The unique programme is the brainchild of the Centre for Public Policy at IIM-Bangalore and the Centre for Social Research, New Delhi. As many as 30 women from the political and social sphere have enrolled in the programme. Scholarships are also on offer from the UN Women and United Nations Development Program and by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
Inaugurating the programme, Alva recalled her own career as a successful woman politician and urged the need for more women political leaders in India. She also took the opportunity to appreciate the content of the i-WIL programme which includes policy knowledge, political skills, personal development and perspective on gender and ideology.
Having worked with political stalwarts like Smt. Indira Gandhi and Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Alva stated, "We have a huge task ahead of us and we have this great opportunity to work together across party lines, across states through the i-WIL programme. Let us empower ourselves to transform India for the better and make women equal partners in shaping India's destiny."
Professor Rajeev Gowda, Chairperson, CPP at-IIMB commented on the occasion, "India needs leaders who balance passion for public service, compassion for the disadvantaged, professionalism in governance and courage built on values and vision. This programme will provide women leaders with the foundation and skill sets to break new ground and become agents of change."
Dr Ranjana Kumari, Director, CSR remarked, "IIMB and CSR have launched this course jointly to build creative, knowledgeable and innovative women leadership. Investing in women through formal training will help in creating a pipeline of confident and successful women leaders." She added, "Not only are there too few women in Indian politics, but women also face different barriers and disadvantages in their quest to become leading politicians in India. Therefore, women in politics need specialised skills and strategies in order to win elections and pursue the policies that matter most to them."
Suraj Kumar of UN Women and Sumeeta Banerji of the United Nations Development Program also spoke and highlighted their organisations' commitment to strengthening women's political leadership around the world.
The programme aims to equip participants with appropriate training in political action, policy analysis, personal development and perspective and ideology.