Academic Program and Courses

1. What is Daksha Fellowship?

Daksha Fellowship is India’s first residential fellowship program for young and mid-career lawyers, public policy professionals and other graduates with a background in law. The fellowship operates at the intersection of law, technology, policy and business, and benefits from a contemporary curriculum formulated by internationally renowned faculty in collaboration with leading legal practitioners and industry experts.

2. What is the difference between a Fellowship and an LL.M. program?

An LL.M. program follows a conventional curriculum design and often fails to capture more recent advancements in the world around us. Similarly, it does not prepare students to sufficiently navigate their career paths. A Fellowship program, on the other hand, emphasizes on contemporary learning methodologies, collaboration through active participation, skill sets required for career advancement and above all, building up a community with shared values. In the Daksha context, we aim to do this through a three-pillared pedagogic approach, wherein the knowledge pillar offers core and foundational learning on public law, private law, public policy, and finance and accounting; the expertise pillar offers two different pathways outlined below; and, the skills pillar enhances hands-on learning through labs, bootcamps, internships and other experiential learning methods.

3. Does Daksha Fellowship offer specializations?

Yes. Daksha Fellowship will allow every student to specialize in one of the two fellowship pathways, namely: Technology Law and Policy; or Disputes and Regulatory Practice.

  • Technology Law and Policy: Technological advances in the digital domain have broadly impacted the legal and policy universe in two different ways: one, by compelling responses to problems that are primarily within and of this domain, such as data protection, cybersecurity, telecom regulations and cybercrimes; and two, by necessitating deeper thought on customising generally applicable legislation to matters in the digital realm, be it taxation, competition law, intellectual property rights or media regulation. This pathway, through a range of practically oriented courses on both these strands of State intervention, equips fellows to grapple with the vocabulary of emerging tech such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, cryptocurrencies, synthetic datasets and automated content moderation, the impact that each of these and others have on law and policy making, the role of a lawyer in these settings, and an overall understanding of digital technologies vis a vis law through short modules on legaltech, regtech and coding for lawyers.
  • Disputes and Regulatory Practice: The legal services sector has witnessed significant changes on account of the evolving nature of disputes resolution, coupled with the rise of the regulatory State. While private disputes are increasingly resolved through alternate dispute resolution mechanisms, procedural innovations such as commercial courts and online dispute resolution methods are redefining skills needed for an effective litigator. At the same time, regulatory bodies - old and new - have become sites of legal contestation, with their expansive rule-making authority spurring the demand for lawyers with a conceptual and sectoral understanding of regulation. This pathway will provide a practical understanding of disputes resolution in private settings as well as within the regulatory context. As the latter is closely tied with a deep conceptual understanding of regulation, the pathway shall also equip fellows to grapple with the very idea of regulation. With this foundation in place, fellows shall be given the option to specialise further, with optional clusters on advanced disputes resolution, corporate and financial sectors, and infrastructure and sustainability.
4. What are pre-term courses?

Pre-term courses are designed to provide foundational knowledge to students in many areas that will serve as precursors to their academic journey during the fellowship. This could include a background in using MS Excel or Powerpoint, hone up their understanding of legal research methods or an elementary understanding of data and statistics. Pre-term courses are conducted remotely through live lectures and sharing of online learning content. They will be completed before the Fellowship in residence in Chennai.

5. Does the fellowship follow a trimester or a semester model?

Daksha Fellowship follows a trimester model, where the first term (or trimester) covers foundational courses and is hence common to students, irrespective of their chosen pathway.

6. Does the program have an internship? How is this useful?

All fellows are required to undertake a mandatory six to eight-week internship with a law firm, consulting firm, corporate or technology business firm, or research or policy think tanks, in alignment with their career goals. The internship will supplement the specialized skills and knowledge provided in the fellowship program. The internship will also enable students to understand practical challenges, issues and problems in the real world.

