The Constitution of India, while remaining the cornerstone of the Indian republic, has limited significance in the lives of ordinary citizens. Beyond the law school curriculum, even lawyers do not get adequate opportunities to sustainably work on constitutional law issues in their professional lives. As a result, the study of the Constitution often gets restricted to academic settings. However, the need for a baseline constitutional culture arises in analyzing any legal or policy issue. This gap between constitutional principles and the practice of law and public policy can only be bridged through a bottom-up change in the legal system by dedicated constitutional scholars who apply constitutional principles to their everyday work.
Conceptualised by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (‘Vidhi’) and supported by the Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, the Samvidhaan Fellowship is a one year, full-time and paid Fellowship. It is designed with the objective of closing this ‘constitutional principles to policy’ gap, and will support six legal scholars to work sustainably on key issues of Indian Constitutional Law.
Samvidhaan Fellows will be lawyers with an interest in constitutional law, who will work in different parts of India to promote constitutional law research at the grassroots level. The Fellows will pitch their own project proposals on one of the identified themes, determine their research methodology and the manner of presenting their final outcomes. During the Fellowship, Vidhi will provide extensive monitoring and support to all Fellows, through mentorship, periodic check-ins, reviews and feedback, etc.
The Fellowship’s current research focus is on electoral reforms, federalism and minority rights.