J-PAL/MITx MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy for Government of India Officials

Under its partnership with J-PAL South Asia, Government of India's Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is offering reimbursements for eligible staff to complete any of the six online course offerings that are part of the MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. This exciting new online credential, co-designed and run by MIT’s Department of Economics and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), helps equip learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor.

 

How the DEDP MicroMasters Program works

Overview of how the Micromasters program works

 

The following courses will be offered as part of the MicroMasters DEDP programme. Given the necessary time commitment, officers are encouraged to apply for only one course in a given semester.

  1. The Challenges of Global Poverty
  2. Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations
  3. Data Analysis for Social Scientists
  4. Microeconomics
  5. Foundations of Development Policy
  6. Political Economy and Economic Development
     

Learners should note some key policy changes for the DEDP program:

  1. The DEDP courses will be offered on a separate platform called MITx, not edX, starting from this semester (Fall 2021). Details of how to create an account on MITx and enrol in the course are below:
    1. Visit the new MITx Online site at https://mitxonline.mit.edu and create an account.
    2. Check your inbox for a confirmation email and finish your profile.
    3. Click on any course to see more details.
    4. Click the red “Enroll Now” button on any course page to enroll.
    5. If you want to earn a certificate, you must complete your payment on the MicroMasters program site here: https://micromasters.mit.edu/dedp. Once you have created our MITx Online account, you may login here to link your account and complete payment.
    6. Get learning!
    7. If you have any questions or need help creating an MITx Online account, please reach out to our support team at [email protected]

  2. Starting Summer 2021, the DEDP courses and proctored exams are being offered on a modified schedule. Please see the upcoming dates page. This schedule is expected to repeat annually:
    1. Summer 2021: 14.100x: Microeconomics, 14.310x: Data Analysis for Social Scientists, 14.740x: Foundations of Development Policy.
    2. Fall 2021: 14.100x: Microeconomics, 14.310x: Data Analysis for Social Scientists, 14.73x: The Challenges of Global Poverty, 14.750x: Political Economy and Economic Development, JPAL 102x: Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations.
    3. Spring 2022: 14.310x: Data Analysis for Social Scientists, 14.73x: The Challenges of Global Poverty, JPAL 102x: Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations.
  3. DEDP course payments will now include only one proctored exam attempt. This change will affect both future and existing DEDP learners, so please visit this FAQ article in order to determine how you may be affected.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Officers eligible: All Indian Administrative Service (lAS) Officers, Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Forest Service (IFoS), Group 'A' Central Civil Service Officers and all Group 'A' officers belonging to Central Secretariat Service (CSS), Central Secretariat Stenographer Service (CSSS) and State Administrative/Civil Service
  • Eligibility in terms of Length of Service: All the eligible officers should have served for at least two years from the end of the calendar year of their joining of service in their respective cadres.
  • Age Limit: The upper age limit is 56 years as on July 1 of the year of commencement of training.

How to Apply

For officers who are applying for the first time:

  1. Log on to igot.nic.in, then click on 'Approved Courses'. After selecting a course, the officer may then click on the link "Register Here".
  2. Create an account through MITx (instructions above).
  3. Click on any course to see more details.
  4. Click the red “Enroll Now” button on any course page to enroll.
  5. Finally, please complete this Google Form to confirm your eligibility, contact information, and the course(s) you plan on completing this semester.

For officers who have applied under this partnership in the past:

  1. Please complete this Google Form to confirm your contact information and the course(s) you plan on completing this term.

Please note that you are required to complete the Google Form in order to receive your coupon code(s) for the discounted price. 

The deadline for submitting applications for receiving a coupon code is October 13, 2021.

Course Completion, Payment, and Reimbursement

  • Please enroll in the course by October 5, 2021.
  • Please begin the course on October 5, 2021 and complete it by December 20, 2021.
  • You will receive a course-specific discounted coupon code to allow you to pay for the course at a price of $100 USD. Your coupon code will be shared with you before the payment deadline, along with instructions on how to apply it. Please apply the coupon before the payment deadline (November 5, 2021) in order to enroll on the full MicroMasters track and be allowed to earn a course certificate.
    • Once you have created an MITx Online account, you may login on https://micromasters.mit.edu/dedp to link your account and complete payment through the DEDP website.
  • In order to earn a MicroMasters course certificate, you will be required to (1) pass the online component of the course and (2) pass an online proctored exam which will be offered through the online course portal. Staff members who successfully earn this course certificate will then be reimbursed the course fee of $100 USD by DoPT.
  • Take your proctored exam any time between January 12-19 2022. You may schedule your exam between January 3 and January 10, 2022. You may also need to take an "onboarding exam" in order to onboard yourself with the online exam system; this exam can be taken between January 3 and January 12, 2022. Please note: The DEDP MicroMasters program has shifted to online proctored exams and will no longer offer an in-person option at Pearson VUE centers. The only difference between the online and in-person proctored exams is their delivery. The length of the exam and the type of questions you encounter will remain the same. All the questions will be multiple choice or fill in the blank. There will be no questions on R.

