Structure and Format

The competition will consist of four streams and two rounds in each stream. E-Cell NLSIU has collaborated with four prestigious think-tanks/research organisations which have done substantial amounts of work in their fields. The fields are as follows:

1. Cyber Law and Policy with the Centre for Cybercrime Investigation Training & Research [CCITR], Government of Karnataka. 


2. Climate Adaptation and Risk Analysis with the Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy [CSTEP], Bengaluru.


3. Education Policy with the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Bengaluru.


4.  Electoral Reforms in collaboration with the Association for Democratic Reforms [ADR], New Delhi.

Note: The entire event will be held virtually on an online platform. Teams do not need to come to Bengaluru to participate. 

Each stream shall have a Written Submission Round and an Oral Presentation Round.

A.    Written Submission Round


For the written round, teams will be given a Policy Problem to solve. The teams will be required to present their solution in the form of a Policy Memo and will be provided 48 hours to submit their memos.

The evaluation for this round will be solely based on the policy memos submitted. The think-tanks/research organisations, with whom E-Cell NLSIU has collaborated, will adjudge this round and select the best teams who will proceed to the Oral Presentation Round.

Submission Guidelines-

Participants will have to submit a policy memo of not more than 1,500 words. They will be permitted to add an abstract in the beginning of not more than 300 words (Clarification- these 300 words will be in addition to the 1,500-word limit) . Footnotes will not be included in the word limit but no substantive footnoting will be allowed.  The Memo may include but shall not be limited to-

Intro / Summary

What is the issue? Why is it being written? What is contained in the memo? What is recommended?


•Problem Analysis

What are the issues? What are the options? What have previous actions done to the issue at hand? Financial costs, political risks, implications for other sectors or issues.

Analysis for developing solution

 Identify key contributing causes. Undertake a systematic analysis (could be statistical or any) which gives new insight to approach the problem.


The Font Should be Times New Roman, 12 font size with 1 1/2  line spacing. Use a uniform method of citation for your memo.

There will be a 5 marks penalty for exceeding every 30 mins post-deadline. The maximum penalty will be applied for 20 marks or 2 hours post submission deadline after which no submissions will be considered.

The submission links will be sent on the mail and will also be uploaded on the website.


B.    Oral Presentation Round


The selected teams from the previous round will make a presentation before a panel of renowned judges on 16th January 2021. These judges will evaluate the teams based on their ability to convey their ideas and convince the judges that their policies are the most innovative and best suited for the problem given. This evaluation will be based on a marking system.


1. Official Language

The official language of the competition is English. If the material submitted has certain elements which are not in English, then a translation of the same has to be provided in the same submission. The communication during the competition rounds in any other international, national or regional language shall not be permitted.

2. Eligibility

The competition is open to full time students of all undergraduate and postgraduate courses registered under any University for the academic year 2020-21. Individuals who have graduated in the year 2020 can also participate. Adequate proof of the same has to be submitted.


The formation of cross-university teams (i.e. teams with students from different universities) is not permitted. However, teams may have students from different programs or/and different years of study at the same university.

Multiple teams from the same university can participate. However, an eligible individual cannot join more than one team.

One team can participate in more than one stream of Policy Hackathon.

The teams are expected to have an appropriate internet connection to support online video streaming.

3. Registration Process

Each team can consist of a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 4 persons.


Each team entering the competition must appoint and authorise one team member as the “Team Leader”. The Team Leader will be expected to represent the team in the competition and will be the point of contact between the team and E-Cell NLSIU.


Registrations will open at 12:00 PM, 10th December 2020 and close at 11:59 PM, 31st December 2020.


Interested teams may visit the official event website to fill out the registration application through the provided Google form.

Access the form here


4. Fees

The registration fee for the NLS Policy Hackathon is FREE.

5. General Rules and Conditions

E-Cell NLSIU reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel, suspend and/or modify the competition, or any part of it, in the case of any unprecedented events like technical failure, fraud, etc. Any such changes will be notified on the official website and the official social media handles.


The teams are not allowed to directly contact the think-tanks/ research organisations with whom E-Cell NLSIU has collaborated for the NLS Policy Hackathon under any circumstance. If any team is caught trying to do so, they will be immediately disqualified from the competition. If absolutely required, such a communication can be made after taking explicit approval from E-Cell NLSIU via an email to describing the reason for the communication and all details regarding the communication.


If any team/team member is caught committing any unlawful act in the course of their involvement in this competition, they will be immediately disqualified. E-Cell NLSIU will not be held liable for any such unlawful act whether it was within our knowledge or not.


Teams which act in violation of any of the aforementioned rules, commit fraud, behave inappropriately, unsportsmanlike or not in the interests of E-Cell will be subject to immediate disqualification based on the sole discretion of the E-Cell NLSIU.


The final decision regarding any dispute, confusion or conflict in this competition shall lie with E-Cell NLSIU.


Any grievances or doubts may be officially communicated to E-Cell NLS by writing an email to

6. Judging

The submitted memos and oral presentations will be evaluated by a panel of judges selected by E-Cell NLSIU who are pioneers in different fields.


In the Oral Presentation Round, each team will get 10 minutes for presentation which will be followed by 10 minutes of Questions and Answers session by the Judging panel.


The final decision regarding any method/standard of judging shall be that of the judges.

7. Marking

The teams will be evaluated and marked in both the Written Submission Rounds and the Oral Presentation Rounds. For the teams qualifying the Written Submission Rounds, the total marks at the end of the competition will consist of the sum of the marks of both the rounds. The top two teams will be declared the winners of the competition. The breakdown of the marks will only be revealed after the conclusion of the competition.


Evaluation criteria will include novelty and innovativeness of the idea/policy, complexity and clarity of the details in the prescribed format, practicability, feasibility, sustainability, user experience, scale of impact and potential for future work progression.

8. Prizes

Certificate of participation will be provided to all the participants. The top two teams in each stream will be rewarded with a cash prize of 10,000 rupees and 5,000 rupees respectively.  Furthermore, E-Cell, NLSIU may provide other benefits to both the overall winners and individual stream winners, such as internships with the think-tank/ research organization which will be revealed at a later stage of the competition. 

The award of a prize to a potential winner is subject to verification of the identity, qualifications, and role in the creation of the submission. E-Cell, NLSIU will be the final adjudicating authority in deciding the winners of the NLS Policy Hackathon 2021 competition.

9. Intellectual Property Policy and Rights

All the submissions in the Written Round must be original and must be created by the registered team members. They must be sole owners of the material and no other person(s) should have any interest in it. There should be no violation of any intellectual property rights. The teams warrant and agree to all the requirements and conditions laid down by E-Cell NLSIU.

The intellectual property rights of all the material submitted in the competition will lie with the team members. For the sake of the competition, these rights will be surrendered to E-Cell NLSIU for the duration of the competition. E-Cell NlSIU may utilise the material for publishing purposes.

10. Privacy Rights

By registering in the competition, the teams have consented to the use of their personal information and data including but not limited to their names, photos, voice, opinions, comments, etc., by E-Cell NLSIU in any promotional/advertising material, media, etc., without any payment, consideration or right to review, unless prohibited by law.

11. Code of Conduct and Sexual Harassment Policy

NLS Code of Conduct available at