7. Who will teach the courses at Daksha Fellowship?

The faculty for Daksha Fellowship comprises of career academics, researchers, core industry practitioners and consultants. You can find the list of faculty profiles here

8. What are some of the pedagogical innovations at Daksha Fellowship?

Daksha Fellowship focuses on active learning methodologies that involve ideation, discussion and engagement. Online learning and reliance on other interactive technologies catalyses our pedagogic vision.

9. What are my career options after completing Daksha Fellowship?

Daksha Fellows can work in a variety of organizations after completing the program:

  • In a law firm or a business organization with comprehensive understanding of specialized laws, compliance, policy, and in-house legal work;
  • As a litigator, with a sound understanding of advanced dispute resolution practices and procedures;
  • In a law, policy research, teaching or consulting environment with potential to do advanced research, pursue doctoral studies, or produce research for industry and consulting organizations;
  • In not-for-profits or in non-law functions in any organizational setting
10. Is it possible for me to NOT choose a specialization or pathway in Daksha Fellowship?

No. Students must choose a pathway to ensure intended outcomes from the fellowship are met by the end of the program. However, students can audit courses from other pathways to help in their overall learning.

11. How can I attend courses which are not a part of my specialization?

You can audit such courses. This involves sitting in for the lectures but without the possibility of taking part in the evaluations or receiving any credits for such audited courses.

12. Will I be able to attend or audit courses which are not in the chosen fellowship pathway?

Yes. In fact, Daksha Fellowship encourages holistic learning, so courses across tracks shall remain open for students outside of the track to audit and attend, without any credit linkages.

13. Will there be campus placements?

Yes, the program does support campus placements for Daksha Fellows. The program is also designed to ensure adequate exposure to relevant organizations and eminent individuals for students to feel confident about their job prospects. Please note that we consider this aspect to be a part of long-term career development versus finding the next job.

14. Who will award Daksha Fellowship?

Daksha Fellowship has been instituted by a group of prominent educationists and philanthropists. Upon successful completion, students will receive a certificate issued by a not-for-profit trust. To know more, watch the fellowship founder and prominent telecom software entrepreneur, Mr KV Ramani speak to our inaugural cohort.

15. How is Daksha Fellowship useful if one wants to pursue a career in academia or research after the fellowship?

There are three aspects of a career in academia or research that Daksha Fellowship can equip you with.

The first is a comprehensive specialization, i.e. either of our distinct pathways, which is extremely useful when pursuing an academic career. The second is a set of skills - research methods, mathematical thinking, presentation and communication, critical thinking - that can help position you as a cut above the rest when pursuing the world of ideas. The third is an extremely rigorous orientation to public policy and non-legal domains, which helps provide more clarity and direction on the appropriate discipline in which higher education may be pursued.

16. What are bootcamps in Daksha Fellowship?

Bootcamps are intensive learning modules designed to encourage practical and hands-on training in legal, policy and skill-based areas. They are hosted by eminent industry practitioners and think tanks. With targeted and quality learning outcomes as their objective, these bootcamps usually happen over a period of three to five days. Some bootcamps will be relevant to certain pathways more than others, and attendance will be mandated accordingly. All bootcamps involve some element of group activity. The inaugural cohort of Daksha have bootcamps in finance, accounting, mindfulness, speech and expression, technology and the law, real estate and other important themes planned for the year.

17. What is the class size at Daksha Fellowship?

The 2021-22 cohort of Daksha Fellowship is expected to have an upper limit of 120 students across the two pathways.

18. Is there a way to be a part-time Daksha Fellow?

No. The Daksha Fellowship is a full-time residential program. The rigour of the program and the subsequent learning outcomes demand complete attention from our fellows.

19. When will classes begin?

The first term is tentatively slated to begin on September 6, 2021. The pre-term will commence by the third week of August with our online (pre-term) material.

