01.10.2009

Young Professionals Initiative: Harnessing Non-Resident Indian Talent

Fellowship, Programs

Indicorps’ five-month Young Professionals Initiative (YPI), led by former fellow Neil Jain (Aug 08) to harness the skills and talent of young professionals for India’s social sector is off to a strong start. YPI’s pilot model focused on government and semi-government related projects in which the YPI associates are able to contribute based on their professional skills.

Nidhi Odedara is serving with the Gujarat Ministry of Education’s effort to increase adult literacy throughout the state. Working within the government – especially when coming from the outside, and for a limited time – presents a number of challenges, but Nidhi has managed to achieve a balance that has allowed her to both visit villages, analyze macro trends, as well as present her findings to the Chief Minister. She has analyzed and helped develop a number of literacy programs for both urban and rural settings, adjusting the methods and content to the setting in order to ensure the curriculum is relevant and interesting.

Partnered with Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Rupa Chilukuri is focused on helping reduce Gujarat’s backlog of cases in Gujarat as a model for the country. Along with a core group of students and professionals at GNLU, Rupa has analyzed the efficacy of evening courts, settlements, and training programs for litigants and police. The case backlog issue is a complex one, and it has been difficult to find a solution that is acceptable as well as able to be implemented, at the same time. Rupa, however, has been diligent in taking the time to observe the court system for herself and encouraging the law students she works with to push for change in the legal field.

The YPI mid-term workshop (29-30 September) featured Ravi Gulati, Aditya Nataraj and Vishnu Swaminathan as speakers, and opportunities to reflect on both the past and the future.

– Adam Ferguson, Indicorps Staff, Fellowship Support

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