Prof. Ved P. Nanda Fellowship Program for Human Rights

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Program Proposal: Prof. Ved P. Nanda Fellowship for Human Rights

Introduction to ICHRRF

The International Commission for Human Rights and Religious freedom is a US based non-profit focused on upholding Human Rights and Religious Freedom through continuous monitoring, policy intervention and collaboration. We are focused on educational, research, legal, and human rights advocacy and charitable purposes and strive to be an advocate for the human rights and religious freedoms of under-represented communities across the world. We believe that humankind can no longer afford to be selectively vocal about the rights of only a specific set of people. A humane and just world necessitates fair treatment of all living beings. Our focus is on indigenous rights and freedom, free speech and their cultural preservation.

Some of our initiatives include

§ Monitoring violations of the freedoms and sanctity of religious and philosophical minorities across the world

§ Research into and documentation of the culture, history and challenges faced by such communities

§ Policy recommendations on human rights, religious diversity and pluralism to international organizations, agencies, national and local governments

§ Collaboration to support the cultural and philosophical diversity across the world

Aims and Goals

The fellowship training program provides a unique opportunity to students from various academic backgrounds to comprehend human rights and religious freedom concerns. All skills necessary to fulfill your career aspirations will be taught in an exciting manner through teamwork, by experienced faculty. Social, cultural and humanitarian issues, such as women’s rights, indigenous rights, religious freedom and racial equality, etc. are at the forefront of creating social and political change. We aim to provide trainees research and communication skills, necessary for a thorough understanding of complex, contemporary global issues of human rights, religious freedom and hitherto neglected issues pertaining to the definition of religious, social, political rights of marginalized communities. ICHRRF is committed to the intellectual awakening and advancement of youth who can make a difference to the real world as future leaders.

Purpose of the Fellowship Program

The objective of the fellowship training program is to provide a framework through which fellows from diverse academic backgrounds may be assigned to the ICHRRF to enhance their educational and scholarly experience in the area of human rights and religious freedom through research, self-study, group learning, practical work assignments and dissertation work. It allows selected candidates to gain insight into the work of the ICHRRF and provides aid, assistance and guidance in professional fields of human rights, international law and religious freedom.

The purpose is to provide an excellent program devoted to the promotion of learning and comprehension of all aspects and dimensions of human rights, religious freedom and minority issues from various cultures and communities.

2022 Fellowship Trainees

Ankit R. Shah, Fellowship Trainee, Ved P Nanda Program in Human Rights

Shah is currently pursuing a PhD in Law at the Gujarat National Law University in India. He was also Academic and Research Associate at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, rated Asia's 2nd best business school. He has 9 years of experience as a Chartered Accountant. His interests extend to strategic affairs and his articles as a South Asia Foreign Policy and Security Studies Analyst have been featured in leading media portals, with accurate predictions of evolving strategic scenarios. He has also written on economics, religion, finance and marketing.

Ankit's interest in Human Rights is focused on the impact of religious proselytism on Human Rights and its links to political and mercantile forces. He will classify religious or spiritual systems by the impact they have on the culture, psychology and history of the peoples they influence. In particular, he will take a broad perspective over the Christianization of Europe and the Islamization of Iran, with a contemporary review of ongoing religious proselytism among Amazonian indigenous Brazilians as well as India.

Ripudaman Pachauri, Fellowship Trainee, Ved P Nanda Program in Human Rights

Pachauri is a Software Engineer by education and has 20 years of experience as a senior analyst and architect in the fields of Data Analytics and Machine Learning. He studied Machine Learning and Data Driven Decisions at a premier technology school, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, after completing his undergraduate in computer engineering from MJP Rohilkhand University in India. He has won awards for his work in these fields from the industry clients he has worked with. Further, he has an active interest in strategic affairs and has compiled reports and contributed articles to think tanks on these issues.

Ripudaman's interest in Human Rights is focused on the challenges faced by indigenous communities in Taiwan, Ethiopia and Pakistan. Through Ethiopia, he will explore the issues faced by indigenous religious communities across Africa as a whole.

Outcomes and Methods

Fellowship trainees will be able to get a theoretical and practical experience of worldwide human rights issues and methods to confront and solve.

A full academic framework is designed to provide an immersion that will enhance their abilities. Talks, discussions, lectures, seminars will be held by well-known scholars who have expertise in area studies, with an interdisciplinary background.

Emphasis is placed on oral and written communication skills for fellowship trainees to be heard about minority voices. The fellowship trainees will be expected to write a dissertation on their chosen topic.

After a successful completion of the fellowship program, the trainees will receive a diploma/certificate from the ICHRRF.

Sample Training Content

In addition to their research focus, trainees will be required to research and present on various topics related to Human Rights on a weekly basis. This 30-minute presentation will be followed by another 30-minute presentation on the topic by faculty members, leaving another 30 minutes for Q&A. These sessions are open to all friends of ICHRRF to audit. To listen in, please send email to with a brief introduction of yourself.

