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Introducing the First Cohort of The P.A. Sangma Fellowship!

July 12, 2022

On July 12, 2022 the Government of Meghalaya and NLSIU officially launched the P. A. Sangma Fellowship Programme. The P. A. Sangma Fellowship for Legal and Policy Research is a fellowship for graduates of NLSIU. It will expose students to the complex social and economic challenges of Meghalaya, a Sixth Schedule State, and generate interventions after analysing legal and policy frameworks in collaboration with senior policymakers of the government.

The Fellowship was launched in the presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri Conrad K. Sangma, Hon’ble Law Minister Shri James Sangma, Secretary, Law Department Shri Cyril Darlong Diengdoh, Chief Secretary Smt. Rebecca Suchiang and Director, Institute of Public Policy, NLSIU Prof. Sony Pellissery.

We congratulate NLS graduates Dilshad Ahmad, Pulak Symon, Pragya Pasricha, and Shubham Pandey who will be part of the first cohort of the Fellowship programme. We spoke to them to find out more about their interests, and what they look forward to as they venture into this new exciting journey.

NLS MPP 2022

Hailing from Patna, Dilshad’s curiosity to learn tech-enabled solutions to pressing problems motivated him to pursue Engineering at People’s University in Bhopal. Having worked in the Infrastructure sector for a while, Dilshad says he wanted to shape the inner calling of service to the under privileged sections in the society which led him on the path towards preparation for the Civil Services Examination. It was during his preparation that he decided to enrol into NLSIU’s MPP programme, for its multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary curriculum. Outside of work, Dilshad is an avid traveller, and enjoys watching travel vlogs, listening to podcasts, and reading.  He plays Badminton, Volleyball and Cricket in his spare time

Why I applied for the Fellowship: The fellowship is a unique platform where my theoretical understanding of Public Policy would be put to test in the Praxis. I applied for the fellowship in order to give effect to my inner calling and bring forth a recognisable positive change in the society. Additionally, my motivation to apply for the fellowship emanates from the inquisitiveness to understand and better the ‘Supply chain’ of the implementation of Policy measures. The year-long fellowship will provide ample opportunities to understand the challenges of implementing policy measures in the Hill and Tribal state of Meghalaya. The specific context of a Tribal state where the polity is different from the rest of the country was also one of the main factors for me to choose the fellowship.

What do you look forward to during the course of the Fellowship?

As a Legal and Policy Research Fellow with diverse experiences, I seek to broaden my understanding and perspectives related to the Policy Problems especially in the context of the tribal districts where the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) play an integral role in the administration and decision making. The attachment of the Fellows to the Department of Law, Government of Meghalaya during the course of the fellowship will also help me familiarise with the legislative processes and nuances attached to it. I am excited that the Fellows will be attached to the districts under the guidance of the District Collectors. The fellows will be familiarised with the nuances related to the processes of implementation of the policy measures. It will provide an opportunity to understand the actual difficulties posed to the Executive arm of the State during the implementation of policy measures.

I hope to get an opportunity to aid and advice the Representatives of the Legislative Assembly of the state during an ongoing Assembly session. I consider this as a highlight of the Fellowship as the Fellows will get an opportunity to witness the functioning of the Legislative Assembly from very close quarters. I look forward to an enriching journey with transformative learning and exposure.

NLS LLM 2019

A law graduate from National Law University Odisha, Pulak completed his LL.M. at NLSIU. At present, he is pursuing his Ph.D. from National Law University and Judicial Academy Assam.

Why I applied for the Fellowship: I applied for P. A. Sangma Fellowship with a yearning to develop my skill in cross-disciplinary studies appurtenant to Law; thereby add value to my professional career through capacity-building in law, policy studies and such other allied knowledge domains relevant to good governance; in the North-East India.

What do you look forward to during the course of the Fellowship?

Having been selected for the fellowship, I feel confident and believe in myself that my prior research experiences have prepared me to further hone and strengthen my knowledge of legal and policy research to participate in my future devotion towards governance, law and policy making. I look forward to learn and research various legal policies, frameworks of the State and understand the thought process constantly applied to protect the exquisite matrilineal system of Meghalaya.

NLS MPP 2021

Following her graduation from NLSIU, Pragya started working in the Livelihoods sector in India. During her one-year engagement within the social sector, she worked with FPOs and MSMEs and sought to understand the workings and the problems associated with the social sector in depth. Her background in economics also makes her innately curious about the functioning of a diverse class of socio-economic aspects; this includes all things politics, policy, economics, and examining issues like data privacy, women’s conditions and participation in conflict, the business environment in India, micro entrepreneurship and more.

Why I applied for the Fellowship:  This fellowship is a very unique opportunity. While there’s work involved, there’s a significant amount of learning. Even while I was preparing for this Fellowship, it was hard to find useful and in-depth research on the North-East, including Meghalaya. I believe it’s extremely important for a public policy professional to understand the context and situation of culture-rich states and regions in India as to tackle the context-specific complexities that emerge in the design of policies.

What do you look forward to during the course of the Fellowship?

I look forward to immersing myself in understanding the multifaceted contexts, unique political organization, and culture of Meghalaya in order to better aid the state government in dealing with pressing issues in the policy space. Being passionate about the roles communities play in the development process, I am extremely excited to interact with, and understand the perspectives of diverse communities that make Meghalaya unique.

NLS LLM 2022

Having just graduated from NLSIU, Shubham pursued his undergrad in Mathematics before taking up his LLB degree from the University of Delhi. His primary areas of interest include regulatory regimes concerning gambling, betting and fantasy sports — this originated from his engagement with Cricket, a game he not only follows, but also loves to play. His research work up until now concerns evaluation of the Public Gamings Act, State gaming legislations, and judicial and legislative interpretations of ‘games of chance’ and ‘games of skill.’ He also takes keen interest in policy concerning animal welfare and child welfare. Outside of work, he is a huge movie-buff, and enjoys listening to music.

Why I applied for the Fellowship: This opportunity seemed to be an ideal one to kick-off my professional journey because right from graduation, I had a huge inclination towards legal research, especially in public policy. This fellowship, in addition to that, offers a chance of engaging directly with the senior bureaucrats and ministers, in their efforts to design and implement progressive policies. Therefore, the fellowship was a natural choice to make.

What do you look forward to during the course of the Fellowship?

One aspect I look forward to the most is observing the implementation of particular policies and regulatory regimes from close quarters, by engaging with various ministries and departments of the State. Further, as Meghalaya has already been a pioneer in the field of enactments regarding gaming, I would love to engage with the brains that are driving it and contribute to its further development if I get a chance. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity from NLS and the Government of Meghalaya; and extremely excited to learn and contribute as much as possible towards the creation and implementation of welfare policies for the people of this beautiful state.

How do I apply for the next Fellowship?

The P A Sangma Fellowship will be open to graduates from the B.A.LL.B (Hons.), LLM, and Masters in Public Policy programmes of NLSIU.
To read more, please click here.
To view the brochure, please click here.