The Indian Institute of Democratic Leadership (IIDL), started by BJP vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, has launched an academic programme in leadership, politics and governance.

The course, according to the institute, aims at providing participants with necessary skill-sets for making a career in politics and public affairs.

The induction programme of the course, which the institute, said is s post-graduate programme, was held at the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini in adjoining Thane district on Wednesday.

Sahasrabuddhe, a Rajya Sabha member, is vice-chairman of the Prabodhini.

“For the first time we have started a post-graduate programme in leadership, politics and governance. This is the first of its kind programme in the country,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

“There is a dearth of leadership in practically every walk of life. We don’t have good institution leaders to man our colleges, universities, NGOs. We don’t have good thought leaders. We lack good managers in socio-political sphere,” Sahasrabuddhe told PTI.

Asked where does he see the course participants placed after five years, Sahasrabuddhe said, “I see them providing leadership to political parties, voluntary organisations, media houses and to the society at large.”

The 32 participants from 14 states were selected from around 450 applicants for the nine-month course after due screening, he said.

“This is not a factory of leaders. But those who complete the course will become fully capable of entering various spheres of public life,” he said.

“Leaders from politics, media and voluntary organisations play an important role in shaping the discourse and policy in a democracy,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

“The youth today aspire to play a proactive role in the process of democracy. The government and the political entity need young talent equipped with the right ideas and competencies to keep pace with the changing times,” he said.

The course aims at providing a deep insight into the socio-political ground reality of India and inculcate and enhance leadership values and capacities in the students, he said.

“We will equip the participants with necessary skill-sets for having a career in politics, public affairs, voluntary organisations and allied areas,” he said.

The course aims at building trained and competent political leaders and social workers and providing skilled and equipped human resource for governance both within the government and outside, he said, adding the aim is to ensure socially sensitised and politically aware youth.

“At the Prabodhini, we have coached not just BJP and RSS workers, but also those from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena,” he said.

Shekhar Sen, Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, and founder and Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami also addressed the first batch of the PG course on Wednesday.