20. Will each fellowship pathway be restricted to a limited number of students?

There is no restriction on the number of Daksha Fellows pursuing a particular fellowship pathway, and is only a function of the number of students opting for the pathway.

21. How will the Work and Well-being Lab (WoWeL) be useful for students?

The Work and Well-being Lab (WoWeL) is a unique personality-oriented lab that focuses on equipping students to handle their own selves in the external world. WoWeL, with its specially designed modules, will help students align their professional careers with personal well-being, enabling them to successfully manage, thrive and belong in the competitive legal, business and policy profession.

22. How will the Communications Lab be useful for students?

The Communications Lab is a speech, writing and presentation skills laboratory that intends to train students to convey their ideas clearly in legal, business and policy settings. The lab will be run by a team of experts from academia, journalism and legal practice.

23. What are the course lists for each fellowship pathway?

Every Daksha fellow will pursue all the core courses outlined below:

Core Courses
  • Fundamentals of Public Law
  • Fundamentals of Private Law
  • Public Policy
  • Finance and Accounting for Lawyers

Choice to pursue either of the two pathways

Technology Law and Policy Pathway
  • Data Protection
  • Telecom Law and Regulatory Architecture
  • Information Technology Act and Cybercrimes
  • Media Law
  • Taxation in the Digital Economy
  • Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Age
  • Emerging Technologies and Legaltech
  • Investments and Transactions in the Technology Sector
Disputes and Regulatory Practice Pathway
  • Foundations of Dispute Resolution
  • Procedure and Evidence
  • Remedies
  • The Regulatory State
  • Corporate Governance
  • Competition Law and M&A

Choice to pursue one of three different clusters, for fellows who opt for the Disputes and Regulatory Practice Pathway

Advanced Disputes cluster
  • Arbitration and International Disputes Resolution
  • Mediation
  • Human Element in Disputes
Infrastructure and Sustainability cluster
  • Energy and Infrastructure
  • Environmental Regulations
  • Telecom Law and Regulatory Architecture
Corporate and Financial cluster
  • Financial Services
  • Securities
  • Real Estate
24. When will the program conclude?

The 2021-22 cohort is tentatively scheduled to graduate by August 15, 2022.

Admissions

1. What are the application rounds for Daksha Fellowship?

Applications for Daksha Fellowship have been open since January, 2021. The deadlines for our five rounds of admission are given below. All admission rounds are on rolling basis.

Round 1 - Last date to apply is 31 January, 2021
Round 2 - Last date to apply is 31 March, 2021
Round 3 - Last date to apply is 31 May, 2021
Round 4 - Last date to apply is 30 June, 2021
Round 5 - Last date to apply is 15 August, 2021

2. Is there an upper age limit to apply?

There is no age limit to apply for the fellowship.

3. Is there an application form fee?

There is no fee to begin or submit your application.

4. Is there a minimum eligibility requirement to apply for the Fellowship?

Yes, there is. Graduation in law from a Centre for Legal Education recognised by the Bar Council of India, or successful completion of an equivalent foreign law degree, is mandatory in order to apply for the fellowship.

5. What is the format of the application form?

The form has the following sections:

  • Personal Details
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Internships and Professional Experience (if any)
  • Co-curricularr
  • Extra-curricular
  • Upload Documents

All sections must be complete for the application to be processed.

6. Can a graduate with a foreign law degree apply?

Yes, if the degree is equivalent to an Indian LL.B. program (integrated or non-integrated). The Fellowship Admissions Committee will decide finally on all matters relating to eligibility.

7. What is the admission process for Daksha Fellowship?

Process Flow of Admissions

Step 1: Application Submission and Evaluation
Step 2: Interview with the Dean of the fellowship or a Faculty Member

The final decision will be communicated to applicants at the end of Stage 2, approximately 10-14 days from the date of the interview.

