PMU, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India is providing a platform for young professionals to work on policy implementation, data analysis, and strengthen existing initiatives and make a real-time impact by engaging with government stakeholders. For More Details regarding the recruitment, Click HERE
It is an effort to bring those people who want to make a difference and not just be critical of how a Government system works. This is an opportunity for young graduates from the top universities of the country to work under the leadership of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This is not for those who expect spoon-feeding, but for those who can work in a team, as well as independently understanding the value of compassion in problem-solving.
But what does it take to get into the job profile that tests your critical thinking, social awareness, and challenges you to go above and beyond? We spoke to Ms.Shreya Verma, who is currently working as State Coordinator-Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh & UP East, and the answers put into words her journey, her tips, and strategies for the future aspirants.
Tell us something about yourself and Why this Job?
- Ms.Shreya Verma: I’m an experienced Governance Professional with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management space. Skilled in People Management, Systems Thinking, Impact Evaluation, and Research. Completed my Master’s PGP focused in Development Management from the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM) and graduated in Philosophy Hons. applied Psychology from the University of Delhi. In my short stint with Oxfam India, I assisted the Director – Private Engagement in developing strategies for Onboarding the private companies/corporates to ‘adopt sustainable business practices. Soon after which I worked as a consultant to the Haryana Government, vocational education department. Post that I have been working with MoSJE for almost a year now.I strongly believe that empowering the system (government) to address the country’s complex social issues is critical in bringing long-term and sustainable shifts in society.
Current Posting and How was your experience to date?
- Ms.Shreya Verma:
- State Coordinators are stationed at NISD New Delhi. However, my allotted states are Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh & UP East. It’s been a learning journey so far with a fair share of struggles. One needs to have an impact-driven outcome focussed approach with the tasks assigned. Providing sustainable solutions while interacting with multiple stakeholders has been an eye-opener. I have learned what goes into devising policies for the most marginalized, leveraging the existence of technology & providing the best possible remedies.
- My role requires me to interact with the best minds of the country, learn from them, obtain guidance, present innovative ideas and simultaneously build on them. All the officials are very accepting of our ideas, retain valuable feedback, and give us enough freedom to develop projects from scratch while being the constant guiding light. It has also been a very humbling experience, traveling to the most remote locations, seeing the ‘real India’ & interacting with different people from all over the country has made me acknowledge my privileges and has awarded me with gratitude for what I have. It is not just a regular job, it is more than that. It requires one to devote their time, heart & mind. Think & act responsibly as the work bestows you with a huge amount of accountability towards the people of this country. I like how every day brings with itself new challenges which require one to think out of the box. Since we are a cohort of 20 people, it is also an amazing opportunity to learn from people who have such a diverse set of experiences, build on each other’s ideas, collaborate & we all can rely on each other for almost everything. The PMU has many unique things about it. It is rare to get this kind of opportunity. It is located both within & outside the system, the state coordinator is an outsider entering a complex well-set system and the challenge is to make a change within this system. The journey teaches negotiation, adjustments, strategy & about the complex process of change.
- My time at MoSJE has probed me to discern, analyze subjects in systems, and comprehend the correlation and dependence of various entities and stakeholders so as to design viable interventions. It has molded me as a governance professional and helped me transcend my skills into enactment, evaluate my beliefs about the system, and grounded me in realities. My experience of working with the government has guided me in forming my decisions which are backed by a strong sense and cognizance of how our bureaucratic system works at all levels of government along with logic, rationale, and data. Lastly, for me, it has been a life-changing experience. It has taught me a lot about democracy, governance & bureaucracy. How it functions, its challenges, rights & duties. It has also made me aware as a citizen of this country.
Tell us something about your daily work life?
- Ms.Shreya Verma: The daily work life involves a lot of traveling (almost 15-20 days in a month) interacting with the SPOs, beneficiaries of multiple schemes, government officials, preparing for meetings, writing reports, devising feedback mechanisms & filling out multiple datasheets.
What are the Major Roles and Responsibilities as a State Coordinator?
- Ms.Shreya Verma:
- Liaison with State Governments and facilitate framing and implementation of their action plan
- Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the project by Grant in Aid institutes of MoSJ&E, Govt of India
- Support the Central, State & District administration
- Streamline execution of flagship schemes & campaigns of MoSJE
- Innovate workable & sustainable projects for multiple mandates of MoSJE
- Consolidate regular feedbacks & updates for Director, NISD & officials at MoSJE
How is the Work Environment
- Ms.Shreya Verma: The work environment is like any other government office, however, it is much more enabling & fast. Though it consists of all such ambiguities & uncertainties. However, thriving in such environments is also learning in itself.
Pros and Cons of this Job
- Ms.Shreya Verma:
- It allows one to travel across the country, interact with different people and learn from them
- It gives a real insight into the system & its functioning
- A perfect blend of a desk job & a field job
- Get mentored by the best minds of the country
- Contributing in nation-building
- At times the traveling gets really hectic so no personal time
- Ambiguous & uncertain environment at times leads to personal struggles
Salary and Allowances
- Ms.Shreya Verma: Consolidated remuneration of up to Rs. 75,000/- per month
Tips for Filing the Application
- Ms.Shreya Verma: Be honest & have enough clarity about socially relevant projects done. Do not include any special characters while filling the form. Be prepared with the answers to theoretical questions before filling the form.
What kind of questions are asked in the Written Exam? Any tips/books on how to prepare for it?
- Ms.Shreya Verma: I’m not aware of what types of questions would be asked. However, I can tell what questions were asked during my application process.
- Why do you think India is a welfare state?
- How would you evaluate government programs?
I can suggest going through the website – socialjustice.nic.in, reading through the mandates of the ministry, multiple scheme documents & guidelines might be of help.
What kind of questions are asked in the Interview? Any tips for the Interview?
- Ms.Shreya Verma: Mostly questions related to the job profile, subjects dealt by the ministry, or any other socially relevant topics. I can suggest going through the website – socialjustice.nic.in
How tough is the selection process?
- Ms.Shreya Verma: It is highly competitive. Only 1% of the total candidates who apply get selected.
How are the states allocated to the State Coordinators?
- Ms.Shreya Verma: The officials allocate the states based on certain parameters like language etc.
- Ms.Shreya Verma: There are multiple future prospects as the role makes you ready for almost all the possible opportunities in the development sector:-
- NGOs, SPOs (International & Domestic)
- Governance Consulting
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSRs)
- Higher Education (Public Policy, Development Studies, International relations, etc)
- Tech for good
- Any other role related to the development sector
Three Golden Tips for the Aspirants
- Ms.Shreya Verma:
- Go through the website and skim through all possible scheme documents/pages
- Practice writing essays, be calculative and keep a time check. Update your knowledge about the mandates of MoSJE
- Be patient, take your time before answering questions in the interview.
To Watch the QnA Webinar with Ms.Shreya and MsSaptadipa(State Coordinator’s), Ministry of Social Justice, Click HERE