|Course Type||Course Code||No. Of Credits|
Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon/ Winter Semester, as required
Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Budhaditya Das
Email of course coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental law and policy is a comparatively newer field of study in India and yet it has significantly shaped the country’s natural and developmental landscape. The course introduces students to the architecture of legislations and policies governing India’s environment. The course will discuss the normative and conceptual underpinnings of environmental law and jurisprudence. It will draw upon the Constitution of India as a living document and outline the ways in which the legislature and the judiciary have relied on it while trying to conserve the biophysical environment. The course will underline the multi-scalar nature of environmental governance and discuss the role of formal institutions, local and global communities in managing forests, water resources, biodiversity and ecosystems. The critical role of India’s judiciary in shaping the field of environmental governance will be discussed, through public interest litigations (PILs) and landmark judgments.
Course objectives/ Learning outcomes:
Brief Description of Main Sections
Unit 1: Justice
In this unit, students will be introduced to the idea of justice, and its connections with liberty, equality, rights and fraternity. The conception of justice that emerges from a critical reading of India’s Constitution (in particular, the part on Fundamental Rights) will be discussed in the light of theories and theorists of justice within political studies. Through case studies and landmark judgments of the Supreme Court, the unit will outline how normative conceptions of social and environmental justice have shaped environmental law and jurisprudence in India.
Unit 2: State and Governance
Through classroom discussions and readings, the unit will discuss the theoretical foundations and empirical studies of the state, with reference to the Global South. The unit will focus on the scholarship within anthropology and political science which theorises the contentious relations between state, citizens and civil society. The unit will focus on those formal and state institutions that are involved in environmental governance, including community institutions, forest and land bureaucracies, and pollution control boards. The unit will critically examine processes of decentralisation, participation and democratic decision-making within the context of natural resource management and governance.
Unit III: Laws and Jurisprudence
The final unit of the course discusses the national, sub-national legislations and jurisprudence that has developed around environmental concerns in India in the last five decades. Laws around air and water pollution, forests and biodiversity conservation will be critically examined in terms of their objectives, regulatory methods and limitations. Appellate court judgments will be analysed for their attempts to secure environmental and social justice for marginalised groups, such as the urban poor and forest-dependent communities. Judicial innovations like Public Interest Litigations (PILs) and institutions like the National Green Tribunal will be discussed for their role in (re)shaping the politics of environmental governance.