Online Internship Experience at National Human Rights Commission: Research Projects

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Name of the Student, College, and Year of Study

Nidhi Bajaj, Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjab, BA.LL.B(4th year)

Name of the Organisation and Its Address

National Human Rights Commission, Manav Adhikar Bhawan, Block-C, GPO Complex, INA 

New Delhi – 110023

Mode of Internship

Virtual/Online mode

Duration

15 days: February 12, 2021-February 26, 2021

Process of Application

NHRC conducts a 15-day online short-term internship program to fulfill its mandate under Section 12(h) of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993.

Following students are eligible to apply for the Online Short term Internship (OSTI) at NHRC:

(i) Students studying in 3rd year and onwards of an integrated 5 year PG course 

(ii) Students studying in 3rd / final year of graduation course 

(iii) Students of any semester/year of any post-graduate degree course 

(iv) Students of any semester/ year of any post-graduate diploma course 

(v) Students who are research scholars in any stream.

I applied for this internship by filling the internship form on the NHRC website and uploading the required documents including a Letter of Recommendation from my University, Self-attested copies of university DMCs, class 12, and class 10 mark sheets.

It is pertinent to note that a minimum of 60% marks in class 12 and all subsequent courses are a necessary requirement to be eligible for this internship. Interns are also required to attach a 250-word SOP(Statement of Purpose) for joining the internship highlighting their research potential in the areas related to human rights. Your SOP, co-curricular activities, internships, moot court participation, research projects, work with NGOs, etc. enhances your chances of selection.

On getting selected, I received an email from the NHRC team informing me of my selection and other instructions about the conduct of tasks, meetings, etc. 

Timings

The daily timings of the internship are from 10 am-5:30 pm inclusive of the lunch break. Sessions are conducted on a virtual platform(Cisco Webex). 

First Day of Internship: Inaugural Session

An inaugural session was conducted by the NHRC team on the first day of the internship. Shri Mukesh Kulshreshtha(Consultant SRO Training) briefed the interns about the main tasks of the internship and the rules and protocols to be followed throughout the internship programme. Thereafter, the interns were asked to introduce themselves. 

In the inaugural session, the NHRC  anthem was played, followed by a welcome address by Ms. Anita Sinha(Joint Secretary, Planning and Training) and Mr. B. Pradhan(IAS, Secretary-General). The Hon’ble Member NHRC Ms. Jyotika Kalra gave a brief talk regarding the work of the commission and various human rights issues. Interns also got a chance to get their queries and questions addressed by mam.

On the first day, the following sessions were conducted:

  1. Overview of the Protection of Human Rights Act and Constitution and Functioning of NHRC by Shri Mukesh Kulshreshtha
  2. Short films on Human Rights
  3. Complaint Management System and Taking HR pledge by Shri Sanjeev Sharma, SSA
  4. Functioning of investigation division by Shri Dushyant Singh, DSP

Main Tasks & Sessions 

During the internship, around 60+ sessions were conducted by various eminent speakers from the NHRC team and other prominent fields to enlighten the interns about the prevailing human rights issues. 

Other than that, the compulsory tasks to be performed by the interns includes a: 

  1. Research project: The total of 120+ interns were divided into groups of 12-13 students and were assigned a research project. The interns have to prepare a PowerPoint presentation, a concise report, and a detailed report on their assigned topic. The groups had to present their topics in front of the jury on the assigned day.
  1. Book Review: The interns were instructed to read a book related to human rights, followed by submission and presentation of a  book review. The book review competition was conducted and the top three winners were announced on the last day of the internship.

Learnings & Good things 

The internship with NHRC was all in all a great learning experience that helped me develop an informed perspective on human rights issues. Various sessions were conducted on topics such as Human Trafficking, Rights of Minorites in India,  Consumer Rights, Powers of NHRC, Environmental Ethics, Rights of prisoners, Gandhian Principles, etc. 

Also, virtual visits were conducted to Tihar Jail, Police stations, and NGOs which helped the interns to learn about their structure, functioning and other dimensions. 

Bad Things

No Bad things

Valedictory Session

On the last day of the internship, an on-the-spot declamation competition was conducted between the chosen interns on topics related to human rights and based on the sessions that were conducted during the internship. 

The internship ended with a valedictory session wherein the winners of the research project presentation, declamation competition, and book review competition were announced. 

On the concluding day of the internship, interns were addressed by Hon’ble Member NHRC Justice P.C. Pant. The internship concluded with a vote of thanks by the NHRC team members including Mr. B. Pradhan, and Shri S. Kammath( DR Law & Course Coordinator).

Stipend and Award

All the student interns who successfully completed the internship were given a stipend of Rs. 2000 and a Certificate of participation was also provided. 

To be eligible for the stipend and award, the participants have to submit the tasks on time and participate in online sessions.

Sessions I Liked The Most

All the sessions conducted by NHRC were knowledgeable and insightful. That being said, Some of the sessions that I particularly enjoyed and learnt a lot from include:

  1. Session on ‘Complaint Management System’ by Mr. Sanjeev Sharma, SSA. The session took us through the procedure of filing a complaint with NHRC and how it is dealt with. 
  2. Session on ‘Prison Reforms’ by Ms. Madhurima Dhanuka( Programme head, Prison Reforms Team at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative). The session helped us understand the need for upholding the rights of the prisoners including their right to safety, dignity, and information.  
  3. Session on ‘Child Rights’ by Mr. Amod Kanth Sir(Founder of NGO Prayas). Interns learned about various national and international instruments and schemes for the protection of children and child helplines, followed by a virtual visit to Prayas NGO.
  4. ‘Virtual Jail Visit and Police Station Visit’ by Mr. Ajay Bhatia, Dy Superintendent, Tihar Jail. Interns were taken on a virtual tour to the Barakhamba Road Police Station, New Delhi, and Tihar Jail, Delhi. The session was particularly interesting as we got to learn about the functioning of a police station, filing of eFIR and the structure and condition of Tihar Jail, and the various facilities and initiatives taken for prisoners such as counselling service.

Other informative sessions include sessions on Rights of Refugees, Working of investigation division of NHRC, Army and Human Rights, Forensics, Consumer Issues etc. 

Other Information

The 15-day internship programme might sound too short to some students. However, this is not an easy going internship. I would say it is a roller-coaster ride for those who are hungry for knowledge and have a zeal to learn about human rights.

The day-long sessions from 10 am-5:30 pm conducted throughout the internship will demand full attention on your part if you want to take full advantage of this learning opportunity.

Also, no extra time will be provided for the book reading/review and project report tasks. Therefore, time management is a skill that you will learn during this internship. 

If you wish to share an internship experience, fill the form here.

If you wish to write for us, or have a story to share, write to us at umang.poddar@lawctopus.com.

Disclaimer: We do not edit the internship experience submitted to maintain the originality of the intern’s experience.

Disclaimer: Internship experiences are opinions shared by individual law students and tend to be personal and subjective in nature. The internship experiences shared on Lawctopus are NOT Lawctopus' official views on the internship.

Disclaimer: We try to ensure that the information we post on Lawctopus is accurate. However, despite our best efforts, some of the content may contain errors. You can trust us, but please conduct your own checks too.
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