You are here


The 'F' Word - Exploring Freedom of the Self, State, and Society

Event Date: 16 Mar To 17 Mar 2019; Time: 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Mumbai

The 'F' Word - Exploring Freedom of the Self, State, and Society

About the Program

"If individual liberty goes, then surely all is lost, for if the individual ceases to count, what is left of society? ….No society can possibly be built on a denial of individual freedom. It is contrary to the very nature of man" - M. K. Gandhi in Harijan

In pursuit of advocating for unfettered individual freedom that Gandhi, Tagore, Rajaji and the likes promulgated, Centre for Civil Society's CCS Academy has launched its newest certificate course in individual freedom and public policy. The 'F' Word - Exploring Freedom of the Self, State, and Society is a two day certificate course in personal freedom and public policy. The course will explore the finer intricacies of individual liberty and its interaction with the state. It will delve deeper into the aspects of being, expression and movement, and question the notion of reasonable restrictions on free speech and expression.

Course Vision

Course's vision is realized by answering the following question - "what would I want be, do and live (in terms of values) two years from the completion of the course?

Be - a sentient individual, aware of their rights, responsibilities and healthy differences with the other.

Do - create safe spaces for fostering conversations around issues of socio-cultural and political importance.

Live - by practicing tolerance with an active belief in pluralism.

Course Objectives

  • Student will demonstrate clear understanding of personal freedom vis-a-vis its interaction with the state and society.
  • Student will produce original content after the completion of the course (a 800 words essay on a matter of personal freedom - submissions to go online on Spontaneous Order blog with two best entries to be sent for publication in media).
  • Student will ask specific questions around and appreciate the intricacies of being, expression and movement under the larger ambit of individual liberty.

Apply Now!


Day 1 (9 a.m. - 6p.m.)
Freedom to be (right to total self-definition, self discovery and self determination)

  • Session 1 - 2h | What is freedom and what constitutes my personal freedom?
    The session will explore the philosophical, socio-cultural and political journey that the concept of freedom has undergone through our history, with emphasis on India and the subcontinent.
  • Session 2 - 2h | My Caste and Identity
    • Can I cross-dress and come to your house? - Issues of identity in urban India
    • Does my caste liberate me or bind me
    • What now after 377?
  • Session 3 - 1h30m | Why do the courts and the people talk in different languages?
    The session will explore the role of judiciary in social reforms in India, primarily drawing experiences from the prominent judgments passed in the last three to four years (for example - Perumal Murugan Case, Sabarimala Case, etc.)

Day 2 (9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) | Freedom to express

  • Session 1 - 2h |
    • "Let the author be resurrected to what he is best at. Write" - How many Perumal Murugans do we have? || A case for upholding free speech in the country
    • Censorship in India - who decides what and how?
    • What stops my unadulterated expression of speech and actions in daily life?
  • Session 2 - 1h30m | Internet freedom and data privacy
    Freedom to move
  • Session 3 - 1h30m |
    • Safety and security for all - who is really responsible here?
    • Open borders and migration

Peer Discussion - What's reasonable in the reasonable restrictions? (panel/open discussion with the students on Article 19(2)) - 45m

There is one challenge in discussing freedom of speech in our country, which is that we actually have, unlike western democracies, the provision of Article 19 (2), that specifically imposes reasonable restrictions in the interest of various things including public order, decency, morality and so on.

Therefore, freedom of speech is not absolute in our country. This discussion will also serve as an interactive Q&A session.

Apply Now!

Apply Now!

The program is NON RESIDENTIAL and the program fee covers food and course materials for the entire duration of the program.

Appeal for Repeal Laws Day 2018

Event Date: 26 Nov 2018; Time: 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Venue: Speaker Hall, Constitution Club of India, New Delhi
Apply for Researching Reality Internship 2018

Repeal of Laws:

India, one of the largest democracies in the world with an ever-rising population, has had, several statutes that with the advent of time have become obsolete, redundant or repetitive. In addition to this, there is the matter of inconsistent language and dissemination- making it difficult for an ordinary citizen to access and comprehend the plethora of legal information with ease. This increased transaction cost coupled with glaring redundancy further breeds fertile grounds for corruption, discouraging engagement of individuals and firms with the society/ economy at large.

