Other links:

Other links:

Innovative Pedagogy

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.

Watch Listen


Ashoka has institutionalised the Socratic way of teaching: focusing on teaching students how to think rather than just what to think. Each course offering is from a distinct academic or professional domain, while several are interdisciplinary in nature. Course offerings include public policy, art appreciation, statistics, data, psychology, philosophy, gender studies, group dynamics, design thinking, communication, international relations and more. Broad course domains are as follows:


Fellows study a total of 20 courses during the year-long programme. Most of these courses are taken by all 100 Fellows, while a few courses are taught in groups of about 25 Fellows, as choice-based Special Seminars.

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 Fellows to learn from a range of perspectives, and prepare themselves to be critical thinkers who can connect the dots.

Faculty at the YIF

Renowned faculty from Ashoka University and partner institutions (such as the University of Pennsylvania), and practitioners from leading institutions globally teach at the YIF. The following is a non-exhaustive list of current and recent faculty at the YIF.

Courses at the YIF

Please note that several courses change year on year, and the following non-exhaustive list of courses from is appended below for the reader to get a sense of the kinds of courses that are offered at the YIF:


Courses by Ashoka University Faculty

Ashoka University Faculty
JM Financial Lectures on Reason and the Makers of Modern India
Rudrangshu Mukherjee
Chancellor and Professor of History; DPhil, University of Oxford 
John Keats, Poetry and Intensity
Malabika Sarkar
Principal Academic Advisor and Professor of English; MA, University of Cambridge; Fellow of the English Association, UK
The Universe and Us
Dipankar Bhattacharya
Head of the Department, Physics and Sunanda and Santimay Basu Professor of Astrophysics; PhD, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
Shakespeare and the World
Jonathan Gil Harris
Professor and Head of the Department, English; PhD, University of Sussex
Madhavi Menon
Professor of English; PhD, Tufts University
Khayal, North Indian Classical Music, and the Modern Song: A Story of the Trajectory of Modernity
Amit Chaudhuri
Professor of Creative WritingDPhil, University of Oxford
Language, Politics and Society in India
Kathryn Hardy
Assistant Professor and Head of the Department, Sociology and Anthropology; PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Understanding Pandemics
Shahid Jameel 
Visiting Professor, Trivedi School of Biosciences; PhD, Washington State University
Science of Emotion and Empathy: A Toolkit of Concepts and Techniques
Bhismadev Chakrabarti
Visiting Professor of Psychology; PhD, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
Anthropology Today
Mekhala Krishnamurthy
Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology; PhD, University College, London
The New Geography of the Information Age
Debayan Gupta
Assistant Professor of Computer Science; PhD, Yale University


Courses by Visiting Faculty at the YIF

Visiting Faculty at the YIF
Climate Change and the Future of Health, Food and Agriculture
K VijayRaghavan
Former Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India
Heart of Leadership and Group Dynamics
Kenwyn Smith
Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Behavioral Science in Development
Neela Saldanha
PhD, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Leadership Lessons from the Road Less Travelled
Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Padma Shri
Founder, Infoedge (Naukri.com); Founder and Trustee, Ashoka University; MBA, IIM Ahmedabad
Indian Society: Imaginations, Structures and Identities
Surinder Singh Jodhka
Professor of Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Design Thinking and Innovation
Ranjan Banerjee
Dean and Professor, BITS School of Management
Deconstructing Select Indian Foreign Policy Challenges and Responses: A Practitioner’s Perspective
Arun Kumar Singh
Former Ambassador of India to the United States
Building Careers, Habits and Institutions
Pramath Raj Sinha
Founding Dean, ISB Hyderabad; Founder and Chairman, Harappa Education; Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Ashoka University
Indian Financial Regulation and Policy
KP Krishnan
Former Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India
Kabir: The Poet of Vernacular Modernity
Purushottam Agrawal
Renowned Kabir and Bhakti scholar
Problem Solving and Statistical Thinking in Modern Life
Santosh Venkatesh
Professor, University of Pennsylvania 
Art Appreciation
Anunaya Chaubey
Artist and Provost, Anant National University
Women, Society and Changing India
Urvashi Butalia, Padma Shri
Author, Publisher and Founder, Zubaan Books
Foundations of Leadership
Dwight Jaggard
Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania
Economics and Public Policy: An Introduction to Applied Microeconomics
AK Shiva Kumar
Development Economist and Visiting Professor, Harvard University and ISB Hyderabad
Visual Storytelling and Cinematic Techniques
Meenu Gaur
Filmmaker and Screenwriter; PhD, SOAS, University of London
Philosophy and Cognitive Science
Ritwik Agrawal
Doctoral Researcher, University of Missouri
Trade, Trust and Peace in South Asia Sanjay Kathuria
DPhil, University of Oxford
From Theory to Practice: Using Behavioural Economics to Address Global Policy Challenges Saugato Datta
Managing Director, Ideas42; PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Cross-Listed Courses

We’ve launched an initiative that provides fellows with the chance to earn 2 additional credits beyond the YIF curriculum. These cross-listed courses encompass a wide range of subjects, including Business Analysis, Public Policy, Startup Incubation, and AI, among others. Admission to these courses is competitive, and they are offered in both the Monsoon and Spring semesters.

Currently, we are offering six courses from the Centre for Entrepreneurship and one course from the “Ashoka Centre for Well-Being” as part of this initiative. Looking ahead, we aspire to expand our collaboration with more centers and departments at Ashoka University to enhance the options available to YIF participants.”

Ashoka Centre for Well-Being
Living with Purpose: Tools for Life from Psychology, Neuroscience and Cognitive Well-Being
Arvinder J. Singh
Director, Ashoka Centre for Well-Being
PsyD, University of Essex-CTAR
InfoEdge Centre for Entrepreneurship
Social Entrepreneurship and Impact
Ankur Sarin
Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad,
PhD, University of Chicago
Governance Entrepreneurship
Piyush Tewari
Founder and CEO, SaveLIFE Foundation
MPA, Harvard Kennedy School
Business Analysis and Strategy
Akhil Dhawan
MD, Locus Investment Group; MBA, The Wharton School
Sanjay Kukreja
Partner and CIO, ChrysCapital; MBA, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
Pavan Ahluwalia
Founder and MD, Laburnum Capital; MBA, Stanford University Graduate School of Business


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