India lives in villages

PhDs of India
6 min readApr 6, 2022

“I love to try out different ways to do a task; I guess it’s just my personality. If one way doesn’t work out, as it has happened many times, I try it out some other way. I initially did electrical engineering and then went on to do my MTech at IIT BHU where I started preparing for civil services. Luckily, after graduating, I got selected at NTPC, followed by PCS and was then promoted to IAS in 2010. While working as a bureaucrat, I realized the need for training in a corporate level environment, for which I needed an MBA. I always wanted to pursue studies at one of the top universities abroad. Coincidentally, it so happened that around the same time, the Government of Uttar Pradesh released a scheme, where a government employee, i.e. PCS and other state employees could join private organisations for a certain amount of time and would still be able to retain their job in India with 50% salary. I wanted to take advantage of this scheme, but since I did not have an MBA, I decided to appear for GMAT. But, I couldn’t get admission to good universities since my score was not enough and had almost given up on pursuing MBA.

Fortunately, I came across an opportunity under the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) which allowed me to go for a management degree and I completed a Master’s in Public Administration at Syracuse University. The whole experience of one year changed my perspective and I realized that I should not stop learning. So, when I came back, I thought a PhD would be a good option whereby I could have the chance of learning more. So, I started my PhD in 2015 on the role of ICT in achieving good governance. Even this admission process came with its own challenges. My initial research proposal was misunderstood as a STEM subject rather than management and was rejected. I finally got admission on the second attempt.

As an administrative officer, I had gathered practical knowledge by working at the grass-root level. All I needed to do was to collate my data in the form of a PhD thesis. Generally, people learn the theory first and then tend to use it for practical applications. In my case, it was the reverse and that made my journey quite easier. However, writing was a herculean task since I didn’t actually have a research mindset and had limited exposure in this context.

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PhDs of India

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