8. How do you select candidates? Is there an entrance exam to qualify for Daksha Fellowship?

We primarily give differing weightages to three selection parameters based on our internal policies:

1. Grades / Percentage in the Law UG Program or performance in the LSAT India admissions test, depending on the applicant’s choice;

2. Overall application quality, including co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, internship record and work experience (if any);

3.Interview with the Dean of the fellowship or a Faculty Member


There is no mandatory admissions test for selection purposes. However, in the event of an applicant performing well on selection criteria 2 and 3 mentioned above, but failing to meet the overall score needed to make it to the fellowship on account of under-performance in selection criteria 1 (UG Law grades / percentage), a conditional offer may be extended to the applicant subject to performance in a special test administered to the applicant. This test will take place online and more details about the same will be shared in advance with the applicant. In such cases, we may also insist on providing us with the names and contact details of two referees, academic or professional.


In lieu of performance in UG Law, we also accept LSAT India scores though taking this test is not mandatory and is left to the free will of the applicant. Being an institutional partner with LSAC, the body that administers this test, we do keep a few seats open for those who perform exceptionally well in the test.

9. Who should be contacted for queries on the online application system or if technical difficulties are encountered?

Please write to the Admissions Committee at admissions@dakshafellowship.org for assistance. Remember to quote your application number in all such communication.

10. What is the total fee for Daksha Fellowship?

The fee structure for Daksha Fellowship 2021 is in the program brochure

11. Are there scholarships and financial assistance?

A Scholarship Program is one of the most common ways to avail financial assistance for students from financially weaker sections with proven merit and potential to excel in academic and professional life.

Daksha Fellowship maintains that the cohort should be inclusive and provide opportunities to such students. Merit cum Means Scholarship applications are invited from students that will be reviewed internally by the scholarship committee. Rules and regulations are drafted/amended every year as required. Both merit (CGPA) and means (personal and family income) will be taken into account.

Other factors such as participation in moot courts, debates, sports, cultural activities, societies’ events etc., contribution to academics and research, and any visible examples of leadership also play an important role in the consideration for financial assistance. The Daksha scholarship program is designed to ensure that the maximum number of students benefit from it.

12. How will interviews be conducted?

Every applicant who has successfully completed the application and undergone a first round of screening will be invited for a panel interview. The interview could be a face-to-face interview at the City Campus in Chennai, or in one of the metro cities, or via a video call. Applicants will receive prior notice.

13. What is Daksha Fellowship’s deferral policy?

Deferral is available only in exceptional situations, will be granted on a case-to-case basis, and is subject to the admission policies of the fellowship.

14. What is the procedure to submit additional documents or rectify incorrect ones?

Please write to us at admissions@dakshafellowship.org quoting your application number and attach the relevant documents.

15. What are the steps involved for online application submission?
  • Applicants will create an account on the application portal by registering with basic details – full name, email ID, contact number and country
  • A link is sent to their email ID to activate the account
  • After activating the account, the applicant is directed to the application form which consists of five basic sections – Personal Details, Qualifications & Experience, Achievements, Essays and References
  • The applicant can save the details that they enter in the application every time they sign up

The essential questions needed for the next round of the application process are marked as mandatory.

Life at Daksha Fellowship

1. Is Daksha Fellowship a residential program?

Yes, it is a residential program.

2. What are the facilities in the student housing?

Every student will be provided with a furnished air-conditioned room on a twin-sharing basis. Food will be arranged on a meal plan basis which students can sign up for. The residential campus is wifi-enabled and has other amenities like gymnasium, pool etc. on a chargeable basis.

3. What is the weather like in Chennai?

Chennai has clear blue skies throughout the year except during the monsoon months of October and November when the city receives the north-east monsoon rains. The hottest part of the year is late May to early June, with maximum temperatures in the 35–40 °C (95–104 °F) range. The coolest part of the year is January, with minimum temperatures in the range of 19–25 °C. Temperatures generally remain in the same range throughout the year.

Daksha Fellowship