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NLS announces first 3 corporate-funded PhD scholars out of 8 applicants (2 LLB alumni, 1 Nalsarite)

NLSIU Bengaluru has selected three candidates for its first privately-funded PhD scholarship programme with Rs 74.55 lakh, which we had first reported on in May and September 2020.

NLSIU is not the first or only NLU to have fully-funded PhD programmes, though it is interesting since the funding for it came entirely from a corporate, General Electric (GE).

There had been a total of eight applicants for the three fully-funded scholarships, confirmed a university spokesperson.

Each spot includes a monthly cash stipend of Rs 40,000, as well as additional costs and expenses, aggregating to Rs 24.85 lakh per candidate over three years.

The interview panel comprised of VC of Tamil Nadu Law University Dr Kamala Sankaran, and NLSIU professors Prof Ramakrishna and Prof Sudhir Krishnaswamy (who is also vice-chancellor (VC), of course).

According to an announcement on NLS’ website, the selected new PhD scholars under the programme will be researching insights of Indian spiritual traditions with political theory, Indian legal system reform and Ambedkarite jurisprudence.

The selected candidates are:

  • Raag Yadava, who is a 2013 NLSIU LLB graduate and Rhodes Scholar, who has recently joined NLSIU’s faculty. His research would entail:

My work is inspired by Sri Aurobindo, who presents an evolutionary account of the development of human societies that marries the rich insights of the Indian spiritual traditions with political theory. Given the deep challenges to liberalism we witness today, I hope that this work can ground an informed and constructive debate moving forward.

  • Varsha Aithala, who is a Nalsar Hyderabad LLB with a corporate law master’s from Cambridge University. She said in a statement:

The fellowship recognises the vision of Dr. Menon of striving for excellence in education with an emphasis on the values of integrity and empathy. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and hope that my work on Indian legal system reform can contribute to advancing research in this critical area.

  • Arvind Narrain, an 1998 NLSIU LLB grad and a Warwick University LLM. He is also a founding member of the Bangalore-based Alternative Law Forum NGO. He said:

I am pleased to have the opportunity to spend a bit of time thinking and writing about the contribution of one of our seminal thinkers – Dr. Ambedkar – to a philosophy of law. The concepts we associate with Dr Ambedkar, be it fraternity, constitutional morality or democracy as ‘associated living,’ are deeply relevant to India’s constitutional future. In my PhD, I plan to explore what I would call an ‘Ambedkarite jurisprudence’, based on a deeper study of these concepts.”

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