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Centre for National Policy and Research (CNPR)

Centre for National Policy and Research (CNPR)

Revolutionizing The Newer Generations

“Your Idea can fail, but every failure leads to a better Idea.” – Dr. Sayak Bhattacharya

CNPR: An Overview

The Center for National Policy and Research (CNPR) stands as India’s inaugural collaborative think tank. Operating as a nonprofit institution dedicated to policy analysis, CNPR aspires to ascend to the ranks of the world’s premier global think tanks. Its mission revolves around providing tangible remedies to the most formidable challenges confronting India.

Established in 2021 under the guidance of Dr Sayak and Pallavi Bhattacharya, CNPR serves as a platform that convenes experts from diverse fields to tackle the prevailing concerns of our time. Dr. Bhattacharya, an esteemed educator with more than twenty years of experience in esteemed institutions across India and the USA, envisioned CNPR as a conduit to weave together the threads of society, fostering India’s evolution from a developing nation into a developed one over the forthcoming decades.

In an effort to encourage a broader exchange of ideas, CNPR also extends an invitation to the general public, allowing them to easily engage with subject matter specialists and contribute their actionable concepts to our project blueprints. To date, CNPR’s impact has extended to the training of over a thousand students in matters of public policy. Numerous past interns have even progressed to roles within institutions such as Niti Ayog and Chatham House, while also securing prestigious Rhodes fellowships. These achievements are made possible through the implementation of workshops, interactive sessions, and online seminars.

The Journey So Far

It all began with an aspiration to create an app that could bring about a revolutionary change in the way voting operates in India. In August 2019, Dr Sayak authored a blog on TOI titled “Neta G – An App for Grading Our Elected Representatives.” Following the publication, he received communications from numerous students and well-wishers who believed that the concept held immense promise. However, they emphasized the need for adequate funding and institutional support.

This prompted him and a group of fellow IITians to conceptualize a platform that would facilitate open discussions on social issues, enabling anyone with an opinion to have their voice heard. This marked the genesis of CNPR. Initially, the venture was a partnership between his wife, Deputy Director Pallavi Bhattacharya, and Dr Sayak. While his expertise lay in Politics and Education, Pallavi possessed a keen interest in environmental matters, sustainable solutions, and the ethical application of technology.

With a background as a CISCO-certified Network Engineer and experience working with Greenpeace India, she adeptly managed several domains. Gradually, the circle expanded to include school and college friends — professionals in fields like banking, medicine, engineering, and education. This diverse team soon transformed into a formidable unit. At present, they are proud to have esteemed individuals like Prof. Tridivesh Singh Maini (Foreign Policy), Oishik Dasgupta (Foreign Policy), Sufia Shaikh (International Relations), Abhishek Jain (Legal Affairs), Dr Leenus Tafline (Health Affairs), and Srishti Singla (Economic Affairs) as part of the team.

Dr. Sayak believes, that in the realm of discussing social issues, there’s no single quality threshold, as every individual possesses a perspective and a right to be heard. Nevertheless, CNPR has an editorial team to uphold stringent standards for content that is published online. “Our stance is uncompromising on refusing paid or promotional posts, and we diligently maintain an unwavering stance of neutrality.”

The Clientele

CNPR caters to a diverse audience intrigued by Public Policy, encompassing not traditional clients, but rather an expansive community. This includes a substantial assembly of students hailing from esteemed institutions like IITs, IIMs, TISS, St. Xaviers Mumbai, XLRI, Delhi University, and Christ University, among others.

The content they present, spanning articles, blogs, and commentaries on CNPR, enjoys remarkable popularity amongst Gen Z students, as well as their peers and mentors. The team’s commitment to transparency and impartiality has paved the way for a thriving website that garners over 10,000 monthly visitors, spanning major cities in India, the USA, and even Gulf countries.

While numerous think tanks dot Delhi and a handful exist in Chennai, CNPR feels that the doors of these institutions often remain closed to students and the general public who also possess valuable perspectives. Thus, they’ve pioneered India’s inaugural participatory think tank. The discourse on policy matters doesn’t solely emanate from IAS and IFS officers but from a diverse range of voices, including students, working professionals, homemakers, and the general populace. This distinct approach positions it uniquely and consistently ahead, even if competition emerges in this domain.

Achievements and Accolades

The student interns at CNPR have excelled, publishing remarkable research on the website and subsequently securing positions in esteemed global think tanks like Niti Ayog and Chatham House. They aim to engage today’s generation, encouraging them to step back from their social spheres, take a moment to reflect, and ponder. Achieving this objective signifies the team’s success. Past special sessions, featuring expert contributors, further affirm their achievements.

During a pivotal moment as the Taliban assumed control in Afghanistan, they hosted S. Asmat Stanikzai, former CEO of the Afghanistan cricket board, live from Dubai. On that day, he accurately foresaw that cricket had become an immense source of passion, entertainment, and national identity in Afghanistan, making it unlikely for the Taliban to ignore or prohibit the sport.

Distinguished individuals have also graced its live sessions, including Prof. Moonis Ahmar from the University of Karachi, Maya Vishwakarma — renowned as India’s Padwoman and a TEDx speaker, Ambassador Kishan S Rana, a former IFS officer discussing Indo-China relations, and various industry experts such as Siddharth Sen, Ravi Iyer, Hemanth Luthra, Sanjay Thakur, Priyanka Gaur, Dr. Dhruv Mamtora, Dr. Soumya Bhattacharya, Dr. Sougata Sarkar, Dr. Francis Chipem and Debjyoti Dwivedi.

CNPR’s aim is to integrate public policy into school and college curricula. Currently, over 90% of teenagers are unfamiliar with their MPs and MLAs. They are striving to develop and disseminate the Neta G app nationally, aiming to transform future elections into platforms solely focused on development. (For more information about our Neta G app, refer to the Times of India link).

Parting Words

I encourage all young entrepreneurs and readers of this magazine to embrace their ideas without fear. Share your concepts, seek feedback, and after expertly analyzing the input, ask yourself, “Am I ready?” If you feel confident, proceed with launching your products. Remember, a single setback shouldn’t discourage you.

I, too, aspired for a “Dr.” title since childhood. Despite several attempts, I narrowly missed securing a spot in medical school in 2001. Though I faced a period of depression, I eventually rose from it and planned for the future. I took a longer path, entered IIT, and earned my PhD in 2011. It took an additional ten years, but believe me, the recognition as a scientist with substantial contributions to the field of science was unquestionably worth the journey

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