With a vision to interweave policy making with digital well being, Amartya Sinha heads to Harris School of Public Policy

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Amartya Sinha hopes to remedy the complex challenges within the world of today that rally around digital wellbeing and data privacy. He aims to design policies, create awareness and encourage dialogue in relevance, a vision that has led him to the Master of Public Policy Programme at Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago.

When the acceptance offer came knocking

Amartya received the acceptance call from the School in April and for the first few minutes he couldn’t believe the news. “The feeling, in a single word, was ‘exhilarating’. I had finally gotten accepted to the top school of my choice and I didn’t need to worry. Once it sunk in, I started working on scholarships and other funding choices for the programme.”

Amartya had applied only to the colleges that ranked high in his list of choice and while he doesn’t recommend others to do the same, his efforts and judgment have paid him well. 

When asked on what he would suggest to future aspirants of higher studies, Amartya adds, “Start off by identifying what you exactly want to do. Figure out that career path, the right job and then retrace, and pick the right course as a means to that path. It’s okay to be confused and work towards clarity. I myself didn’t have much of a clue until the presentation that started it all.”

The session that started it all

“It all started with the presentation from Harris School of Public Policy, organised by the Career Service Office (CSO) at Krea in September.” Amartya believes that the session offered clarity and opened up his mind to the various options available that he could pursue. Amartya had applied and was accepted to multiple top universities and chose Harris School of Public Policy.

The vision for the future

Amartya aims to increase awareness about data privacy and design policies which are effective for digital wellbeing. He emphasises on how following his foray into the field and with the learnings gathered, he is much more conscious of his presence online and is careful about data sharing. While they may seem innocuous, our digital footprint can often lead to compromise of personal information. “We should be in control of our digital presence and wellbeing –  not the other way around.”

The Krea Journey

“Krea has been instrumental for my development and growth. I joined Krea because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and had an open mind to pick and choose everything.” Amartya’s path through Krea has been truly exploratory, meandering through various streams of study before zeroing in on what he really wished to focus on. He also believes that if he hadn’t been given this large choice of subjects and rare combinations to choose from, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

“The process to choose the Major and Minor was very interesting. I explored everything, and even tried Literature though I quit after four classes. I then took up Economics as Major which was my default choice, and Social Studies as Minor; but later realised that I would like to do more on the Social Studies side with Economics as a Minor, along with a concentration in Politics.” 

Amartya tried and tested multiple choices before landing on the one he really wished to pursue, very true to the ethos that Krea academics is rooted in.

Assignments that steered the vision

The internships and assignments at Krea also helped Amartya foresee what his future goals would be. In the second year, Amartya worked as a Data Analyst for Prof John Mathew, with Kaustav Mehta and Ananya Raju on a research project focusing on impacts of SARS-CoV-2 in India using Spark NLP to make language detection pipelines for big data. “I hadn’t done any CS courses but I did programming for the project and it made me aware of the scope and reach of technology.”

Amartya has handled various initiatives over time that firmly hit home the fact that Krea is diverse, inclusive and the experience; holistic. He was the Tech Support for the Online KICs (Krea Immersion Case) and a Conversation Partner who helped freshers build proficiency in the English language. He also worked with the Admissions Team and prepared guides for the Tech Literacy Bridge Program aimed at helping students transition to basic online learning and tools.

“I believe Krea teaches you that you don’t necessarily need to have the skills to come in, you need to have the passion and then you take the path onwards.”

Amartya was also part of the Constituent Assembly, and was an Indoor Sports Representative for the Sports Committee. He also helped host three tournaments in Table Tennis, Foosball and Chess in the first year before the world evolved in response to COVID-19. He has also imparted Table Tennis lessons to fellow peers.

Faculty like friends

“The faculty at Krea form a fundamental part of the Krea experience. Professors are more like friends; you can just walk into their office and have a dialogue.” Amartya firmly believes that the bond shared between faculty and students at Krea is respectful and more of equity than coming from a place of authority. Amartya also shares gratitude towards a number of faculty members who helped him through the learning journey, including the clarity on the choice of Major and Minor, various assignments and internships and overall, in just being great mentors.

The Nostalgia Moment

Amartya has had various memorable moments interspersing his Krea journey but one of the most memorable highlights is his joining the choir in the first year.  “I always wanted to sing but knowing that I am not a good singer, this was my free ticket to saying I am one.”  Amartya was a bass singer and thanked Prof John for insisting that he join the choir. He has both performed and directed for the choir. 

How did Krea happen?

Amartya hails from Nalanda but has spent most of his life in Navi Mumbai. He believes he was a confused young man ( and still is) albeit powered with curiosity.  “If an idea pops up in my mind, I latch on to it and figure it out and this has led me to do various things like programming, video audio editing, photography, mountain biking and so on.”

Amartya found Krea in the year of the University’s inception and the KIC along with the holistic admissions process won him over to make the choice to choose Krea over other Liberal Education Schools and that’s where it all started.

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