Kautilya Societies are student initiatives in universities across the country aimed at widening access to legislative drafting and analysis and empowering young minds to explore public policy as a career path. They have been conceptualised by Vidhi and are run by partner universities.
Kautilya Society students actively conduct research to identify gaps in law, policy, governance or regulation in the form of research reports or parliamentary submissions. They contribute to public policy discourse by hosting discussions and events on recent legal policy developments. Students in Kautilya Societies interact closely with public policy professionals to develop a robust network and work experience in the sector, while also helping draft law and policy that contributes to the socio-economic progress of the country.
Through the Kautilya Society initiative, educational institutes are able to provide opportunities to their students for successful careers in public policy and other related fields such as development, advocacy, consultancy, campaigning, financial analysis, economics and research. The initiative also provides information and opportunities for students to nurture their interest in public service and policy as career options with a view to becoming good citizens of India.
The first Kautilya Society was set up in 2019 at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru. Kautilya Societies currently function in 8 law schools across several states. They are:
1. National University of Juridical Sciences, West Bengal
2. NALSAR (National Academy of Legal Studies and Research) University of Law, Hyderabad
3. National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
4. National Law University, Odisha
5. Symbiosis Law School, Pune
6. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow
7. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
8. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar