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Curriculum Deep Dive

The Journey Within and Beyond

A Year-long Fellowship

Started in 2011, YIF grooms socially conscious leaders and change-makers for the 21st century.

Offered as Ashoka University’s flagship residential postgraduate diploma in liberal studies, the YIF is unlike any other graduate academic programme. Fellows get access and exposure to diverse areas of study, research and practice within a year. This often helps Fellows reimagine themselves and discover their passions.

Fellows study a curated selection of courses taught by renowned educators, work on a team-based project to solve a real-world problem, and learn how to think critically and write effectively. They are also mentored by inspiring individuals, and live with a community of diverse individuals from many walks of life.

A multidisciplinary programme designed like no other.

The multidimensional learning opportunities enable students to build or hone 21st century skills that are in high demand, regardless of their past educational backgrounds and their future goals. These skills include Collaboration, Communication, Problem-Solving, Critical Thinking, and Leadership. 

8 Terms

20 Multidisciplinary Courses

100 Fellows

Critical Writing

Experiential Learning

Mentorship

Focused Residential Experience

Infinite
Possibilities

Courses

A range of subjects taught by inspiring academicians, scholars, and practitioners.

The Young India Fellowship attracts the finest academicians, practitioners, and experts in the field to the classroom, and gives them the autonomy to innovate, create, and craft curricula. This is a rare freedom within academia and ensures an unparalleled teaching and learning experience, not just for YIF, but across all programmes at Ashoka University.

The diversity in courses is also reflected in the varied styles of teaching and assessment, which includes discussions, seminars, field visits, presentations, and group work. While catering to multiple learning styles, this allows you to learn from a range of perspectives, and prepare yourself to be a critical thinker – a key 21st century skill.

 

Peer Diversity and Learning

View the world with a new perspective.

Young India Fellows are a group of promising young individuals, selected through a rigorous and elaborate search for passionate achievers with a desire to bring about change. At the YIF, a gold medalist from IIT, a history major from LSR, a Kathak dancer, a banker from Goldman Sachs and a journalist from Reuters, all attend lectures together. This creates an unparalleled peer learning environment rich with multiple perspectives. From engineering to design, film to agriculture, medicine to art, and law to journalism, being amidst diverse peers will enable cross flow of ideas and learning – which will complement and challenge what you learnt in your previous experiences.

Experiential Learning Module

Work on projects which directly impact the world.

The Experiential Learning Module (ELM) is a core component of the YIF curriculum where the Fellows work in groups of five on real-world projects from diverse sectors in collaboration with organisations and institutions (Clients). The ELM compliments academic learning at the YIF by equipping Fellows with structured problem-solving techniques, while also training them in designing and implementing sustainable solutions. It helps students learn how to work collaboratively, solve complex problems with an interdisciplinary approach, and build domain knowledge.

Critical Writing

Learn to think critically and express effectively.

The YIF Critical Writing Programme has few visible contextual precedents within the Indian higher education system. Acknowledging the importance of writing as central to processes of knowledge acquisition, production, and consumption, the programme has developed a pedagogy geared towards building critical reading, writing, and thinking skills to help Fellows engage with the world of ideas and enable them to develop and express their own ideas in a well-reasoned, lucid, and engaging manner. We do this by helping students innovate with genres of writing across different disciplines to develop a metacognitive awareness regarding their own reading and writing practices. These skills act as building blocks for the liberal arts education they receive at Ashoka University and enhance their abilities to navigate academic, professional, and social spheres once they graduate from the Fellowship.

Mentorship Programme

Get mentored by eminent leaders and scholars of the 21st Century. 

Mentorship is one of the key pillars of the YIF, where the Fellows are connected to Mentors with strong personal, academic, and professional track records who positively impact and guide their journeys during and beyond the YIF.  The fellows have the opportunity to be mentored by not only a stalwart in academia or industry, but also by an alum who shares a similar background or interest. This allows the Young India Fellows to carve out a meaningful career path over time.