Centre of Civil Society (CCS) initiated the 'Repeal of 100 Laws' Project in 2014 with the aim to identify laws that could be repealed on account of three reasons

  • Redundancy
  • Obsolescence in the face of new laws
  • Hindrance to development, governance and freedom.


For the 2018 edition of the Repeal of Laws initiative the following state compendiums have been prepared:



Centre for Civil Society, in an effort to institutionalize the repealing of laws as a constitutional practice for the Republic of India, would like to bring together like-minded organizations, scholars, academicians and lawyers to acknowledge 26 November as the Appeal for Repeal Law Day. Its objectives are:

  • To celebrate the diversity of our legal system and have a constructive dialogue around the process of repealing of laws
  • To launch the compendiums constituting the recommended laws for repeal in the aforementioned 6 States


The target is to bring together 70-80 dedicated individuals under one roof and to engage in constructive dialogue around the potential processes required for the institutionalization of the repeal of laws. The idea is to deliberate over the existing structures and processes for repealing laws in India, and envisaging practices which can be adopted moving forward.

ipolicy for Young Leaders | August - September 2018

Event Date: 24 Aug To 23 Sep 2018; Time: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Venue: New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai

ipolicy for Young Leaders, Bengaluruìpolicy is our flagship 3 day introductory course in Public Policy. The course involves a variety of interactive learning methods including dynamic games, talks, dialogues, and documentaries, designed to provide participants with opportunities to explore and share ideas about policy-based solutions to social problems from a liberal perspective.

Why should you attend ìpolicy?

  • To gain exposure to a wide range of topics especially in the areas of livelihood, governance, education, poverty, law, corruption, politics and more
  • To network and interact with fellow participants coming from diverse backgrounds and disciplines representing leading colleges from all over India and abroad.
  • To enhance analytical, public speaking, and presentation skills through working groups, role play, discussions and debates
  • To join our vast alumni and academic network of over 7000 CCS graduates

You can apply to more than one program at a time.

ìpolicy Dates Venue, City Application Deadline  
24-26 August 2018 New Delhi 15 August 2018
31 August-2 September 2018 Bangalore 25 August 2018
21-23 Septmeber 2018 Chennai 07 September 2018
28-30 Septmeber 2018 Mumbai 12 September 2018
Shilanjini Bhattacharya, TISS Mumbai
"ìpolicy has enabled me to critically examine the present perspectives I inhabit regarding policy design and policy implication. It has inspired me to gain a holistic understanding of markets and their ways of working in the policy domain."

Shilanjini Bhattacharya, TISS Mumbai

Evita Rodriguez, FLAME Pune
"I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, it has provided insight, fresh ideas and a liberal perspective. I learnt a lot both from interaction with facilitators and peers. I was encouraged to think more critically, ask more questions and discouraged from accepting things on face value. I think my approach to policy formulation has changed a great deal in terms of how I now perceive institutions, trade, incentives, public interest and govt intervention."

Evita Rodriguez, FLAME Pune

Shreya Rangarajan, TISS Hyderabad
"Textbooks provide a very one-dimensional and theoretical approach to issues. Ipolicy definitely showed the current trends interms of the practice approach and introduced me to new perspectives and ways of looking at issues. The most important thing is that in each session, we did not just stop with identifying the problem but also came together to formulate possible solutions to the same."

Shreya Rangarajan, TISS Hyderabad

Swatantra: Principles, People, Politics

Event Date: 03 Feb 2018; Time: 10:00 am –  6:30 pm
Venue: Auditorium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

Swatantra Party, founded in 1959 by C. Rajagopalachari, was India’s first and only national political party to advance principles of social justice, free enterprise, personal liberty, secularism, and individual rights. Advocating a ‘politics of ethics’, the party featured the voices of prominent liberals such as Minoo Masani, N G Ranga, Piloo Mody, and offered the only substantive alternative to Nehruvian socialism and the monolithic ‘Congress Party system’ which had emerged post-Independence. After securing substantive electoral victories through 1960s—emerging as the single-largest opposition party in the fourth Lok Sabha (1967-71)—the Party disintegrated in the early seventies, following Rajagopalachari’s withdrawal from politics and demise. Through its brief but strong tenure of 15 years, the party exercised wide reach throughout India, and exerted significant pressures on issues ranging from industry to foreign policy.

