CAN Foundation announces four Law Graduates selected under Project Dhananjay to kickstart their Litigation Career
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CAN Foundation announces four Law Graduates selected under Project Dhananjay to kickstart their Litigation Career

The Project extends financial assistance to law graduates, who wish to pursue a career in litigation. The selected candidates are Chitwan Sharma (NLSIU), Kirt Agarwal (NLUD), Samikshya Thapa and Prerna Shaha (GNLU).

Bar & Bench

With the aim of assisting aspiring litigation enthusiasts from NLUs, the CAN Foundation has announced the final list of selected graduates under “Project Dhananjay”.

The Project intends to extend financial assistance to meritorious law graduates, who wish to pursue a career in litigation by providing a stipend that would aid them in commencing their practice and enable them to stay afloat in these testing times of COVID-19.

In its maiden year of execution, the CAN Foundation has finalized the names of the first group of selected scholars under the Project, after a thorough screening process.

The selected candidates for the year 2020-21 comprise Chitwan Sharma (NLSIU), Kirt Agarwal (NLUD), Samikshya Thapa (GNLU) and Prerna Shaha (GNLU).

Speaking on the project, Prof. (Dr.) V. Vijayakumar, President of the NLU Consortium, who also sits on the panel that selects the scholars, observed,

“One among the questions frequently posed to National Law Universities even today is ‘Why do the graduates not take up practice at Bar and instead go to the corporate world?’ Dr. Madhava Menon, the founding Director of NLS, in the meetings of various University Bodies responded to this question very meaningfully. He wanted the BCI and the Judges to provide a list of senior lawyers in the country, who would pay Rs. 10,000 per month to the graduates of NLS. We did receive a reply in the following year with a list of three senior lawyers!"
Prof. (Dr.) V. Vijayakumar
Prof. (Dr.) V. Vijayakumar
He added, "It is against this background that this ‘Dhananjay’ scheme was conceived at the NLIU, Bhopal. It was resolved that we need to encourage the graduates of all the National Law Universities, who would be interested in setting up their own practice. To support this process, a monthly payment could be made to the graduates of these NLUs, so that they can be attracted to practice. Yet this scheme could not be made known to the students of NLUs. In the years to come, this can be an attractive scheme for the graduates of NLUs, willing to set up their own practice. I only wish that this scheme is also supported by Senior Lawyers, Bar Councils, Retired Judges, trade and business.”

The candidates shall be paid a scholarly stipend ranging between Rs. 15,000-18,000 per month from the date of starting their professional practice before any court in the Country.

The Project essentially provides an “incubatory period” to young and ignited minds of the nation, who may have the skills, but not the financial resources, to raise the standards of Bar.

Under the Project, a monthly stipend is accorded to the selected students following a two-tier selection process by a High Powered Selection Panel. The financial assistance extended to students, as envisaged under the Project, aims at dispelling the anxieties and apprehensions they might bear as they venture into Litigation owing to their financial conditions or lack of initial support from their families.

To select the scholars under the Project, applications were invited from young Law Graduates from National Law Universities (NLUs) from all over the Country.

These applications underwent a thorough assessment and screening by the Tier 1 Scrutiny Committee which comprises Advocates, Alumni of NLUs and young eminent Counsels practising before the Supreme Court and other Courts of the Country.

The report prepared by this Scrutiny Committee was then forwarded to the Selection Panel comprising Prof. (Dr) V Vijayakumar, Vikramjit Banerjee (Additional Solicitor General for India, Supreme Court), and Sumeet Malik (Editor, SCC Online and EBC Group).

The “Tier 1 Scrutiny Committee” comprised young eminent lawyers such as Amalpushp Shroti (Advocate on Record, Supreme Court), Arjun Harkauli (Advocate on Record, Supreme Court of India and Alumnus, NLSIU, Bangalore), T Singh Deo (Advocate, Delhi High Court), Rishad Ahmed Chowdhury (Advocate on Record, Supreme Court and Alumnus, WBNUJS, West Bengal), Mrigank Prabhakar (Advocate on Record, Supreme Court & Alumnus NALSAR, Hyderabad).

In a press release issued by the Foundation, gratitude has also been extended to its patrons, Senior Advocates Raju Ramchandran, Shyam Divan, Sidharth Luthra and Nidhesh Gupta.

"It is with their generous donations that the Foundation has been able to achieve its objective and march ahead on the path of success with respect to Project Dhananjay", the Foundation said.

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