Fellowships
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In this article, Sarang Khanna, Marketing Executive at iPleaders, mentions a list of fellowships that everyone must aspire to work with in order to experience true learning through on-ground reality

Fellowships are great to gain experiential learning and grow your skills and network. In India, there are various such fellowships for students and young graduates to be a part of a social change and also attain leadership skills. They develop cultural competence and awareness and look great on the CV. Fellowships will help you gain new insights, stand out, and get the career boost you’ve been looking for!

Let’s look at a few fellowships relevant for law students and graduates, that also pay good stipend and are much respected to be a part of.

SBI Youth For India Fellowship: Stipend of INR 15,000 per month and additional benefits! (Applications Open!)

This is a 13 month long fellowship run by SBI with various NGOs as their CSR initiative. The opportunity is available in several locations across India and promotes cultural exploration by fellows. The SBI Youth For India Fellows work in rural development and gain first-hand experience of solving the issues in rural India. They aid in resolving pressing problems related to health, education, food security, energy, etc., and aspire to bring a change through empowerment of rural people and social entrepreneurship.

Young professionals and graduates between the age of 21-32 are eligible for this fellowship and shortlisted candidates must go through an interview before being inducted. Additional benefits include local transport allowance of INR 1,000 per month, to and fro travel costs from residence to project location, and an allowance of INR 30,000 upon successful completion of the fellowship.

Applications for this extremely respected fellowship are now open, with last date being the 10th of May, 2018. Visit their official website to know more and apply.

CSJ’s Young Professionals Programme for Legal EmpowermentStipend of INR 25,000

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) runs this Young Professionals Programme for Legal Empowerment (YPPLE) with the idea to promote social change through law. Started in 2014, YPPLE is influencing change at the bottom of the societal pyramid and making young legal professionals do it. It is designed to equip young legal professionals to become powerful change agents by giving them the opportunity to develop holistic understanding of how legal empowerment can contribute to social change.

The programme is designed for 2 years, although the minimum required commitment is of 1 year after which an option to opt out is available. Role includes a good blend of field work and research projects, with special emphasis on community engagement and capacity building.

A personal statement of purpose and a CV is required in order to apply, and short-listed candidates are invited for a two day selection process at CSJ, Ahmedabad. A group of 6-8 legal professionals are to be selected, and applications were open till 15th April, 2018. Access their brochure here.

Urban Fellowship Programme (UFP) by IIHS, Bangalore: Fully funded fellowship; no additional stipend (Applications open!)

The Urban Fellowship Programme is a 9 month long full time fellowship at IIHS in Bangalore. It focuses on urban development issues and aims at developing skills to combat them. It is an interdisciplinary programme, which could be a great opportunity for young legal graduates to diversify their experience. It will also enable them to network on a global level and equip fellows with knowledge and practice to enter the developmental field.

A bachelor’s degree and an age below 30 are the prerequisites to apply for this programme, but consideration is also given to people without any formal education after 10+2. Although there is no formal stipend, but tuition, travel, accommodation  and all other costs are covered.

After the completion of the fellowship, UFP guarantees a two-month internship for all fellows to facilitate transition from classroom learning to the real world of work and practice. Applications are open till 16th of April, 2018, and telephone or Skype interviews are required for shortlisted candidates. To know more about this opportunity, you can visit the official website.

Legislative Assistant to a Member of Parliament (LAMP) FellowshipStipend of INR 25,000

LAMP Fellowship is a much coveted fellowship, especially amongst legal graduates. It gives you a chance to closely work with a Member of Parliament and be a part of legislation making process. It is open to students from any discipline, and has an age bar of 25 years for the applicants. The 11-month fellowship begins in Monsoon session till the budget session where a fellow works full time with the MP and indulges in extensive research.

Due to excessive interest from the student community, a stringent selection procedure is put up which includes writing a detailed statement of intent, an essay on a legislative issue of your choice, and finally an interview before selection.

Work can include anything  depending upon your assigned Member of Parliament. Working on laws and policies related to health, economics, environment,  social, foreign affairs etc. are the common tasks of a LAMP fellow. More about this great opportunity can be learnt here.

Transforming Tihar FellowshipStipend of INR 15,000

Turn Your Concern Into Action (TYCIA) Foundation is poised to make education equally accessible to all classes of the society. They do not believe in being called a charity or an organization that works with underprivileged, to keep the dignity of all the stakeholders intact. Keeping in mind their objective, they came up  with a unique initiative in the form of Transform Tihar Fellowship in 2017. The idea is to help aid the education for young inmates in Tihar, which is indeed a commendable initiative.

It is a 12 month fellowship that started in August last year and it still ongoing, and upon having a conversation with the founder, Saanchi Marwaha, she confirmed the second edition of this fellowship shall start later this year, with many other plans in pipeline for the TYCIA foundation.

Open to people from all disciplines, it can be especially beneficial for law students and graduates to delve into transforming how education is imparted in India. Great opportunity to influence change. Read about how to connect with them on their official website.

While there are only a handful of fellowships in India that not only give you a once in a lifetime opportunity but also pay you for the experience, there are only so many fellows that can make it. What do you need to do make it?

What can make you stand apart amongst the lakhs that apply for these fellowships? Your application goes a long way. A focused resume that shows that little extra effort, whether it’s through going the extra-mile with your statement of intent, a list of coveted and worthy internships with the Central Ministries or NGOs that depict your desire to propagate change, or by way of taking online courses to gain knowledge and acquire a certain skill-set; this all goes a long way in helping you land a place in these much celebrated fellowships.

Wishing you all good luck!

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