Inspiring Educators

The Young India Fellowship attracts the finest academicians, practitioners, and experts in the field to the classroom, and gives them the autonomy to innovate, create, and craft curricula. This is a rare freedom within academia and ensures an unparalleled teaching and learning experience, not just for YIF, but across all programmes at Ashoka University.

Each course offering is from a distinct academic or professional domain. Disciplines range from sciences to social sciences and from leadership to the arts. Course offerings include public policy, art appreciation, gender and media studies, leadership, group dynamics, business essentials, Shakespeare, communication, and Indian elections. 

Life at YIF

The YIF programme’s residential experience gives students access to the entire Ashoka University ecosystem. Students become a part of a vibrant community and get the opportunity to engage with people and spaces beyond the YIF. The residential experience is accentuated by the multifaceted environment of the University which includes:

● World-class infrastructure and facilities
● Multiple Centres of excellence
● Comprehensive student support systems
● Fulfilling cultural and co-curricular engagement

Life at YIF

A Fellow for Life

Since 2011, over 1900 individuals from India and abroad have commenced their lifelong journeys as Young India Fellows.

Fellows are equipped with perspectives, knowledge, and capabilities that help them understand the world better 
and engage with their field of study or practice through a multidisciplinary approach. This becomes critical for effective leadership, especially in the post-pandemic era.

Fellows keep coming back to the Fellowship, and contribute to shaping and nurturing it further. They continue to support and collaborate with each other and with members of the larger Ashoka ecosystem in their professional and personal pursuits, regardless of what they do.

Pathways: Campus Placements

Ashoka University is a pioneer in providing a liberal arts and sciences education in India at par with the best in the world. Ashoka’s globally recognized faculty and rigorous pedagogy provides students with 21st century skills including critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, ensuring our graduates are well-equipped when they emerge into the world of work.

The University is a preferred destination for several leading recruiters across Consulting, BFSI, Conglomerate, IT, BPO, KPO, Research/Analytics, Social Sector, Internet, FMCG, Startup, Fintech, Pharma, Media and Advertising, Education/EdTech, and PR, and has a commitment to enhancing inclusion, diversity and social impact, and contributing to nation-building by preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

Know More

Pathways: Other Opportunities

Turn your Fellowship into a Master’s Degree (MLS)

Extend your stay at Ashoka by a year and graduate with a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MLS) degree. The 32-credit interdisciplinary research program is open to Fellows and alumni. Students design their own…

Start an Organization

Apply to the 5-month long holistic Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR) programme at Ashoka University’s InfoEdge Centre for Entrepreneurship to incubate, develop and test your idea through a support structure that brings together a network of founders, entrepreneurs,…

Create Social Impact

Apply to the Mother Teresa Fellowship, which allows you to pursue your goals in development by providing you mentorship, professional and personal support, along with a monthly stipend. YIF alumni have started national movements, built…

Study Further

Several Fellows, either immediately after graduating from Ashoka or later, have gone on to pursue graduate and doctoral programmes at aspirational institutions and have also secured coveted scholarships. 

The YIF Alumni Community

Young India Fellows together form a community of diverse leaders and changemakers from all walks of life, driven to generate transformational impact on society. Fellows continue to make an impact across diverse spheres, whether as entrepreneurs, in the corporate world, development sector, research, journalists, policy, sports, academia or as professional artists.

WATCH | The YIF Podcast Season 1 | Alumni Journeys of Transformation and Impact | 7 Episodes

Watch

Top recruiters

Admissions

Become a Young India Fellow

The YIF follows a holistic admissions process, which takes into account the academic and non-academic journey, personal context, interests and potential of an individual. The online application is designed to be a reflective process.

Why YIF

Reach Out To Us

👤 Meet the Fellows: Avni Nagpal [YIF Class of '23 | Int. BS - MS Physical Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (IISER Kolkata)]

🔷 “Ever since Avni was a child, she has been immensely curious, ever ready to figure out the “why” of things. In her college life, she got the opportunity to explore activities ranging from quizzing to bird watching. Participating in different activities brought her immense joy and helped her recognise her interest in fields unrelated to Science.

