I worked with BioEnable Technologies, Pune, from February to September 2010, as a technical support engineer; and with Larsen and Toubro Infotech, Bangalore, as a software engineer from October 2010 until March 2013. I worked on testing devices and customising their software in both places; biometric devices in Pune and network processors in Bangalore.
During my post graduation, I did three internships. The first was with the Centre for Rural Management (CRM), Kottayam, Kerala. For a month, I worked as a part of a team which evaluated the Centrally Sponsored Schemes in three districts of Karnataka. Every year, the central government sends teams to selected places to see how the schemes for which they allot money have been implemented by the respective state governments. I came across some really fruitful development works being carried out, and also a few instances of mismanagement.
The second was with ActionAid India, at New Delhi, for a month. I worked on the Street Vendors Act, 2014, analysing the good and bad things about it, mainly researching on how it could be manipulated by the authorities and be a bane for the street vendors.
My third internship was at the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This was the fieldwork for my dissertation. For a month, I interviewed the people at Karimadom Colony, Thiruvananthapuram, studying their post-slum rehabilitation experiences. I observed that the beneficiaries were generally happy about getting to live in much better places now, though there were some tensions along the lines of allocation of houses.
After my post graduation, I joined the Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society (APSDPS), at Hyderabad, in April 2015. This is where I currently work. APSDPS is a part of the Planning Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh. I work majorly on three fronts- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), monitoring system in government, and multidimensional poverty. We do everything in teams, so I’ve my super cools colleagues to thank for what I’ve been able to do.
SDGs is an ambitious agenda created under the leadership of the United Nations and adopted by 193 countries. I work on creating a monitoring framework for the government to track the progress made under the goals.
My work on the monitoring system involves putting in place and continuously improving a framework to closely track the progress made by the government departments and districts in doing their job.
I have recently concluded a project which estimated the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for the state. MPI is a measure of poverty which taken into account overlapping deprivations in education, health, and living standards. Andhra Pradesh has significantly reduced multidimensional poverty in the recent years, but there is still work to be done!
Working inside the government has been an exciting experience! It’s a place which teaches you a lot of things- how to work within a complex system, how to get things done when there are too many actors involved, how to deal with persons with power, and more. More than anything else, it gives you the opportunity to directly impact the lives of the people, however small that may be. Long story short, I’m happy to be where I’m!