Headshot of Amitha Ablud Jayaram
MPA/ID '24
WAPPP Intern, Cultural Bridge
Manipur Public Service Commission; Manipur, India

With an objective to characterize the impact of institutional, political, and administrative biases and barriers that impact women's representation in leadership roles in Public Services, Amitha will intern with Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC), India. In developing countries, women's low socio-economic status poses an additional obstacle to their leadership roles, making it difficult to separate the effects of institutional, political, and administrative factors. To overcome this confounding variable and help design evidence-based policies for gender balance, she chose Manipur, a culturally rich state in the less-developed northeast of India known for its matriarchal society. Women's historically high social status in Manipur is evident through significant politico-economic and social movements (Nupi Lan, Meira Paibi), whereas their public service participation is low. Amitha wants to identify the institutional barriers that prevent women's higher representation in leadership roles despite high social status. She will study the recruitment ecosystem, including communications, selection processes, rules-regulations involved, service conditions for selected applicants, and their career trajectory. MPSC, the constitutional authority that conducts recruitment to public service posts in Manipur, will provide her access to recruitment data and, facilitate interaction with local communities/conducting surveys/interviews. Depending on the data, time, and resources available, she intends to do a comparative study against other developing nations with the help of 'UN Women,' headquartered in New York, to develop hypotheses on whether common challenges such as corruption, judicial delays, etc. faced by the public service recruiting bodies (like MPSC) in conducting fair and transparent recruitments, affect women disproportionately.

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