For the first time, the Delhi Assembly will be introducing a fellowship programme for youngsters so that they can get a chance to assist legislators in their respective constituencies and also help with research work in different sectors of governance.
On February 11, 2019, the legislative assembly of Delhi declared that a ‘Delhi Assembly Research Centre’ (DARC) would be set up and it will involve 50 fellows and 90 associate fellows for one year. The programme will start from April 1, 2019, and the applications will be accepted until February 25, 2019.
The application forms can be filled through the Delhi Assembly Research Centre (DARC) website. The fellows will receive a consolidated stipend of Rs. 1 lakh per month, and the associate fellows will get Rs.60,000 per month. The fellowship can be extended by another year on the basis of the performances.
This decision regarding the fellowship programme came about when Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti mentioned in December 2018 that legislators found it tough to handle their duties in an efficient manner without any facility for field and research work related to the legislative affairs.
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had then ordered a General Purpose Committee (GPC) to submit the report on the issue after which the Assembly announced the fellowship on February 11, 2019.
Somnath Bharti said DARC would have a repository of reference and research material which can be used by lawmakers and other stakeholders. He said that he is hopeful this announcement will increase MLAs’ productivity.
The fellowship programme is open for those in the age group of 21-35. Out of the 50 fellows, 15 will work in legislative practices, urban planning, power and water sector reforms, finance and taxation, transport and traffic management, law and public safety, and environment. Out of the 90 associate fellows, 70 will be assigned to one MLA each. The associate fellow can assist their respective MLA with matters pertaining to the constituency.