The Young India Fellowship (YIF) Programme celebrated the graduation of the class of 2014 at its Convocation on 24th May, 2014. The ceremony marked the conclusion of the third year of this unique multi-disciplinary and experiential learning programme, run in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Sciences Po and Carleton College. 100 diversely talented young men and women graduated as Young India Fellows, ready to accept challenging professional and academic responsibilities and primed to make a difference to the world around them.
The ceremony was attended by faculty, founders, sponsors, mentors and parents of the Fellows. The Chief Guest on the occasion was Dr Rudrangshu Mukherjee a renowned historian and author, and was most recently Editor of the Editorial Pages, at The Telegraph, Kolkata. Prof. Mukherjee has taught history at the University of Calcutta and held visiting appointments at Princeton University, the University of Manchester and the University of California, Santa Cruz. At the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC), he became involved in several aspects of historiography, especially the issues concerning the ascendancy of the North in the production of knowledge.
Prof. Mukherjee studied at Calcutta Boys' School, Presidency College, Kolkata, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was awarded a D.Phil in Modern History by the University of Oxford in 1981. His D.Phil thesis was based on the revolt of 1857 which presented a view of the revolt from the native perspective. His first book Awadh in Revolt, 1857-58: A Study of Popular Resistance has become a standard reference on the subject. He has looked at the 1857 rebellion in four other books: Spectre of Violence: The 1857 Kanpur Massacres, Mangal Pandey: Brave Martyr or Accidental Hero?, Dateline 1857: Revolt against the Raj and The Year of Blood: Essays on 1857. He has also authored and edited several books on other themes, including The Penguin Gandhi Reader, Trade and Politics and the Indian Ocean World: Essays in Honour of Ashin Das Gupta, Remembered Childhood: Essays in Honour of Andre Beteille, New Delhi: The Making of a Capital and Great Speeches of Modern India. His forthcoming book is Nehru & Bose: Parallel Lives.
Professor Mukherjee has been named the Founding Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University, under which the Young India Fellowship is a flagship programme. Professor Mukherjee has been involved with Ashoka right from its inception and has taught on its Young India Fellowship programme for three years in a row. He is probably the most inspiring faculty member on the programme. He will teach full-time at Ashoka in addition to carrying out his Vice-Chancellor role.