Doctoral Programme

About the Programme

The Ashank Desai Centre for Policy Studies (ADCPS) at IIT Bombay was conceived as a centre for research, education, training, and practice. In order to meet a growing need and demand for policy professionals in India, it was thought necessary that ADCPS have a Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) programme as well as a PhD programme. ADCPS launched its PhD in Public Policy (MPP) programme from the Autumn semester of 2017.

ADCPS envisions myriad ways in which its PhD and MPP programmes and graduates from these programmes can contribute to IIT Bombay’s intellectual expansion as well as to India’s polity and society. The aim is to produce professionals or academics who seek to serve or lead in the interest of the public. These academic programmes will reflect the changing dynamics in today’s world and the need for policy to keep up with technological advancements, globalization, nuanced and complex public debates, and the growing trend of building rights based democracies. Policy can no longer be contained within the realm of government and bureaucracy; it has percolated into civil society, academic institutions, and the private sector. Through the programmes, ADCPS aims to give its students tools which are applicable in diverse situations and teach students how to adapt to various fields, contexts, or situations. Students of the programmes can then find themselves fitting into and contributing to the public or private sectors, working within the government, or in the not for profit/NGO sector. They may choose to work for large corporations as analysts or lobbyists, or may do policy research in IOs, think tanks, or universities. Finally, ADCPS in its academic programmes aims to capitalize on IIT Bombay’s existing institutional strengths and build a department that can be a hub for public policy research and expertise. ADCPS’s academic programmes integrates public policy, social sciences, and technology.


We encourage international students to apply for the IIT Bombay institute TA fellowships for our PhD programs. More details about this can be found here

During the first two semesters, the focus is on classroom courses. This includes compulsory core and electives courses. Details of the course structure can be found below. Additionally, PhD scholars are expected to complete an eight-week internship at a relevant organisation after Semester II. This field exposure is expected to help students refine their research approach and build networks for their projects. The rest of the PhD programme is dedicated to conducting research towards the PhD thesis.

The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) at IIT Bombay is inviting applications for its PhD programme in Public Policy for the Autumn semester of 2022.

Please visit the IIT Bombay website here for detailed advertisement, application form, information brochure.  The application must be submitted online


At least one of the following criteria must be met:

  1. B.E/B.Tech or *equivalent degree with 60% marks/6.0 CPI (55% marks/5.5 CPI for SC/ST).
  2. M.Sc/M.A/M.Com/LLM/MCA or *equivalent degree with 60% marks/6.0 CPI (55% marks/5.5 CPI for SC/ST) at postgraduation level.
  3. MBA/ME/M.Tech/M.Phil/ from any institute recognized by a Government body (AICTE/ UGC/AIU) with 60% marks/6.0 CPI (55% marks/5.5 CPI for SC/ST).

* All equivalent degrees must be certified by their respective institution (s).

Candidates must also fulfill ONE of the following additional requirements for items 1 and 2 above:

(b) Qualified in GATE/UGCNET (Lectureship)/UGCJRF/CSIR-NET (Lectureship)/CSIRJRF/DAE/DST/DBT/ICMR/NBHM/ etc.)
(c) At least two years of work experience (acquired after obtaining the qualifying degree and completed before the starting of the semester in which admission is sought).

Criteria for awarding Teaching Assistant positions are as per IIT Bombay guidelines. [Please visit IIT Bombay PhD TA position guidelines]

Selection Procedure

A written examination (online) will be conducted for all students who meet the above criteria. An interview (online) will be subsequently conducted by CPS faculty members for all qualified candidates in each of the specific research areas as indicated.

Brief NOTE for 2022 PhD admissions process

The entrance exam for the PhD admission process, varies from year to year. The past examinations that have been made available are merely indicative. 

The PhD entrance exam assesses three specific aspects: a) a clear ability for written communication that is coherent, organized, structured and is able to address complex policy issues; b) considerable familiarity and engagement with the broader policy process; & c) an ability to orally and succinctly articulate one’s understanding of a chosen area of policy process.

Written Submission for PhD Application

Each student will need to indicate at least one of the 5 RESEARCH areas mentioned below, in which they wish to carry out doctoral research on policy related aspects. The prospective candidate is required to submit :

a) Sample of recent writing on a relevant policy topic (blog, research paper, thesis excerpt – maximum of 1000 words).
b) A research proposal on a topic of policy relevant research interest. The proposal should contain: (i) problem identification, (ii) brief review of literature (iii) policy relevant issues and questions and (iv) proposed methodology, (v) final outcome, (vi) reference (1800 words maximum excluding reference).

Programme Structure

The programme is structured to keep half of the credit load in the Policy area, and the other half is to be divided between (i) the courses in the sectoral area of interest e.g. water, energy, gender, communication etc. and (ii) Institute electives which would complement the policy courses and the domain courses, taking into account the student’s background. The credit load will be designed to suit this requirement.

Each student will have to indicate the domain area e.g. water, energy, gender, information economy and others, in which s/he wishes to carry out doctoral research on policy related aspects. Ideally the student will have a guide and a co-guide–one having expertise in the policy arena and the other in the concerned domain. Candidates are strongly encouraged to identify relevant faculty members in any research area that they are interested in.  

Research Areas

A candidate must identify either one or two of the following areas of APCPS Policy research and indicate as such in the research proposal (please carefully read for elaboration):

i. Digital Society
ii. Structural Inequalities
iii. Environment, Energy and Natural Resources
iv. Markets and Governance Processes
v. Technology and Society