The following are a list of training topics for the next eight weeks:

1. Topic: International Covenants Human Rights Movement and International Treaties, January 7th, Friday: Preceptor: Prof Ved Nanda

2. Topic: Ancient and Indigenous Cultures and their Religious Freedom, January 14th, Friday, Preceptor: Dr. Shekhar Patel

3. Topic: History of the Human Rights Movement, January 21st, Friday, Preceptor: Dr. Adityanjee

4. Topic: Polycentricity and Pagan Cultures in America, January 28th, Friday, Preceptor: Mr. Carl Clemens

5. Topic: Conversion as Human Rights Violation, February 4th, Friday: Preceptor: Professor Yashwant Pathak

6. Topic: Women’s Rights and Sexual Atrocities, February 11th , Friday, Preceptor: Professor Nalini Rao

7. Topic: Western and Imperial Biases in the Human Rights Movement, February 18th , Friday, Preceptor: Professor Lavanya Vemsani

8. Topic: Racial Bias in Targeted Killings/Encounters in the US, February 25th, Friday, Preceptor: Mr. Hardam Tripathi, Esq

Application Procedure for the Fellowship Program

Prospective applicants should write a cover letter and send detailed resume along with a recent picture and submit to the following:

Mr. Carl Clemens,

Prof. Ved P Nanda Fellowship Training Program Administrator


Kindly specify if you plan to apply for January 1st session or July 1st session. Your cover letter should include your reasons for interest in this program and your proposed project. Candidates need to provide documentation of previous activities in the field of Human rights and religious freedom or similar socio-cultural activities. The applicants are encouraged to visit the website of the Commission ( prior to submission of their application in order to familiarize themselves with the organization, its ethos and the scope of its work.


The applicant must be between 21 years of age and 35 years. He/she must be enrolled in college and should have at least an undergraduate degree prior to application.

The applicant should have taken a course in International Relations, Developmental Studies, History, Economics, Political Science, Religious Studies, Philosophy, English or Environmental studies, International Law, Natural Sciences, Human Resources and/or Public Administration, Event Management, IT/Computer Science, and Communication or related courses.

The applicant must have a valid visa to be in the US. The ICHRRF does not help with immigration issues.

Applicants should be fluent and be able to work in English.

A short essay on why you would like to be in the fellowship program (500 words).

Two letters of letter of recommendation should be attached or sent directly to the program administrator.

After a preliminary review, the selection committee will ask you to submit your detailed research proposal (4-5 pages) prior to starting the fellowship training program.

Applications will be received on a rolling basis year-round.

Jan 1st 2022 Session: Deadline for submission November 15th 2021

July 1st 2022 Session: Deadline for submission May 15th 2022

Prof. Ved P. Nanda Fellowship Training Selection Committee

All applications received prior to the deadline will be reviewed critically by the Program Committee that is constituted as follows:

1. Prof Ved P Nanda, Chairperson, International Advisory Board

2. Prof Yashwant Pathak, Member, Board of Directors

3. Prof Nalini Rao, Director of Academic Affairs

4. Prof Lavanya Vemsani, Director of Research

5. Dr. Adityanjee, President and Chairperson, Board of Directors, ICHRRF

Terms and Conditions

The normal duration of a fellowship is twelve months, which can be extended for an additional period of six months by mutual consultation and consent. The total duration may exceptionally be extended to a maximum period of twenty-four months when there are special academic requirements or special needs of the applicant.

A fellow undertakes to conduct himself/herself at all times in a manner compatible with his/her responsibilities as a fellow of the ICHRRF.

Any arrest or conviction during the period of fellowship training will be an automatic ground for suspension and possible expulsion from the fellowship training program.

Fellowship Training Program

Prior to starting the fellowship program, the selected applicant should have submitted a research proposal to work on his/her dissertation. The fellow will receive mentorship and guidance in the area of human rights, international law and religious freedom, during the fellowship program with our esteemed faculty as well as from outside experts. The fellow will be expected to attend the monthly Lecture programs, seminars and meetings organized by the Commission. The fellow will make a quarterly presentation on the progress to the fellowship training committee. At the end of the fellowship training, the fellow will defend his/her dissertation. The fellow will be encouraged to publish the dissertation in the form of a monograph or a book.

The fellow is required to keep confidential all unpublished information made known during the course of the fellowship training and must not publish any reports or papers on the basis of information obtained, except with the prior written authorization of the ICHRRF. These obligations will not lapse upon the expiration of the fellowship period.

The fellow is not a staff member or an employee of the ICHRRF during the period of the fellowship training.

There is no promise of employment either during or upon completion of a fellowship with the ICHRRF.

Course Fee

The fellowship training program is free of tuition fees or any other charges.

This program has been made possible through the generosity of donors and our fellows will be fortunate to be a part of it.

Expenses and Medical Coverage

Currently, the fellowship training program does not offer any stipend, salary, monetary benefits or other benefits. Fellows are not financially remunerated by the ICHRRF. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of the fellow or his/her sponsoring institution.

The ICHRRF accepts no responsibility for medical insurance for the fellow or for any costs arising from accidents and/or illness during the fellowship period. Applicants are required to provide evidence of adequate medical insurance coverage.