Human Rights in India: An Introduction

Students at the Inaugural of the 2014 course

The summer course "Human Rights in India: An Introduction" is organized at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bangalore. With India in context, this program aims to deliberate and provide an intensive immersion in Human Rights Law and Practice. It will acquaint the participant with the Law and Institutional Arrangements, concerning the promotion, protection and securing of human rights in a domestic context.

Aims of the programme

To familiarize the participants with the processes and procedures involved in the understanding and application of the law and the institutions engaged in the enforcement of human rights; To enable examination of the ramifications of the application of human rights and their impacts over a wide variety of areas of human activity that among others, touch upon issues of gender justice, environmental protection, Protection of Intellectual Properties associated with traditional knowledge, customs and practices of communities of people, corporate social responsibility and public trusteeship over community resources etc.; To impart skills of mediation, conciliation and negotiation in the prosecution and realization of human rights in different situations; To facilitate meetings and interactions with human rights advocacy groups as to get informed about the tools, techniques and strategies employed by them in their pursuits and To provide space and scope for analysis of case-studies and Case-laws, to understand the adequacy, effectiveness or otherwise of the legal order in the protection of human rights.


The cost of the summer course is 125000 INR (currency converter). The amount covers all local costs, including the course fee, board and lodging at the Guest House, basic course material, shorter excursions, and the use of medical facilities and the library at NLSIU. The cost does not include expenses for travels to and from Bangalore, visa fees, or medical and travel insurance, for which the students need to pay by themselves.


Students apply to the summer course at NLSIU by submitting an application to the International office at their university. The application should include the following documents:

A letter providing information about previous university studies, expectations and motivations for attending the course, as well as contact information.
A certificate of previous studies and a proof of the current registration at the university (a copy of the student card or any other documentation).
A CV or other related material to support the application.

The admission procedure is conducted by nomination, i.e. after the International offices have received and reviewed the applications they will nominate students qualified for the summer course to the Nordic Centre in India (NCI). Based on the nominations, the NCI suggests students to be admitted and assists them further with the formal admission procedure. The final selection of students is made by NLSIU. In case the number of nominees exceeds the maximum number of students who can participate in the course, the NCI and NLSIU select students based on their qualifications and university affiliation. The students admitted to the course will be given a letter of admission from NLSIU and can apply for study visa through the Indian embassy in their home country.

Course Description and Material

Course name: Landscape of Rights in the Indian Legal Order

Educational institution: National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore

Course credits: 7,5/10 ECTS

Language of instructions: English

Study period: summer, 9th July to 5th August 2017

Rate of studies: Full time

Maximum number of students: 30

Admission: Master level course that requires 2 to 3 years of college or university studies with minimum grades equivalent to 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale or grade C according to ECTS.

Landing outcomes

On completion of the programme, students must be able to:

Understand, realize and demonstrate acquaintance with the cardinal principles of Human Rights Law and Practice in Indian framework. In addition to imparting knowledge, the school intends to develop and sensitize the participant’s attitude towards Human Rights;
Censoriously assess the effectiveness of vital institutions, actors and stratagems that address precise contemporary human rights context;
Determine a consciousness of the organizational, pragmatic and ethical challenges of contemporary human rights law practice, and apply these in the milieu of specific human rights issues or cases;
Develop skills in legal drafting, argumentation and adjudication of situations impacting Human Rights;
Critically examine Indian legal and institutional reactions to human rights concerns from comparative and international standpoints

Course Content

1.Introduction to Human Rights Law- Concept and Development

1.1. Philosophy and politics in Human Rights

1.2. Historical background in the development of Human Rights Law

1.3. Human Rights in Principles and Human Rights in Practice- quantitative and qualitative realization of Human Rights- Human Rights Mapping

1.4. Human Rights and Rule of Law

2. Institutional and Legal framework under Domestic (Indian) Human Rights Law regime

2.1. The relationship between Convention and Domestic Human Rights Institutions- Institutional and Legal framework under International Human Rights Law regime and its utility in India

