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Thursday, October 03, 2019


Azim Premji University, Bangalore and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), New Delhi are pleased to announce a new collaborative initiative, a workshop “Strengthening the Republic”.

India has completed more than seven decades as an independent nation and a constitutional republic. When India set upon this path it was seen as a brave unconventional path for a new post-colonial nation. Seven decades on, most political scientists would characterize India as a 'miracle' democracy - one that has defied extant political theory on constitutional survival and democratic transitions. However, too much of this Indian exceptionalism avoids careful attention to the specifics of Indian institutional design and the granularity of Indian institutional practice.

Indian academic scholarship in law, politics, economics and the social sciences more generally must invest considerable resources and intellectual energy in unpacking the institutional grammar of India’s success as a republic. The failure to do so may result in a misdiagnosis of our success while simultaneously failing to uncover the flesh and blood that has kept our institutional scaffolding in place. This seminar is dedicated to in depth empirically rigorous investigations into public institutions - legal, political and social - that enhance our common understanding and generate keen insight into their contemporary successes and failures.

About the Workshop:

Drawing on the high quality, interdisciplinary research work carried on by Azim Premji University and NIPFP, this workshop aims to generate active, sustained conversations and academic scholarship on themes related to the law, society and public institutions in India.

The workshop is designed to be an intensive, one-day session aimed at encouraging scholarship and debate among individual researchers, academics and practitioners belonging to disciplines like law, politics, economics and sociology to engage in thoughtful discussions with peers on pressing contemporary issues under these broad themes.

The workshop is being hosted by Azim Premji University and NIPFP in New Delhi.

Format of the Workshop:

Interested applicants should submit an abstract of not more than 1000 words on topics of their interest under the broad themes. The proposals could be based on their ongoing research or new research that they would like to be engaged in. Two copies of the abstract, in word, pdf, LaTeX or any similar formats should be emailed to, with details of full name, designation and employment/institutional affiliation of the applicant.

All abstracts will be reviewed by an independent jury selected by the organisers who will shortlist the abstracts based on relevance to the theme, novelty and academic merit. Authors of selected abstracts will receive an email notification of the exact date and venue of the workshop and should submit their completed research paper to, by 15 December, 2019.

The workshop session will host five paper presentations from the shortlisted abstracts. Every paper selected for presentation will be allocated a committed discussant/ respondent.

Illustrative list of papers:

The following is an illustrative list of papers that reflect the broad topics of interest and rigour of analysis that is expected of papers in the workshop:

  1. Building State capacity for regulation in India by Shubho Roy, Ajay Shah, B.N. Srikrishna, Somasekhar Sundaresan. In Devesh Kapur and Madhav Khosla (eds.), Regulation in India: Design, Capacity, Performance. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2019 (forthcoming).

  2. Protecting Citizens from the State post Puttaswamy: Analysing the Privacy Implications of the Justice Srikrishna Committee Report and the Data Protection Bill, 2018 by Vrinda Bhandari and Renuka Sane. Socio Legal Review 14(2), (forthcoming).

  3. How to Modernise the Working of Courts and Tribunals in India by Pratik Datta, Mehtab Hans, Mayank Mishra, Ila Patnaik, Prasanth Regy, Shubho Roy, Sanhita Sapatnekar, Ajay Shah, Ashok Pal Singh and Somasekhar Sundaresan. NIPFP Working Paper 258, March 2019.

  4. Challenges of Competition and Regulation in the Telecom Sector by Smriti Parsheera. Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 53, Issue No. 38, September 22, 2018.

  5. Legislative strategy for setting up an independent debt management agency by Radhika Pandey and Ila Patnaik. NUJS Law Review, Volume 10, Issue 3, 2017.

  6. Misled and Mis-sold: Financial Misbehaviour in Retail Banks? by Monika Halan and Renuka Sane. Journal of Comparative Economics, 45(3), August 2017.

  7. Karnataka Crime Victimisation Survey: 2019 report by Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Asha Venugopalan and Varsha Aithala (forthcoming).

  8. Commercial Courts in India: Three Puzzles for Reformers by Sudhir Krishnaswamy and Varsha Aithala (forthcoming).

Other arrangements:

The presenter’s travel, accommodation and incidental expenses will be provided for by Azim Premji University.

We welcome proposals for research papers which are unpublished, recently published or of publishable quality in academic journals of international repute, though preference would be given to previously unpublished papers. The research papers may employ the reference and citation style used in standard social science practice, or the style used in legal periodicals. Simultaneous submission of papers to the workshop and other publications is permitted. Authors are expected to disclose any commercial or other associations that may result in a conflict of interest in connection with the research.

All submitted research papers will be published as open access working papers and available on the websites of both organisers. Organisers reserve the right to make editorial comments to the papers prior to publication.

Important dates to remember:

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 October, 2019.
  • Deadline for research paper submission: 15 December, 2019.
  • Workshop: 11 January, 2020 (Saturday).

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