Meet Our Academic Fellows for 2022-24!
April 19, 2022
NLSIU is excited to welcome its first cohort of the Academic Fellowship programme for 2022-24!
The University’s Fellowship programme will allow Fellows to (i) assist NLSIU faculty on research projects and policy interventions, and (ii) support faculty in the delivery of both on-campus and off-campus academic programmes.
Our 9 Academic Fellows come from varied backgrounds with a wide range of academic and intellectual interests. In the two years of their programme, they will work with faculty members and on research projects, where they learn and contribute to ongoing assignments, thereby providing different perspectives to research and teaching at the University. Our current focus areas under the programme include: Law and Health; Law, Tech and Society; Private Law, and Criminal Justice.
We spoke to our new Academic Fellows on their work and interests. Here’s what they had to say:
Radhika Nair has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Indraprastha College for Women at Delhi University. She has a Master’s degree in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. Additionally, she has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. For three years, she worked as an Advocate at the High Court and district courts of Delhi, while working part-time on building a legal aid NGO in Delhi from the ground up.
An interest in international law and access to justice led her to pursue an Advanced LLM in European and International Human Rights Law at Leiden University in 2020. She has extensive experience with not-for-profit organisations, research organisations and policy think tanks in various capacities.
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: I had been contemplating a move from industry to academia for some time and that is precisely what drew me to the Fellowship. Having worked in different legal and social institutions over the course of my career, I am looking at this Fellowship as an opportunity to explore how academic spaces function, to contribute to the University’s research and teaching activities and learn skills that will help me develop my own research for a doctoral programme in the future.
My focus area at NLSIU: At present, I am working with the Centre for Labour Studies under the guidance of Professor Babu Mathew on developing a Fifth Labour Code covering the informal sector workers who have largely been left out of the four new labour codes implemented by the Central government. Additionally, I am working with the Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) department on revising course material, curriculum development, and assisting with the delivery of off-campus lectures.
Interests: I enjoy learning new languages. I am right now working on improving my French and picking up conversational Kannada.
Sheetal completed her LLM in Human Rights at National Law School of India University, Bangalore, where she was the batch topper, and secured four gold medals. After completing her post graduation in 2020, she joined the Madhusudan Law University in Odisha, where she taught Constitutional Law and Hindu Law to the undergraduate students.
She later joined NLS as a Research Associate for a project funded by Niti Aayog. Her areas of interest are Gender, Feminist interpretation of law and Constitutionalism. She also has a special liking towards Refugee Studies and how the intersectionality of gender is played within its realm.
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: The Academic Fellowship programme allows one to learn the nuances of teaching and research from the brightest legal minds of the country. Besides, I think of it as a stepping stone to building the right temperament for a profession in academics. The learning ecosystem at NLSIU is the best in the country.
Interests: I love music and cooking, and I am a professional baker.
Aishwarya Birla received her B.A., LL.B (Hons.) degree from NALSAR University of Law in 2020, and BCL from the University of Oxford in 2021. Currently, she is also pursuing an LLM at the University of Melbourne as an Alex Chernov Scholar. Her areas of interest are human rights law, anti-discrimination law, and regulation. She is specifically interested in refugee law, having worked in the past on matters relating to refugee tribunals and detentions centres in Assam. Her other research interests include judicial activism, the role of the judiciary in human rights discourse, and the impact of this on our understanding of democracy.
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: I joined NLSIU as an academic fellow to further pursue my love for learning, education, and teaching. Having assisted the Law of Torts and Administrative Law courses as an undergraduate student, I hope to learn more about the pedagogy at NLSIU to further my own teaching career. The scope and calibre of the research projects I will undertake during the fellowship will also help me strengthen my research and learning outcomes.
Interests: I am a true foodie, and enjoy trying and learning about different cuisines.
Sebanti is a cultural anthropologist with an interest in Sound Studies, Religious Studies, and Gender Studies. She earned her doctorate degree in Sociology from the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University.
Her monograph ‘Styling the Sacred: Choral Voices from Goa and Shillong’ is currently under review with Bloomsbury Music and Sound Studies Series, USA. As a co-recipient of the India Arts Foundation Research grant, she is also working on a film titled ‘Ki Sur- The voice.’
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: I have worked in various capacities at NLSIU for short term roles and wanted to experience a long-term commitment while exploring avenues to incorporate my interest areas with the larger questions of Technology and Law, Gender Laws, and policy interventions.
My focus area at NLSIU: My focus is to immerse into the ethos of interdisciplinary learning and researching while discovering how to intersperse questions of legality and politics in the realm of culture.
Interests: My areas of interest are Anthropology of sound, visual documentation of cultural practices, research on gender violence and labour settings. Outside of work, I enjoy children’s literature and storytelling.