2.2. Constitutional aspects of Human Rights in India

2.2.1. Fundamental Rights under Indian Constitution and Landmark judgments of Supreme Court of India

2.3. Criminal Justice system and Human Rights in India

2.4. The categories of domestic HR institutions- Ombudsman and Human Rights Commissions- Organizational Set Up and Investigation of Atrocities

2.4.1. National Human Rights Commission of India;

2.4.2. The National Commission for Women Act, 1990

2.4.3. The National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992

2.4.4. The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993

2.4.5. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

2.4.6. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes- Caste Based violence and Dalits in India

2.4.7. The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993

2.5. Monitoring National Human Rights Law and Practice- Initiatives and development

2.5.1. Studies, Public Inquiries and Reports

2.5.2. Human Rights Education and Public Awareness

2.6. Dispute/ Grievance Resolution Mechanisms, Human Rights Promotion and Advocacy

2.6.1. Mediation and Conciliation

2.6.2. Human Rights Tribunals

2.6.3. Human Rights Law Clinic

2.6.4. Application of practical tools in the protection of Human Rights

2.7. Case Laws- List of relevant and landmark cases

3. Child, Women and Human Rights Law in India- Key issues, laws, policies and regulations

4. Concepts of individual and collective rights and the transition from the former to the latter

4.1. Collective litigation and collective enforcement of rights in today’s context with special focus in India

4.2. Realization of Collective Rights : Manifestation and Realization in different situation

4.3. Case Laws- List of relevant and landmark cases

5. Environmental Rights and Human Rights Law

5.1. Environmental Rights and Human Rights Institutions

5.2. Development in Procedural Rights with respect to Environment- Right of Environment and Right to environment

5.3. Deep Ecology; Community Right over Resources and Developmental Imperatives (- social, economic and ecological dimensions)

5.4. Human Rights and Environment Issues in Multilateral Treaties Adopted between 1991 and 2001

5.5. Intersection of Human Rights and Environmental Issues: A review of institutional developments at the international level

5.6. Human Rights and Environment- The National Experience

5.7. Information, Participation and Access to Justice: the Model of the Aarhus Convention

5.8. Review of Environmental Jurisprudence - A brief and comparative analysis.

5.9. legal articulation of environmental traditions and their realization in local, national, regional and international contexts

5.10. Forced Displacement, environment and Refugees in India

6. Case Laws- List of relevant and landmark cases

7. Business and Human Rights Law-

7.1. Corporate Environmental Responsibility, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Marketing in India

7.2. United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP)

7.2.1. Consumer Law in India and its Human Rights dimension

7.3. +Green Consumerism

8. Business, Human Rights and Indian Companies

8.1. Case Laws- List of relevant and landmark cases

9. Human Rights and Intellectual Property Rights

9.1. Two fold approach of Human Rights and IPR

9.1.1. Neglected Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Knowledge

9.1.2. IPR, TRIPs and Human Rights

9.2. Human Rights Law and Intellectual Property Rights Law- The Future Trajectories

9.3. Case Laws- List of relevant and landmark cases in India

10. Anti-Corruption, good governance and Human Rights- Role of good governance in promotion and protection of Human Rights in India

11. Role of civil society in combatting the atrocities and violations of Human Rights- A pragmatic approach (Indian Experiences)

12. The skill development module of the courser will cover- Legal strategy and drafting vis-à-vis Human Rights Lawyering.


The methodological approach for the summer course has been designed with an amalgamation of theoretical, practical, learning through observation modules which include lectures, Panel Discussions, Group Exercises, Problem Solving Sessions and interactions with eminent Jurists, Judges, Professionals, administrators and activists both within the Law School and in different institutional settings. The teachers of the course are researchers from NLSIU and invited lecturers from other prominent Indian research institutions and universities like IIM, Bangalore; IISc, Bangalore; ISEC, Bangalore; Voluntary Groups, Judiciary and few experts from outside Bangalore.