🔷 She is now hoping to delve deeper into her interests through the interdisciplinary education that the YIF offers. Avni enjoys playing tennis, cooking, and watching movies in her free time. After the Fellowship, she plans to venture into the not-for-profit space.

🔷 Avni believes the YIF can serve as a bridge to help her transition to a career in the social sector. She hopes to become a purposeful and impactful leader by learning from her experiences and peers at the YIF." shares Avni

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using, the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

📍Post-YIF Pathways: Neha Gupta (YIF‘22) will be attending the Fall Exchange Program at Sciences Po to pursue Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at the Paris School of International Affairs.

@sciencespo @psiasciencespo

--
Neha shares:

🔹 'I joined YIF after completing my under-graduation in psychology. The primary motive for joining the Fellowship was that it offered a multidisciplinary education – which I thought could help me go beyond the boundaries that 3 years of focused study in #psychology had set me for.

🔹 The courses, teaching, the interaction with the faculty and the TAs, helped me gain fresh and new perspectives. The evaluation methods weren’t traditional question/answer format. It literally blew my mind and allowed me to explore beyond what was taught in the classes. The very opportunity to interact with a cohort of 200 fellows was unique – the conversations were insightful, inspiring and engaging.

🔹 Through my journey at YIF and after, I hope to explore the intersectionality of subjects such as Human Rights-Psychology-Gender and Human Rights-Psychology-Migration. This contributes to my aspiration to partake in policy research and advocate for mental health as one of the basic Human Rights.'

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using, the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

👤 Meet the Fellows: Akash Deep [YIF Class of '23 | BS - MS Physics, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali (IISER Mohali)]

@kaaash_akash

🔷"A voracious reader, Akash finds resonance in the ideas of Keynes when he said that "a master economist is a rare combination of a mathematician, historian, and philosopher”. He has dabbled with seemingly unrelated subjects - physics and social sciences, which pulled him into liberal arts.

🔷 He believes bringing diverse perspectives to problematize the puzzle is paramount before embarking on the solution. Beyond the classroom, Akash has a penchant for calligraphy, and out on those lovely mornings, you can find him watching birds and using his every muscle to identify the species.

🔷 At YIF, he wants to further his intellectual pursuits in a space that allows him to express himself and let others do the same. YIF would also enable him to engage well with peer learning in a multidisciplinary setting that provides the opportunity to engage in a dialogue, to be able to think critically, and provides a platform to launch oneself into the world." shares Akash

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using, the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

"There's a World out there, Explore!" #ReachForTheStars

📷 Photo Credits: @budh_wak

📍Ashoka University

-

📢 YIF Class of 2024 | #EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship, using the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

📍YIF Crossover Series: "LOVE ACTUALLY" and “CURIOSITY” with Swapan Seth

@swapanseth67

🔷 In this session, Fellows got to know about:
📌 Swapan's 36 invigorating years in #advertising and how he survived it.
📌 What fuels his curiosity as an advertising professional, an art collector, an author who dons many hats.

🔷 Swapan began his career at 19 at JWT, Calcutta. At 20, he was transferred to their Hong Kong Office. He won his first Cannes award at the age of 22. A Clio at 23. At 24, he was the youngest ever Creative Director at Clarion. At 26, he was Vice President, Trikaya Grey. At 28 he started his own agency, Equus. Equus launched Max New York Life, Barista, Kingfisher Airlines, Harvest Gold Bread and Matrix. Currently, it works for Reliance Capital, Deutsche Bank, Taj Hotels, Coca Cola, Hindustan Times, Quest, Sleepwell, to name a few.

🔷 "Swapan's unfiltered and honest answers throughout the session left a mark of authenticity with each one of us. He left me with the thought of clearly charting my own path in life and continue being curious as I move ahead," shares Aadya Vatsa, YIF Class of 2023
@aadyav

🎥 Editing Courtesy: @pranjal97joshi & @sarojmuthukumaran

📍 Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using, the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership #YIFCrossoverSeries #SwapanSeth
...