Contact

  • For questions on the MicroMasters course or technical difficulties with the payment/course portal, please reach out to [email protected] with the subject line ‘DoPT’.
  • For any questions on the DoPT partnership, contact [email protected].
  • Please find answers to FAQs listed here.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Public Policy?

MIT’s Department of Economics and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) designed the MicroMasters® program credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) to equip learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor. To earn the DEDP MicroMasters program credential, learners complete three core courses (Microeconomics, Data Analysis for Social Scientists, and Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations) and two of three electives (The Challenges of Global Poverty, Foundations of Development Policy, and Political Economy and Economic Development) online and pass their corresponding proctored exams. Learners who receive the MicroMasters program credential will then be eligible to apply to MIT’s Blended Master's program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. If accepted, students will earn MIT credit for the MicroMasters program courses, and will be able to pursue an accelerated on-campus Master’s degree at MIT.

2. Why should I enroll?

Today, the international development community is more focused on evidence-based policy and results-driven development than ever before. Increasingly, understanding and producing rigorous empirical work using microdata plays a central role in many development professionals’ careers – and employers in governments, NGOs, foundations, international agencies, and others are actively looking for people with stronger technical skills than were required in the past.

If you want to acquire a powerful set of tools and skills to understand and tackle the problems facing the world’s poor, this program is for you. No matter where you are in the world, you can now join courses taught by faculty based at MIT’s world-famous economics department and J-PAL, a world leader in policy-relevant research, on your own schedule and at a fraction of the cost of traditional Master's programs in the field. Earning a certificate signals to employers and graduate selection committees your command of the principles of economics, the design of randomized evaluations, and the applications of data analysis.

MicroMasters credential holders are also eligible to apply to the Department of Economics' first-ever Blended Master's program: the Master's program in Data, Economics and Development Policy. In fact, only DEDP credential holders are eligible to apply to the Master’s program and performance in the online courses and proctored exams is a key factor guiding our admissions process! A unique feature of this Master's program is that accepted students earn MIT credit for the courses they completed online: If admitted, you will arrive on MIT's campus in Cambridge with one semester of coursework under your belt, fast-track your Master's program, and earn an MIT graduate degree after just 2 semesters: one spring semester of courses at the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA and one summer semester completing your Capstone Experience. 

3. How do I pay for these courses and how will I be reimbursed?

After applying for the course, eligible officers will receive a special coupon code to allow them to pay for the course at a discounted price of $100 USD, along with instructions on how to apply through their MicroMasters profile. In order to earn a MicroMasters course certificate, officers will be required to (a) receive a passing grade and (b) pass an online proctored exam. The officers who successfully earn this course certificate will be reimbursed the course fee of $100 USD by the Department of Personnel and Training. Please reach out to DoPT directly regarding your reimbursement.

4. When should I start the course? Do I need to make the payment before beginning the course?

Please begin the course as soon as you start receiving material from the MicroMasters portal. You do not need to make the payment before starting the course, but please be sure to make the payment before the payment deadline

5. What is the expected time commitment per week?

Each week, each individual course releases a lecture, broken into a series of mini-videos, with finger exercises and homework assignments that correspond with the course material. This work usually takes approximately 10-14 hours per week, but may vary depending on the individual learner. 

6. How many MicroMasters courses can I register for at once?

Given the time commitment that each course requires, we strongly encourage you to register for only one course in a given term. 

Most learners take one course per semester and complete the program in 18-24 months. Each course expects 12-14 hours per week of effort so a learner taking two courses at the same time should plan for 24-28 hours of effort per week. A learner taking all five courses at the same time should plan for 60-70 hours of work per week. This is an estimate and some learners report certain weeks or courses taking much more or less time, depending on their background and comfort level with the topics covered. 

We designed our MicroMasters program with the intention to accommodate different learning needs and schedules – so you can take the courses over whatever time span works for you.

Please note that if you intend to apply in late December/early January for the Blended Master’s program, you will need to have completed the DEDP MicroMasters credential before submitting your application. This means by the end of December, you must have passed your five courses and proctored exams in order to be eligible to apply by the deadline in January.

7. How often will the classes run?

Courses run three times each year: spring, summer, and fall. These courses usually begin in February, June, and September and run for 12 weeks. Please see the modified course schedule for which courses are running each semester. The course material is then followed by a week to schedule exams, followed again by two weeks for proctored exams to be administered.

8. What are the passing criteria for each of the MicroMasters classes?

To pass a MicroMasters course, students must achieve passing scores in both the online edX course and the Proctored Exam. The specific pass requirements for each online course vary and more information about how the course will be scored may be found in the Homework and Grading policy for each course. 

Please Note: only students who achieve a passing score in the online course will be eligible to sit for the Proctored Exam.

The final course score for each DEDP course will be weighted as follows:

  • edX course: 40%

  • proctored exam: 60%

9. If I fail or unenroll the online course, can I take it again?

Yes! By completing your personalized course payment, you are eligible to take the online course whenever and however many times you wish. This means if you fail or unenroll, you have the option to re-enroll whenever you wish.

