DIGITAL FELLOWSHIP 2022

The Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi (CCG), is calling for applications for the DIGITAL (Digital Rights and Inclusive Technology for All) Fellowship, to be offered to successful candidates for a period of 10 months. The Fellows will be hosted by a civil society organisation/litigation chamber to provide them with exposure to digital rights litigation, and they will also develop related legal and policy research under the guidance of the Centre for Communication Governance at the National Law University Delhi.

About CCG
The Centre for Communication Governance (CCG) at the National Law University Delhi is the only academic research centre dedicated to working on information technology law and policy in India and is a leading centre on information technology law and policy in Asia. CCG seeks to embed constitutional rights and good governance within information technology law and policy and examine the evolution of existing rights frameworks to accommodate new media and emerging technology. It aims to support the development of the rights to dignity and equality, freedom of speech, right to assembly and association, and the right to privacy in the digital age, through rigorous academic research, policy engagement, and capacity building. The Centre routinely works with a range of international academic institutions and policy organisations. These include the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford, the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, Hans Bredow Institute at the University of Hamburg and the Global Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers. We engage with government institutions and ministries such as the Law Commission of India, Ministry of Electronics & IT, Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Law & Justice, and international organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the International Telecommunications Union. We seek to provide the executive, legislature and judicial system with useful research in the course of their decision making on issues relating to information technology law and policy.

About the Fellowship
With increasing internet penetration and the rapid increase of internet users in the country, digital rights have become a core focus within the ambit of the protection of fundamental rights. In the last few years, there have been several important judicial pronouncements stemming from digital rights litigation, whether it was the landmark Puttaswamy I judgement upholding the fundamental right to privacy in the Indian Constitution, or the more recent Anuradha Bhasin judgement which clarified that the right to freedom of expression online was a fundamental right. However, several vital questions relating to freedom of expression and privacy in the digital age are yet to be clarified by the courts. These cases will define India’s digital rights landscape for at least the next decade, if not longer. However, digital rights litigation in India is currently facing significant challenges including constraints in terms of research capacity and domain expertise. To address these issues, CCG is excited to announce the second edition of the DIGITAL Fellowship in 2022.

The Fellowship has the following objectives –
● To support the development of digital rights by providing high quality legal and research support in cases relating to digital rights.
● To engage in and produce legal and policy research around the theme of digital rights.
● To build an inclusive and mutually supportive digital rights and technology policy community in India with a long term vision for shaping the development of law and policy in this domain in India.

The Fellowship Programme
The DIGITAL Fellowship 2022 is a 10-month Fellowship that will be awarded by a Selection Committee. These Fellows will be placed either in specific civil society organisations undertaking litigation around digital rights or litigation chambers that are involved in significant digital rights litigation. The Selection Committee has a list of potential organisations and litigation chambers
that the Fellows can be placed with. However, applicants for the Fellowship are welcome to suggest relevant organisations or litigation chambers they would be interested in working with in their application form. The final discretion on the placement of the Fellows with a host organisation remains with CCG and the Selection Committee.
The Fellowship will commence in February 2022. A monthly, non-negotiable stipend of INR 50,000 /- will be provided to a Full-time Fellow. We will be offering six fellowships covering full time and part time fellows, and may include Research Assistants and Interns.

Roles and Responsibilities of the DIGITAL Fellows
● Litigation research, drafting, and briefing: Fellows will undertake extensive research to support the development of petitions and other filings. Fellows will also be involved in briefing the senior advocates/counsels who are leading arguments in courts in these cases.
● Research and policy output: Fellows will be required to carry out high impact policy-centric research and write briefs, reports, responses, blogs, articles and other documents around digital rights.
● Building a national network of digital rights stakeholders: Through CCG, the Fellows will convene lawyers, technologists and civil society organisations working on digital rights issues to enable an exchange of ideas and facilitate learnings from each other.

Eligibility
Applicants for the Full time or Part time Fellowship must –
● Be born on or after January 1, 1989;
● Be registered with the Bar Council of India;
● Demonstrate a strong interest in and commitment to the development of digital rights;
● Have excellent legal writing, drafting and oral advocacy skills.
Preference will be given to applicants with a minimum of two years’ experience in litigation.

Applicants for the DIGITAL Internship/RAship must –
● Be law students in their 3rd and 4th year of the 5 year BA LLB program or the 2nd year of their 3 year LLB programme or the 1st year of their LLM programme.
● Demonstrate a strong interest in and commitment to the development of digital rights;
● Have excellent legal writing, drafting and oral advocacy skills.
Preference will be given to the selection of full time Fellows. However, the Selection Committee may consider part-time Fellows and Research Assistants/Interns.

Selection Process
Interested applicants must submit –
● A signed and completed DIGITAL Fellowship 2022 Application Form, available
here.

● The form has the following two essay questions, which applicants have to answer in a maximum of 5000 characters (including spaces):
a. Discuss up to 3 cases you were directly involved with in your career, which in your opinions have been impactful. Give details of the cases including the
judicial forum, outcome and impact, as well as your own role in achieving them. We encourage applicants to highlight experience in fundamental rights / digital rights litigation. If you do not have experience in litigation, discuss up to 3 projects that you have worked on in areas relating to digital or fundamental rights. Provide details of the projects, outcomes, and the role you played in achieving them.
b. If granted the Fellowship, please clearly articulate your goals, their alignment with the Fellowship’s objectives, and how you would go about achieving them. Please also specify how the Fellowship fits in with your broader professional goals.

Applicants should note that they cannot save their work on the application form and return to it later, so they may find it advisable to prepare their essays beforehand.
● A two-page Curriculum Vitae (CV);
● A writing sample (published or unpublished article, essay, blog) between 1000- 2000 words on a topic preferably related to the Fellowship.
● Names and contact details of two professional or academic referees who can be contacted for an oral or a short written reference (to be filled in the form).
Please combine the CV and writing samples in a single PDF file labelled as “Your name – DIGITAL Fellowship”. The PDF should be uploaded on the link provided in
the application form. Since we require applicants to upload their CV and writing sample, accessing the form requires a Google (Gmail) login.

Deadline: All applications must be submitted by December 28, 2021, 11:59 PM IST.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Note
● National Law University Delhi is an equal opportunity employer.
● National Law University Delhi reserves the right to enhance the shortlisting criteria
● National Law University Delhi reserves the right to conduct telephonic or video interviews.
● National Law University Delhi reserves the right not to fill these positions.
● The position shall be paid under the grants received by the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi.

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