The Young India Fellowship began in 2011 as a bold and path-breaking idea. The aim was to offer Indian youth a way to break out of their disciplinary silos, move beyond the boundaries of a restrictive education system and explore their potential. After a national search, 57 Fellows were inducted from all over the country and from various disciplines. They were offered intensive exposure to liberal arts focused disciplines over the period of one year. Faculty were identified and recruited from some of the finest institutions around India and the world to come and engage with students over a six-week term.
The inaugural batch and two cohorts after were based out of the Sri Aurobindo Center for Communication and Arts (SACAC) in New Delhi. The seed of liberal arts planted by the Young India Fellowship grew in Ashoka University based in Rai, Sonepat, Haryana. The Ashoka campus was inaugurated in 2014 when the Fellowship also moved to the fully residential University campus.