What is the IDIA?
The IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access) Movement started off under the leadership of Professor Shamnad Basheer of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) as a movement to eliminate the inequities of education. Some very disturbing statistics reflected a complete lack of diversity, with a majority of the students clearing the entrance tests for these Universities hailing from the upper middle socio economic class bracket. The IDIA team set itself up, first in NUJS, and then in other National Law Schools throughout the country, as an attempt to question and change these statistics. The aim is to provide access to the resources required to crack the entrance exam to students from marginalized communities and regions, who would not be able to get access to them otherwise.
What does IDIA do?
Local IDIA Chapters have been set up in different parts of India. These local chapters have conducted aptitude tests in the respective states, and have started an intensive training programme for those who did well, and those who are interested in pursuing law as a career. A lot of students were found to be initially very apprehensive about their career prospects, but enough information was disseminated in this regard to convince most of them about the advantages of this career choice.
IDIA also selects students for the training program through its exam called IDIA National Aptitude Test which is held every year in several centres across the country.
Last year INAT helped us select some of the most deserving IDIA scholars. 14 out of the 50 scholars trained by IDIA made it to various National Law Schools, including NLS, NALSAR, NUJS, NLIU, GNLU etc. through CLAT 2011.
What Will Interning With the IDIA Mean?
Interning with the IDIA will mean being part of the teaching process for the IDIA scholars and interacting with IDIA scholars and other volunteers. This is an immense opportunity, more so for law students, because the IDIA Scholars are not only exceptionally bright, but also extremely keen to learn about the Law, and understand its various facets. While most students would cherish the process of teaching in itself, the IDIA experience is that much more of a process of self-discovery in that it deals with children who have managed to devise incredibly ingenuous ways of learning for themselves.
This internship presents the opportunity of being part of something extraordinary, something that might change the face of legal education in the country, but will definitely change your paradigm of life.
All interns will be expected to help with a wide variety of work. For instance, we require volunteers to help us with registration for INAT which would be conducted on 6th November 2011 in 16 cities in the country. Volunteers would be required to be available on phone, take calls from students who have queries regarding law as a career, National Law Schools, scholarship provided by IDIA etc. They would be working for a month as a part of the registration team for INAT, helping students get registered for the exam.
Volunteers do not need to be based at any particular location in India - they would only be required to be available on phone and email everyday during this one month.
No specialised experience or training is required and they can feel free to come up with new, innovative modes of reaching out to more students and schools across the country to spread the word about INAT and in turn help us select the brightest students as IDIA scholars.
This would be a paid internship and all interns found to have worked in a committed manner by the end of the stipulated time period will be granted certificates for their efforts signed by Professor Shamnad Basheer, on behalf of the IDIA Initiative.
For further details, feel free to email Diptoshree Basu at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 09831063675.