 Swatantra Party was a significant and unique intervention in the larger narrative of modern Indian politics, and merits sustained engagement from scholars and intellectuals today. Upon procurement of over 27,000 pages from the defunct Swatantra Party's offices in Mumbai, Centre for Civil Society aims to store the archive at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. The launch of the archive is marked with a day-long Conference on Saturday, 9 December, 2017 at the Auditorium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library on the eve of C. Rajagopalachari's birth anniversary.

To know more about the panel, and conference schedule, view the Conference Concept Note.

Register NOW

For details contact:
Arushi Vats (
+91 9811575503

2nd Law and Liberty Conference

Event Date: 24 Nov 2017; Time: 10:00AM - 06:00PM
Venue: Allen and Overy Hall, NLSIU Bangalore

Theme: Perspectives on Liberty in a Digitised India

Law and Liberty Conference (LLC) is our flagship annual academic congregation exploring the interstices of legal thought and practice, and their relation to the idea of liberty. A key component of modern social and political orders, liberty is seen as one of the founding principles of rule of law. The spheres of liberty are manifold, with implications for economic, civic, and personal practices of individuals and communities. LLC provides an opportunity for rigorous academic analyses and dialogue on issues most pertinent to the exercise of liberty, and the role of law in securing and impeding the same. The Law and Liberty Conference is a unique opportunity for academicians, scholars, practitioners, and students to interrogate the constraints and challenges to the principle and practice of liberty, and understand how these may be mitigated.

Law and Liberty Conference 2017 is being organized by Centre for Civil Society in collaboration with Law and Technology Society, National Law School of India University, Bangalore


  1. To highlight emerging concerns in the domain of individual liberty and the legal and regulatory frameworks which enable the flourishing of a liberal society
  2. To explore the opportunities and challenges to the preservation and extension of liberty across digital objects and sites

The 2017 edition of the conference will have 3 thematic sessions:

  1. Digitising Governance and Public Service Delivery: Digital modes of governance are under adaption at an unprecedented scale. The e-Kranti initiative of National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) has outlaid the digitization of over 44 public service delivery verticals at Centre and State level and development of Common Service Centres across the country. Such e-governance initiatives have developed a range of digital interfaces, from websites to mobile applications and bio-metric enabled Smart Cards. Experiments independently and in collaboration with corporate and NGOs, such as ITC’s e-Choupal, Gyandoot in Madhya Pradesh, Aksh Broadband in Rajasthan, IRCTC, and Passport Seva, have successfully developed and tested intranet portals for a range of functions, from produce procurement to facilitating Government to Citizen (G2C) digitised service delivery.
  2. Regulatory Frameworks for Aggregator and Sharing Economy: The need for revisiting principles framing regulations is accentuated by the emergence of aggregators and sharing economy in India, and its exponential growth in on-demand transport, crowd-funding, and hospitality sectors. The sharing economy radically transforms the conventional definitional tenets of labour, establishments, services, and the consumer-provider relationship by developing peer-to-peer sharing, dynamic pricing, and service ownership. With the growing relevance of sharing economy in fostering skill development and micro-entrepreneurship, an agile, enabling framework that balances consumer protection with ease of doing business is requisite.
  3. Regulating Data Services and Digital Payments: Support functions of expanding digital literacy and inclusion are also mapped through projects such as the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN), and ongoing TRAI consultation on provision of Free Data in rural India without violating the bright-line principles set against zero-rating. Additionally, the impetus for a cashless economy is mandated through a separation of payments and banking, and the regulatory frameworks governing the two. This entails a complete digitization of payments and receipts within government, with an eye to increase the reach and incentivizes the usage of digital payments. From autonomy in regulation to legislative revision of Payments and Settlement Systems Act (2007) mandating open access, interoperability, competition and innovation—the role of private entities in facilitating the development and delivery of digital services in governance and exchange is growing exponentially and demanding systemic redesigning of regulatory frameworks and rethinking of the role of the state

Register NOW

Registration deadline: 20th November 2017

Registration Fee: Students: INR 500/-; Others: INR 1000/-

For details contact:
Jatin Garg ( or Arushi Vats (
+91-9915608674 | +91-11-2653 7456; ext.-25