👤 Meet the Fellows: Sakshi Batavia (YIF Class of '23 | B.A. English Literature, Mithibai College, University of Mumbai)

@sakshibatavia @mithibaicollege

🔷 "Sakshi hails from Nasik, the ‘’wine capital of India’’. She can always be found with a book in her bag for ‘emergency purposes.’ Her path to YIF hasn’t been straightforward. After a Master's in Literature and another in Gender studies, she had brief stints working at an auction house and a publishing house.

🔷 She is keen to expand her horizon and learn more about policy, especially concerning education and gender rights. She hopes her time at YIF will help her forge a path that leads to a more community impact-driven role.

🔷 YIF attracted her because of the diversity of its cohort. Rarely does anyone get the opportunity to interact with people from across the spectrum. She hopes to get a more grounded perspective through this fellowship. This will help her navigate and find a more earnest purpose in life, which is first and foremost community driven." shares Sakshi

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

📍Post-YIF Pathways: Garima Shekhar (YIF'13) has received the Fulbright-Nehru Master's scholarship for graduate study in #Education at Harvard.

@evolvinggarima @harvardeducation
--
Garima shares:

🔹'Instead of being an active speaker, I was a silent observer in Prof. Kenwyn Smith’s Group Dynamics class at YIF. During his office hours, he made me aware that it is important to speak up in class as others are waiting to learn from me. This was a defining moment that changed the trajectory of my life. I reflected deeper on how I can contribute to the world, and giving others an opportunity to reflect, the same way about their life, was the answer. From being a core member of the Founding Projects team at Ashoka to the Founder of Evolving Being, a boutique liberal arts-focused admissions consultancy, I am trying to contribute to the field of education in my way. The Fulbright office took notice of this and decided to support my efforts by sponsoring my Ed.M. program at Harvard University. I speak actively in class and never miss an opportunity to engage with my peers.

🔹YIF laid the foundation for me to understand who I want to be in the world. It allowed me to break the academic silos of my undergrad experience, offered hands-on learning through the ELM module, and exposed me to international faculty members. I also made a small group of two-three friends that I am in touch with even today.

🔹A decade ago, it was considered a risky venture to apply to this program- there was no university, no degree, and no alums. Many people asked me not to consider this opportunity, but something in my belly said this is the place for me. If there is a similar voice ringing in your head, come to YIF and find your calling.'

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship, using the LINK IN BIO

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership #fulbright
...

👤 Meet the Fellows: Yastica Sikaria [YIF Class of '23 | B.Com (Honours) Accountancy and Finance, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology]

@yastica_sikaria @kiituniversity

🔷"Certain that our lives are, to a great extent, a culmination of various little interactions, Yastica considers her journey until now as nothing but an amalgamation of these adventures and experiences. Coming from an undergraduate business background, she has always been fascinated by economic sciences and fintech. Throughout her academic career, she has had varied experiences - from working with an international youth organization to working with Mastercard on a G2C Case.

🔷 In her free time, you can find her reading, binging classics, on the badminton court, or exploring different mediums of art! Among other things, she loves talking about creative history, her love for literature, and financial & startup trends.

🔷 Her friends describe her as an “Old Soul” who constantly searches for adventure, loves to capture memories with her little film camera, and enjoys her own company! Through the year at YIF, she hopes to “reimagine herself” and think more critically about what matters." shares Yastica

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship, using the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

Wander Often, Wonder Always! #ReachForTheStars

📷 Photo Credits: @shahambare (YIF '17)

📍Ashoka University

-

📢 YIF Class of 2024 | #EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using the LINK IN BIO.

-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

👤 Meet the Fellows: Vedant Krishna [YIF Class of '23 | B.A.(Honours) Economics, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies]

🔷 "Vedant has proactively been leading and supporting multiple social change projects since he was 14 years old. From founding a community library to working on menstrual advocacy in rural Maharashtra, he likes to engage with issues around him through intersectional and innovative ways.

