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Committed to reforming legal education and the pursuit of academic excellence, NLSIU places significant emphasis on legal and policy research. Research at NLSIU is primarily carried out through its Centres, Chairs, multi-year research projects, and through individual faculty initiatives. The University’s specialised research centres have been repeatedly called upon to shape laws and improve implementation in intellectual property, child rights, and environmental laws, among many others. The Research Policy of the University is available here.

In 2020, NLSIU identified five focus areas where it will develop new interdisciplinary research clusters:

  • Labour and Work
  • Climate Justice
  • State Capacity and Reform
  • Access to Justice & Legal System Reform
  • Law, Technology and Society

In Focus

Health Law

While NLS has a research centre dedicated to Health Law and Ethics, the University has entered into a slew of collaborations in this domain. Some of our recent research initiatives are listed below. Project on...

Working Lives: Documenting Labour Histories

The QAMRA Archival Project is concerned with the nature of record-keeping in postcolonial India. Records in the postcolonial state archives from the 1980s onward will determine what future historians will base their studies on for...

Enquiring into India’s state capacity

India’s COVID-19 crisis has resulted in unprecedented levels of demand on its public institutions, demands they have comprehensively failed to meet. Scholars have generally been in agreement when characterising India’s state capacity, or its ability...

Research Entities


NLSIU’s research centres anchor original and deep research on a broad range of critical areas. They also form nodes through which faculty, students and scholars publicly engage on these issues to inform, educate and help shape reform measures. From human rights and gender equality to leading environmental law research and emerging issues on law and technology, NLSIU’s research centres continue to engage with and impact key societal concerns in every decade.


Research Chairs at NLS aim to advance knowledge in their respective fields through original inquiry, promotion of academic debate and dissemination of the latest research and findings. They play a critical role in strengthening the teaching, research and training capabilities of the University as a whole.

Projects & Grants

Continuing our research efforts, NLSIU has entered into a slew of collaborations both at the local and international level. We hope to initiate more such collaborations in the coming months and bring together scholars and researchers from across India and around the world to produce innovative and relevant outcomes through our research.


NLS is home to several interdisciplinary journals that have carried articles by leading scholars and experts over the years, and been cited by the Supreme Court on several occasions. The journals have a commitment to open access and the promotion of legal writing, and occupy an important space in legal academia in India.



State Life: Land, Welfare and Management of the Landless in Kerala, India

Dr. Sudheesh R C

September 8, 2023

The pressing need to manage the spiralling number of landless people around the world has compelled several states to experiment with scattered land distribution programmes in combination with welfare transfers, instead of comprehensive land reform….


Does Today’s India Need ‘Decolonisation’ Speak?

Dr. Salmoli Choudhuri

August 25, 2023

[with Moiz Tundawala] This article analyses the introduction of three new Bills to replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and the updated Criminal Procedure Code of 1973—the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita,…


Dharma’s Social Messaging

Prerna Dhoop

August 21, 2023

[with Vandana Dhoop] The recently released film, ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’ raises important questions about gender roles and stereotypes.


Mari Selvaraj, ‘Maamannan’, and the Cinema of Caste in Tamil Nadu

Dr. Karthick Ram Manoharan

August 10, 2023

A new generation of Tamil filmmakers are confronting the caste-glorification films of the past – but controversy is often quick to follow, and Tamil cinema’s history with caste is more complex than many recognise.

Photo: Red Giant Movies / Wikimedia Commons