"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

NLS Symposiums on Reservations

XIII NLSIR-Samvād: Partners Symposium on Unpacking Reservations in India: Theory, Practice, and Beyond [December 8, Bangalore]: Registrations open now!

The National Law School of India Review is proud to announce that the XIII NLSIR-Samvād: Partners Symposium is going to be held on December 8, 2019 at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. The theme for this year’s symposium is ‘Unpacking Reservations in India: Theory, Practice, and Beyond’. We thank Samvād: Partners and Lexygen for their continued support in the organisation of this event.

India’s experiment with affirmative action, in the form of quota-based reservation policies, has often been faced with questions revolving around equality, non-discrimination, and dignity. The Indian Constitution affirmatively enshrines preferences to disadvantaged groups like women, children and marginalized castes, and since its inception, reservations have been the dominant framework for operationalizing these preferences. While the reservation policies have not been free of contestation, they have survived and expanded their reach over the years, and are now entrenched in Indian constitutional law and politics. However, debates over India’s reservation model of affirmative action have now again come to the forefront of the sites of constitutional contestation - given the recent introduction of the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019, the rising instances of demands for quota by politically powerful communities, and the use of reservations for domicile-based protections, among other things.

The XIII NLSIR-Samvād: Partners Symposium seeks to address some critical gaps in this conversation and generate a platform for structured discussion on this pertinent theme.

The Symposium is divided into three Sessions. In Session I, titled ‘Reservations: Rethinking Roots in Constitutionalism’, we seek to achieve a re-imagination of the constitutional understandings of substantive equality, dignity and opportunity, informed by recent political and jurisprudential thought. Session II, titled ‘Mapping the Reservations Landscape: Policies and Precedents’, would use the normative constitutional framework constructed in Session I to assess the recent practice of reservations in India - both by the legislature and the judiciary. Lastly, Session III, titled ‘Deepening and Widening Affirmative Justice: The Way Forward’, seeks to initiate a policy discussion on the possible routes that could take affirmative action in India forward, from the place it is in, at this point in Indian constitutional politics.

Brief outlines of the three sessions are available in the Concept Note.


We have the following speakers lined up for the three sessions:
Session I: Reservations: Rethinking Roots in Constitutionalism
·         Dr. Anand Teltumdbe, Professor, Goa Institute of Management, and civil rights activist
·         Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Vice-Chancellor, National Law School of India University, and co-founder, Centre for Law & Policy Research
·         Prof. N. Sukumar, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi
Session II: Mapping the Reservations Landscape: Policies and Precedents
·         Mr. D. Shyam Babu, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
·         Dr. Anup Surendranath, Executive Director, Project 39A, and Professor, National Law University, Delhi
·         Ms. Kiruba Munusamy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Session III: Deepening and Widening Affirmative Justice: The Way Forward
·         Dr. Amitabh Kundu, Distinguished Fellow at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (New Delhi), and former Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University
·         Dr. Ajay Gudavarthy, Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
·         Ms. Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, and co-founder, Centre for Law & Policy Research
Please go through the Symposium Brochure to know more about the Speakers.
Two kinds of participant packages are available:
i.        with accommodation: Rs. 1,000 per student/ Rs. 1,500 per professional/practitioner/academician
ii.      without accommodation: Rs. 600 per student/ Rs. 1,000 per professional/practitioner/academician
Both the packages include: confirmed participant slot at the Symposium, lunch, high tea (afternoon), dinner, certificate of participation (contingent on attending all three sessions), and a complimentary copy of the NLSIR.
Further, we can arrange for accommodation for only limited number of people. Thus, the requests for accommodation would be entertained on first-come-first-serve basis. We will try our best to accommodate participants even after the accommodation slots are full. However, additional charge may be required for the same.
Please register by filling this mandatory Registration Form. We hope to see you all there!
For further information, please contact Ms. Hrishika Jain (Editor-in-Chief): +91-9620242313; Ms. Niharika Sharma (Deputy Editor-in-Chief): +91-9468965073 or email us at mail.nlsir@gmail.com with the subject – “Query: NLSIR Symposium”.