🔷Vedant founded ‘Students for Sustainable Living’, a social initiative supported by the Millennium Fellowship, United Nations that addresses climate change and sustainability concerns. He is passionate about building and supporting organizations to make them more efficient, sustainable and impactful. He aims to develop his professional skill in the inter-junction of Economics and Entrepreneurship.

🔷In his spare time, he enjoys swimming and baking. He is interested in being a part of YIF as it fosters a strong community of leaders, change-makers and passionate individuals from whom one can learn and grow collaboratively." shares Vedant

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

📍Post-YIF Pathways: Apala Mandal (YIF'22) is one of 6 Indian students (across all PhD and Postgraduate taught courses) to be awarded the #FelixScholarship to pursue an MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies at SOAS, London.

--
Apala shares:

🔹'At the YIF, we are taught to build things. I built friendships and bonds with people who loved me, challenged me and nurtured me. I built bridges—some firm, some yet to be bolstered—among the disciplines I studied, and the questions I asked. I built resilience and fortitude, learning to commit myself to long-term projects despite the ups and downs. I built maturity—I transcended the language of “I like this subject, I don’t like that subject” to realize that something as feeble and fleeting as interest cannot mediate my relationship with what I learn, if learning is ever to be more than a personal activity. And finally, I built an understanding—that interest, affinity, respect, even love for knowledge can be cultivated with the right tools and with the right outlook. A professor of ours quoted Zhuang Zhi when he said, “Everyone knows the usefulness of what is useful, but few know the usefulness of what is useless.” Finding value in what I had ignored, respecting what I had dismissed, and engaging with what had scared me: this was, in summary, my YIF experience.

🔹Graduating from the YIF with the Scholar Award and the Best ELM Prize has brought this fulfilling year to a wonderful end. I am moving on to the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, to pursue an MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies. With the Felix Scholarship generously supporting the entirety of my tuition and expenses, I plan to use my time at SOAS to study the gendered dynamics of diasporic nationalism among Hindu women.

🔹I am grateful to the faculty at YIF for providing me with so much space to explore my individual interests in this area through my assignments, and for offering feedback and encouragement throughout the application process. I'm super excited for the journey ahead!'.

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations

📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using the LINK IN BIO
...

👤 Meet the Fellows: Tejasvini S (YIF Class of '23 | B.A. Literature, Stella Maris College)

@stellamariscollegeofficial @ashokauniv

🔷 "From being a science student in school to a law aspirant to an accidental English literature postgraduate, Tejasvini has found her nonlinear academic journey quite heartening.

🔷 Literature conscientised her about the complex power dynamics that underlie our lives. It made her listen to voices that she wouldn’t have gotten to hear otherwise. Her interests range from South, and West Asian works of literature, Indian literature to #Historiography and #Philosophy. She has a never-ending appetite for Sufi and Bhakti poetry. She adores Arundathi Subramaniam and leads a visceral life as suggested by her lines: “Meanings will not save us, but rhythms will”.

🔷 When not reading, you can find her taking random thought journeys with people, worshipping Dosas and savouring picture books for children. Through the YIF, Tejasvini hopes to synergise her interests and form quality and informed opinions. She considers the YIF promising not only for her personal and academic renaissance but also for achieving a better understanding of the society that she desires to change," shares Tejasvini

📍Ashoka University

-
📌 YIF Class of 2024 |#EarlyRegistrations
📲 Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship using the LINK IN BIO
-

#YIF #YoungIndiaFellowship #AshokaUniversity #12YearsOfYIF #ReachForTheStars #LiberalArts #Leadership
...

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Young India Fellowship, Class of 2024

Register your interest in the next cohort of the Young India Fellowship, and stay updated with the admissions process, resources, events and learning opportunities with the Ashoka community.


Admissions to the Class of 2023-24 will open after September 2022.