Ishika Saxena, a political theorist and policy researcher, graduated with distinction in Postcolonial Theory from SOAS, University of London, where she was awarded the ‘Special Language Scholarship’. Ishika holds a BA Liberal Arts (Political Science and Public Policy) with minors in English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology from the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune.
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: To further my engagement with both political theory and public policy, the fellowship provides opportunities to be involved with teaching as well as research. NLSIU allows for a certain kind of growing interdisciplinarity which makes it an interesting space.
Interests: My areas of interest relate to political thought and theory, public policy, critical theory, literature and aesthetics, philosophy, and ethics.
Pawani earned her degree in law from the National Law University Delhi in 2017. From 2017-18, she worked as a clerk at the Supreme Court of India, where her work focussed on land and criminal matters. Following this, she practiced in the trial courts and the High Court of Delhi, handling criminal and family law matters. She is pursuing an LLM as an Alex Chernov Scholar at the Melbourne Law School. Her areas of interest are Criminal law, Legal Methods and Constitutional Law.
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: I applied for the academic fellowship because of the unique mix of teaching and research assignments that it is designed to give to early career academics in India. I hope to utilise this opportunity to explore my academic interests further before entering a specific PhD programme.
My focus area at NLSIU: As of now, my focus area is teaching Criminal Law II under Prof. Dr. Mrinal Satish.
Anushka Sachan completed her B.B.A. LL.B. at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies and a master’s in Law and Technology from the University of Ottawa. She is a researcher working at the intersection of law, technology, and society.
Her research and writing are rooted within South Asian polities and their regard for surveillance and privacy for women and other marginalised communities. Working with civil societies and grassroot organisations in India, her recent projects have explored the structural manifestation of digital violence and how it spills over in physical spaces.
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: I applied for the academic fellow position to further disciplinary research interest in technology and law while under the mentorship of experienced professors and colleagues. This opportunity gives me the space to continue with my core interest while exploring adjacent fields of law.
My focus area at NLSIU: My focus area at NLSIU is Technology and Society.
Interests: I enjoy illustrating, and I am a coffee addict.
Nishtha graduated with a B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) from National Law University, Delhi. Her primary research interests are in the field of criminal law, which she has explored from different perspectives through her work over the last five years. After graduating in 2017, she worked at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi to study and evaluate the regulation of emerging technologies, particularly assessing the impact of technologies such as narco-analysis, BEAP etc. on the investigative capacities of law enforcement agencies. She also clerked with a judge of the High Court of Delhi, primarily researching and drafting briefs on criminal law matters.
To further probe the working of the criminal justice system, she worked as a Law Officer at Wildlife Conservation Society-India, as part of their Counter Wildlife Trafficking team. At WCS, she designed and executed India’s first study on legal gaps in prosecution of wildlife crimes across 6 states.
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: The Fellowship provides me an opportunity to work on projects at the interface of criminal law and policy, while simultaneously pursuing independent academic research with the mentorship of some of the best legal minds in India.
Interests: I am an enthusiastic baker and love to feed people. When not busy peeping into an oven to look at cakes rising, I am an avid traveller and always planning my next road trip.
Manpreet Singh Dhillon
Manpreet Dhillon is an interdisciplinary scholar interested in teaching and researching the complex entanglements between the body, law, and technology. He is engaged in thinking through, and illuminating various aspects of law, technology and society using the methodological approaches that informs Science, Technology and Society, and Socio-Legal Studies.
He comes with academic training in Literature, Sociology, Law, and Governance studies. He earned a PhD in Law and Governance from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Prior to joining NLSIU, he taught a variety of interdisciplinary courses as Adjunct Faculty in Sociology in the School of Undergraduate Studies, and as Adjunct Faculty in Social Sciences and Humanities in the School of Global Affairs at Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). He is an active member of the Law and Social Sciences Research Network (LASSnet).
Why I applied for the fellowship programme: This programme has the potential to transform and democratize legal education in India. The issues that emerge in a complex and increasingly technologically mediated global society needs to be researched from a critical perspective by placing it within its own specific cultural and historical contexts.
I am also looking forward to engaging with students from varied backgrounds during my fellowship here at NLSIU. I believe that students need to engage with the social, ethical and legal issues related to various complex issues as stakeholders in framing the governance regime and thereby, co-produce a deeper understanding of critical issues in public policy and governance. I am excited to be a part of this collective of world-class teachers and researchers in law and social sciences.
My focus area at NLSIU: I will be using my expertise and skills in creating a dynamic, creative and critical space for interdisciplinary studies of law from a social sciences and humanities perspective. My focus is to develop course content and syllabus, teach online & offline courses, carry out research, and publish in areas related to Law, Technology, and Governance.
Interests: I enjoy listening to music, especially jazz and blues. I also like tasting different cuisines and cultures, and love taking long walks.