Arun Iyer, a Belgaumite at 23 is working as a LAMP (legislative assistant to an MP, or member of Parliament) intern. A postgraduate in international and diplomatic studies from the University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic, Iyer has been with Rajendra Agrawal, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Meerut, since June. He spends his workday at the MP’s office off North Avenue, New Delhi. It doesn’t seem to be the corporate jobs others would have opted for, but Arun is happy that he chose LAMP.
Speaking to AAB he said, “When I completed my post- graduation, I was confused as to whether I should pursue my doctorate programme in the same subject or go in for hands-on experience. After getting to know about the fellowship programme I abandoned the idea of higher studies and instead found an exciting opening in the LAMP fellowship programme. Now, into the thick of the programme I find, working with my MP a wonderful experience.”
LAMP interns receive a stipend of Rs.18,000 a month from PRS. Political parties often don’t pay, but they promise experience, learning and sometimes, a certificate at the end of the internship.
For Iyer, working with Rajendra Agrawal has meant sitting down to breakfast every day with his MP and discussing policy matters.
The internship programme that Iyer is part of is organized by New Delhi-based PRS Legislative Research, an institute set up to make the legislative process better informed and more participatory.
Now into their fourth year, LAMP internships are open to all Indian graduates under the age of 25. Around 50 LAMP interns are selected every year through an essay and a two-layered interview process; the 11-month internship starts in June. Each intern is placed with an MP they can help with research work. The MP mentors the intern, committing one-to-one time.
Arun did his schooling from St.Paul’s high school Belagavi (2006), Bachelor’s Degree, English and Russian Language and Literature from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.
Arun further said, “In conclusion, the fellowship gives you a once in a lifetime experience to work from the corridors of power and being mentored by a person of high repute, which is, I would say a dream for any person who has a keen interest in the field of public policy.”