justice PMU Program is an effort to bring the young people who want to make a difference and not just be critical of how a Government system works. This is an opportunity for the youths from top institutions across India to work and monitor the Govt. Schemes and Policies.
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India is looking for dynamic, idealistic, socially oriented, young graduates from reputed institutions (NIRF 2020 ranked) who are willing to tour intensively in the India inspecting the schemes and institutions funded by the Ministry.For More Details regarding the recruitment , Click HERE
But what does it take to get into the program that tests your critical thinking, social awareness and challenges you to go above and beyond? We spoke to Ms.Karthika Pillai, who is currently working as State Coordinator-Bihar and Jharkhand, and the answers put into words her journey, her tips and startegies for the future aspirants.
Tell us something about yourself and Why this Job?
- Karthika:Hi, my name is Karthika Pillai, I am a young professional in the Program Management Unit of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India. I am a graduate student from Delhi University with a degree in Social Work, currently pursuing a Masters in Sociology from distance education alongside a full time job.
Current Posting and how was your experience till date?
- Karthika:The Project Management unit is stationed in National Institute of Social Defence, New Delhi but each one of us are allocated states for the purpose of Liasoning with Government Officials and conducting Inspections. My states are Bihar and Jharkhand. As a fresh graduate out of college, amidst a pandemic, I was a bit hesitant to join a regular college for Masters when the classes would be conducted virtual. As a working individual, the job has been extremely fruitful in terms of providing a perfect mix of exposure to on-field experience and policy analysis. It has helped me grow as an individual by pushing me out of my comfort zone to learn new things as well as contribute positively towards social development.
Tell us something about your daily work life?
- Karthika:The daily work life can be hectic depending upon the tasks assigned. As a PMU, Our major task is to make sure that projects are being monitored and evaluated properly, for this reason we have to travel to the assigned states and conduct inspections, coordinate with official about the progress of schemes, initiatives and document the entire process verbatim. Efficient communication skills is extremely necessary as we usually have to think critically, analyse the situation and solve problems on field. In a nut shell, there is never a dull day when you are working as a PMU in the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
Major Roles and Responsibilities
- Karthika:Our Major task is to monitor and evaluate projects under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment such as Inspecting Grand in Aid Institutions, checking its capacity, finding loopholes and providing an alternative to build competency. We not only have to break down the structure but build it back together in a better way. Our secondary task is coordinating with state government officers and working with them closely on schemes, policies related to that of Ministry and making sure that it is running smoothly. As a PMU, we also have to track this entire process in a proper database for documentation purpose. Based on Interest and availability, PMU may also be involved in other activities as deemed necessary.
How is the Work Environment?
- Karthika:The work environment is extremely enabling. As a young professional, the officers value your inputs and suggestions and you are provided flexibility in performing your job duties, the only condition is that the work has to be completed on time and efficiently. There is no slacking off there and with any opportunity, you have to make sure that you learn as much you can and make the best out of this experience.
What are the major Pros and Cons of this Job
- Pros: This job offers you a very balanced composition of working with government as well as with grass root organisation, in a way you get to interact with the Beneficiaries, service providers as well as the policy makers so all three perspectives can be explored. It’s a great way to learn about how each scheme is structured, starting from its inception to evaluation. There is a lot of scope for learning and improving your skills, it will also help you find your footing as in which stakeholder interests you the most in this chain, and you can work closely with them.
- Cons:The only con for me is that the work can become extremely hectic, there might be months when you would travelling for 10-15 days in a stretch and preparing documents, conducting inspections, attending meetings with no personal life. You would have to manage your overall health and sometimes the lines start to blur.
Salary and Allowances
- Karthika:Rs. 75,000/- Salary and Allowances as per the Mandate of National Institute of Social Defence for traveling to states.
Tips for Filling the Application
- Karthika:My tip to fill the application would be to put relevant data which matches the requirement of the Job application. It would be a plus if you have a lot of experience in the social work sector with NGO’s or if you have a prior experience in Project Management. Apart from that, make sure your application focuses on your soft skills and ability to work with wide range of groups.
What kind of question are asked in the Written Exam?
- Karthika:We were asked subjective-descriptive questions so it would be better to prepare such questions as well.
Karthika: Any tips/books how to prepare for it?
- Karthika:There are no criteria or books for the written exam as per my experience.At the time I was actually preparing for entrance exams so was prepared for the same. I would suggest you to go through each and every policy, scheme, and relevant documents of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. You may also would like to study about Constitution of India with a focus on Constitutional rights. It would be great if you could study about Marginalised groups in India and their concerns as well as while writing try to relate each question with your field work experience or real life event and how you solved that issue, to showcase your analytical ability.
What kind of question are asked in the Interview?
- Karthika:Like any other normal interview, the questions are very specific to the job role and expectations from the candidates. The assessment is made on how well you can answer the questions, your written exam answers would be scrutinized along with your CV and individualised questions would be asked to avoid duplication in questions. The panel consists of eminent officers from the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and officers from other department as seem fit.
Any tips for the Interview?
- Karthika:For the interview, be well prepared. As mentioned, make sure you know everything about the structure of Ministry, you are prepared to explain a particular skill mentioned in the CV or experience that you thought was insignificant but was suddenly pointed out. Make sure you remember your answers to the questions written in the exam and yes be confident and humble.
How tough is the selection process?
- Karthika:N number of candidates participate for this posting from all over India out of which 230 would be shortlisted for this year’s line-up. Only 10% would be finally selected, just by the statistics you can analyse that getting past the first stage itself is a huge task, written test and interview process is also conducted very formally with a proper agenda so my suggestion would be to prepare well.
How the states are allocated to the State Coordinator’s?
- Karthika:The states are allocated by Officials on the basis of Calibre, proficiency in native language and interest, it may differ based on other criteria.
- Karthika:It’s a great opportunity, as you progress through the work profile you can start identifying specific areas you wish to progress your career in. This job opens up space for you in Program Management specialisation, but again it totally depends on the individual how they make use of the opportunity but it definitely makes your CV attractive for future jobs with added skills.
3 Golden Tips for the Aspirants
- Be well prepared for Interview and Written test.
- Make sure your CV is updated with relevant work experience.
- Be Confident and humble in your approach.