Shubham Kumar, alumnus of RMLNLU on winning the Lamp Fellowship in 2019

  1. Please introduce yourself?

Hello! I am Shubham Kumar and I belong to a small villagelocated 40 KM away from Gorakhpur, where being a farmer or agricultural labour is a matter of practice and being educated is a matter of privilege. I’m amongst one of the few privileged ones from my village and first one from my family who got the opportunity to pursue professional education.

  1. Any specific reason for pursuing law?

I have always perceived education as the most powerful tool for social emancipation and law acts as the biggest catalyst in that process. This inspired me to pursue a career in legal profession.

  1. What all did you do in your law school? Mooting, papers, other co-curricular activities?

I would say that my journey at RML started only in second year (i.e. IVth Semester) when I participated in the University Moot Court Selections (Winter Edition) and I also wrote a research paper on 73rd Constitutional Amendment. During the course of next two years I participated in three prestigious moot court competitions (Surana and Surana Trial Advocacy Moot Court Competition, KK Luthra Memorial Moot Court Competition and Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition) and got myself published at Economic and Political Weekly and other prestigious journals. I was also fortunate enough to assist Associate Professor (Dr.) Kumar Askand Pandey in revising the BM Gandhi’s Commentary on Indian Penal Code, published by EBC. Also, I used to frequently write columns/articles on various issues concerning the farmers, rural India, rural economy at Gaon Connection, Mainstream Weekly, etc.

In short, I have always kept myself engaged with couple of things and when I wasn’t doing anything I was either reading something (maybe about Gandhi, Lohia, Ambedakr,Nehru, etc.) or I was writing poetry.

  1. Why did you choose LAMP fellowship? What was your motivation?

I am currently aspiring on either building a career in the field of academics or in policy making. Through LAMP fellowship I will get an opportunity to research and contribute on diverse issues from farmers to manual scavengers, at the level of policy formulation, which is something that I have always wanted to do. Also, my experience as a LAMP Fellow would help my application when I’ll apply for a masters.

  1. Was RMLNLU any help to you?

Yes, without a doubt. When I joined this institution I wasn’t very confident about my abilities or my skills. RMLNLU provided me the liberty to experiment and try different things which helped me grasp a better understanding of my own capabilities. At, RMLNLU I met some amazingly talented and helpful seniors, batch mates and juniors, who helped me and guided me throughout my law school life. In fact, my seniors helped me throughout the LAMP application process, right from the course of reviewing the SOP to the legal essay. I attribute large part of my success to my Professors, Seniors and batch mates.

  1. What are the steps, how to apply for LAMP fellowship?

The selection process for LAMP is multi-layered. First process involves the writing of a statement of purpose (maximum 500 words) stating why the applicant intends to join the fellowship and a brief essay on any recent policy or legal issue. After reviewing the SOP and essay on legal issue or public policy the shortlisted candidates will go through another round of interview conducted by PRS.  The process of shortlisting majorly focuses on the interest of the applicant in the field of policy making.

  1. What would be your advice to the students who wish to pursue the same thing?

I think one should do following things:

  1. Keep a track of issues concerning the policy makers.
  2. One should also keep a track of working of Parliament, like Bills that are introduced, Parliamentary procedure, etc.
  3. Also, I would strongly recommend that one should try writing academic papers on contemporary policy and legal issues.

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