10. If I fail the proctored exam, can I take it again to try and get a better score?

Yes, but you will need to make another payment. You can do so in the MicroMasters Portal. You do not, however, need to retake the online course. If you decide to retake the course or proctored exam, only the highest score you achieve will be saved on your program record, even if it is not the most recent.

11. Can I take the course now but take the exam in a future semester?

Yes! By completing your personalized course payment, you are eligible to take the online course whenever and however many times you wish. Please note not all courses or proctored exams are offered every semester. Proctored exams are offered only at the end of semesters during which their course was offered. Please reference the Upcoming Dates page for more information about future course sessions and proctored exam time periods.

12. Can I make up the assignments that I’ve missed?  

Assignment deadlines are strict. Assignments cannot be submitted late for any reason. This includes late enrollment—if you enroll in a course after the start date you will not be able to submit any missed assignments.

We understand that this can be very frustrating, especially during extenuating circumstances, but this is our course policy due to the platform we use. However, all courses drop some combination of your lowest assignment scores. Please refer to the course policies about scoring for each course to see how many and what type of scores are dropped to determine how your final score will be impacted.

13. I have already applied the coupon code and paid for my course, but would like to reschedule to future semester. What steps do I need to take?

There is no action required. If you have already paid, you are eligible to take the online course(s) now or during any future semester in which the course is available. You can also repeat the course as many times as you wish without paying again.

Please note that policy changes went into effect recently, on March 13, 2021, 5:00 UTC, which affect the schedule of course availability, as well as the number of Proctored Exam attempts available to certain learners. Please refer to this FAQ article for more information.

14. Will the DEDP Program's transition to MITx Online affect Course Certificates or Program Credentials?

No. Learners who have previously earned one or more DEDP Course Certificates or the DEDP Program Credential will continue to be able to access their DEDP Program Record, Course Certificates, and Program Credential via the MicroMasters Dashboard.

Learners who successfully complete a DEDP course and its Proctored Exam on the MITx Online platform will continue to be awarded a MicroMasters Course Certificate, and learners who successfully earn all of the required Course Certificates will continue to be awarded the MicroMasters Program Credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. Learners completing courses or the program on the new MITx Online platform will receive the same certificates and credentials as all previous DEDP learners.

MITx will continue to issue and administer the Course Certificates and Program Credential in the same manner as before.

15. Will Fall 2021 DEDP Courses, Proctored Exams, or the Blended Master's Application Deadline be affected by the transition to MITx Online?

Yes. The start date of Fall 2021 DEDP courses has been adjusted to accommodate the transition to a new platform. Courses now start on October 5, 2021 and end on December 20, 2021.

The timeline for Fall 2021 DEDP Proctored Exams has also been adjusted. Enrollment for Proctored Exams will open on January 3, 2022 and exams will be available from January 12-19, 2022. You may find current course availability on the DEDP Program's Upcoming Dates page.

Likewise, the application deadline for the MIT Economics Blended Master's DEDP Program has been adjusted. The new application deadline will occur in early February 2022. Learners who successfully finish their DEDP MicroMasters program in the Fall 2021 DEDP semester will receive final scores and their Program Credential in time to apply for the Blended Master's program. More information and final dates will be announced when they are available.

Additionally, while some changes may be necessary, you may expect that Proctored Exams for the Fall 2021 DEDP semester will be largely the same as you may have experienced with the previous edX/ProctorTrack exams. All DEDP learners will receive updated information regarding any changes as it becomes available.

Learners who submitted payment for one or more DEDP courses in the past and received two Proctored Exam attempts per payment—and who have one of their attempts remaining—will remain eligible to use their second Proctored Exam attempt during the Fall 2021 semester's Proctored Exam period—except for 14.740 Foundations of Development Policy, whose Proctored Exam is not available this semester. For more information please refer to this FAQ article.

16. Will I still be able to access archived DEDP courses on edX after the program moves to MITx Online?

No. As a necessary part of the transition, DEDP Course Pages, archived courses, and other program material has been removed from the edX platform. Learners no longer have access to any DEDP information via their edX accounts.

In order to gain access to any DEDP courses, you must create a new account on the MITx Online platform and re-enroll in the DEDP courses of your choice. Enrollment in Fall 2021 DEDP courses is now open on the new platform, MITx Online—create your account here!

Unfortunately, it is not possible to directly restore full access to DEDP courses that you previously had archived access to. When you enroll in a DEDP course on MITx Online, you will gain access to this semester of the courses' content as it is released, and once the semester closes, you will gain archived access to the course content, as you did previously on edX. Please note: 14.740x Foundations of Development Policy is not offered in the Fall 2021 DEDP semester—you will need to wait for the Summer 2021 DEDP semester to gain access to that course's material.

All pre-existing information about your DEDP program and courses—including your Program Record, course scores, Proctored Exam scores, Course Certificates, and Program Credential—are stored on your MicroMasters Dashboard account and will remain available to you. If you have already completed one or more DEDP MicroMasters courses, you will be able to continue the program on the new platform. You will not lose what you have earned.