Constitutional Studies

By Prof. Sudhir Krishnaswamy   |   National Law School of India University
Learners enrolled: 7918
This course aims to introduce the constitutional law of India to students from all walks of life and help them understand the constitutional principles as applied and understood in everyday life. The pedagogy is precise and unique, as per week, the lessons shall be in the form of questions instead of being in pure theoretics. Accompanied with light reading and weekly exercises, the objective of making the Constitution of India, familiar to all students, and not only to law students, this course aims and objectifies legal understanding in the simplest of forms.

Law, Non-Law
PREREQUISITES Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and / or Ph.D
INDUSTRIES  SUPPORT     : Public Policy, Human Resources, Think-Tanks
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 14 Sep 2020
End Date : 04 Dec 2020
Exam Date : 19 Dec 2020 IST
Enrollment Ends : 25 Sep 2020
Category :
  • Law
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Constitutions and Democracy
      • Do democratic societies need a constitution?
      • How is a constitution different from ordinary law?
      • Is a constitution a political or a legal instrument?
      • Does the Constitution
Week 2:Making a Constitution Democratic
      • How should a society make a constitution?
      • How did India make its 1950 Constitution?
      • Can Parliament amend the constitution?
      • Can the Parliament replace the constitution?
Week 3: Preamble to the Constitution
      • Does a Preamble have legl effect or is it symbolic?
      • How was India’s Preamble drafted?
      • Does the Preamble help us interpret the constitution?
Week 4: Citizens
      • Who is an Indian Citizen?
      • Can Parliament decide Indian Citizenship without the Constitution?
      • Are all constitutional protections confined to Indian Citizens?
Week 5: Fundamental Rights
      • What Fundamental Rights do we have and are they absolute?
      • Who can we exercise these FRs against?
      • Who will protect these rights when they are violated?
Week 6: • Case Study -1: Equality and Domination
      • Case Study-2: Affirmative Action
Week 7: • Case Study-3: Life
      • Case Study-4: Liberty including free speech
Week 8:• Case Study-5: Freedom to do business
      • Case Study-6: Religious Freedom
Week 9:Directive Principles
      • Are DPs enforceable? If yes, against whom?
      • Case Study-1: Anti-Hierarchy
      • Case Study-2: Cow Protection
Week 10:Structure of the State
       • Why is the state power distributed between various entities?
       • How is the state power distributed?
Week 11: Separation of Powers
      • Is the horizontal distribution of power between the legislature, executive and judiciary based on the expertise of each branch?
      • Are the legislative, executive and judicial co-equally branched?
Week 11.1:Emergency Power
      • Do constitutional democracies need an emergency power?
      • What are the constraints on the exercise of emergency power?
      • How can a constitutional regime recover from the proclamation of an emergency?
Week 12:Role of Judiciary in maintaining the sanctity of the Constitution of India & Constitutional Interpretation
     • Is the vertical division of power designed to improve efficiency or to prevent the concentration of power?
     • Can the Union override the State and the Local Governments?
     • How should the Constitution be interpreted and who can interpret it?
     • Does judicial interpretation of constitution override all others?
     • Is constitutional review democratic?

Books and references

1. V.N Shukla’s Indian Constitutional Law, M.P Singh 13th Edition
2. Uday Raj Rai, Constitutional Law-I
3. Democracy and Constitutionalism in India, Oxford University Press 2009

Instructor bio

Prof. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

National Law School of India University
Having graduated from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore (B.A. LL.B). He read for BCL and obtained a D.Phil. from Oxford University. He has been a Teaching Fellow in Law at the Pembroke College at Oxford University, an Assistant Professor at NLSIU and a Professor at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. Currently holding the office of Vice Chancellor, of National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. In the past, Prof. Sudhir has also worked in the Prime Ministers Committee on Infrastructure and the Kasturirangan Committee on Governance of Bangalore. He has authored a book titled Democracy and Constitutionalism in India which was published by the Oxford University Press in 2009. Sudhir is a co-founder of CLPR, he was faculty member at the Azim Premji University. He was also the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Visiting Professor of Indian Constitutional Law at Columbia Law School. His main areas of interest are constitutional law, legal education, legal theory, intellectual property law and administrative law.

Course certificate

•The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
• The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams:19 December 2020, Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
• Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
• The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
• Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.

• Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
• Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100
• Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

• If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.
• Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc
• Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

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