Upon successful completion of the summer course, the students receive a certificate from the Nordic Centre in India that can award them 7.5 ECTS at their respective home university. For students who wish pursue 10 ECTS it is also possible to do additional assignments during the same period of time. Since the course is designed to suit students from Nordic universities with European and national credit systems, students are requested to consult the International offices for information about how to translate and register the course credits at their home university.

International Grade Converter online

European Grade Converter online


PdfGetting to NLSIU campus

Pdf2015 Practical Information manual

PdfProgramme Schedule 2015

PdfCourse poster 2017

Coordinator at NLSIU

Prof. M. K. Ramesh
Address: National Law School of India University, P.O. Bag 7201, Nagarbhavi, Bangalore - 560 072, Karnataka, India

Practical Information

About Bangalore

Bangalore, also called Bengaluru, is the capital of the state of Karnataka. Famously called the Garden city of India, Bangalore is now India's third most populous city and fifth-most populous urban agglomeration. It has recently become a hub for India's information technology sector and is considered to be among the top preferred entrepreneurial locations in the world. The citizenry consists of a cosmopolitan cross section of people and cultures from around the world. Bangalore city is an interesting study of contrasts with a very fascinating juxtaposition of tradition and modernity. Located 949 meters above sea level in South India on the Deccan Plateau, Bangalore enjoys a salubrious climate throughout the year. The city boasts of spacious gardens, parks, tree-lined avenues, a profusion of flowering trees, lakes and parks. With its booming economy and racy lifestyle, the capital of Karnataka has metamorphosed from a sleepy Garden City into one of India's fastest growing, accommodating, technophiliac, and cosmopolitan cities.


The National Law School of India University came into existence through a Notification under the National Law School of India University Act (Karnataka Act 22 of 1986). It signified the culmination of efforts by the Judiciary, the Bar Council of India, the Karnataka Bar Council, the Bangalore University and the Government of Karnataka to reform legal education and to establish a centre of excellence for legal education and research in India. This Law School successfully caters to the requirements of the legal profession, law teaching and research, and judiciary in India and it is typical for the students who study in this School to eventually become legal practitioners, law teachers or engage in legal research or enter the judiciary in due course.

The Chief Justice of India is the Chancellor of the University. The Chairman, Bar Council of India, is the Chairman of the General Council. These connections lend a stature and prestige to the School which is unparalleled in the history of legal education in India.

NLSIU Campus

The Law School has a campus of its own, located in Nagarbhavi, about 10 kms from the City railway station and standing over twenty-three acres beside the Institute of Social and Economic Change. Since 1991, it is a fully residential university on one campus with three Halls of Residence for men, three Halls of Residence for women, two Hostels for post-graduate women students, three blocks for Faculty Quarters and two blocks for non-teaching staff Quarters besides the Academic Block. An International Training Centre, with residential facilities, equipped for organising training programmes, seminars and video conferences is part of the campus.

For more information on facilities available please click here.


Students are accommodated at the International Training Centre on campus. Each room is a double room. The rooms have an attached bath with round the clock hot water supply. It has a TV as well as a LAN port to access the net. Wi fi is accessible only in the conference hall, the lounge and the dining room.


Students will be provided breakfast, lunch and dinner. The meals are typical of the area and are primarily vegetarian. High on rice, pulses and locally sourced vegetables, the meals are nutritious. Furthermore, the meals are specially cooked according to the needs of Nordic students and special care is taken of students with food allergies.

Meals will be available as per the following schedule:

8-9.30 AM- Breakfast - Indian as well western. (Bread, Egg, Cornflakes, Milk, Tea/coffee)

12.30-2 PM Lunch- Rice/ Chappathi/ Curry with dessert

7.30-9 PM Dinner- Rice/ Chappathi/Curry with dessert

Non veg dishes would be served daily (Either for lunch or dinner)

Mineral water is available round the clock.

Bangalore, being a cosmopolitan city, also provides a lot of options in terms of food. There are several restaurants dotting the city that meet various requirements in terms of price, ambience and cuisine. To find restaurants, check Buurp and Just Eat.