SOAS University of London

School of Law

Mrs Gayathri Naik

BAL.LLB (Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala), LLM (South Asian University, New Delhi) ,M.A Public Administration (Indira Gandhi Open University, New Delhi)
  • Teaching
  • Research


Gayathri Naik
Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC)


Mrs Gayathri Naik
Email address:
Thesis title:
Water-related Subsidies and Groundwater Regulation in India: Social and Environmental Dimensions
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Gayathri D Naik, lawyer enrolled in India, holds BAL.LLB from Government Law College, Ernakulum affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala; M.A Public Administration from Indira Gandhi Open University, New Delhi and LLM in International Legal Studies from South Asian University, New Delhi. She bagged First Rank in M G University for BAL.LLB and South Asian University Gold Medal for being the topper of Masters Course. She has qualified the National Eligibility Test for teaching conducted by University Grants Commission of India securing Junior Research Fellowship. She is presently a Commonwealth Scholar, 2017 from India.

She has presented papers in several conferences and her papers had been accepted in national and international conferences including UNCITRAL 50th world congress on“ Modernizing International Trade Law to Support Innovation and Sustainable Development” held in Vienna, 2017 and XXII Nuclear Inter Jura 2016 on the theme “The Future of Nuclear Law: Addressing Societal, Environmental, and Business Expectations” conducted by Nuclear Law Association,India and INLA in New Delhi, 2016.


  • India must stop deforesting its mountains if it wants to fight floods’ The Conversation (10 September 2019)
  • ‘India: why collecting water turns millions of women into second-class citizens’ The Conversation (17 October 2018)
  • ‘After the floods: rebuilding Kerala’. South Asia @ LSE (31 Oct 2018).
  • Book review: Jagannath Prasad Mishra, “Madan Mohan Malaviya and the Indian Freedom Movement” [OUP 2016]. South Asia @ LSE (04 Dec 2018)
  • Book review: Ijaz Hussain, “Indus Water Treaty, Political and Legal Dimensions” [OUP 2017]. South Asia @ LSE  (15 March 2019)
  • ‘Pan Cultural Journey’. The Hindu, The Edge (16 March 2019)

PhD Research

Groundwater constitutes the main source of water for drinking, domestic use, irrigation and industrial demands in India which makes the country, the major groundwater user and exploiter in the world. Excessive reliance on groundwater results in falling of water table and deterioration of water quality in several areas. Existing legal scenario and government policies of providing water-related subsidies to various sectors severely influences groundwater extraction. This doctoral research aims to examine the implications of water-related subsidies on groundwater access and extraction and assess it from social and environmental equity dimensions. It also examines how the existing legal framework addresses the issues caused by water-related subsidies on quality and quantity of groundwater and how harmonisation of developmental and environmental conservation aspects could be achieved through application of certain environmental law principles to ensure sustainable development of groundwater resources.


  • Gayathri D.Naik, ‘Right to Environment in India: From a Gender Perspective’, (2020) 22 (3) Vermont Journal of Environmental Law {Forthcoming}
  • Gayathri D Naik, Review of Leslie -Anne Duvic-Paoli Prevention Principle in International Environmental Law (CUP 2018) pp:390 ISBN:978-1-108-42941-2 9 in Yearbook of International Environmental Law (2019, Volume 29, OUP).
  • Book Review: Andrea Ballestero, A Future History of Water (Duke University Press 2019) LSE Review of Books (4 November 2019).
  • Gayathri D Naik, Review of Gabriel Eckstein, The International Law of Transboundary Groundwater Resources (Earthscan 2017) in Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law (2019, Volume 22 Issue 1, Edward Elgar).
  • Gayathri D Naik, ‘Groundwater Regulation in India: Applicability of Public Trust Doctrine and Right to Participation in Decision Making to achieve Right to Water’, in Javaid Rehman and Ayesha Shahid(eds) Asian Year Book of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (volume 2, Brill | Nijhoff 2018). Chapter DOI: 10.1163/9789004346888_012.


  • Paper Titled “Brazilia Declaration and Beyond:  Role of Courts in Ensuring Water Justice and Environmental Rule of Law In India” accepted for 2nd World Environmental Law Congress organized by IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and UN Environment to be held at Supreme Court of Rio de Janeiro from March 23-27 2020 [Forthcoming].
  • Paper titled ‘Role of Courts in evolution, implementation and compliance of Environmental Law: A South Asian Perspective’ accepted for 5 th UCL-KCL Environmental Law Symposium 2020 to be held on February 21 2020 [Forthcoming].
  • Rapporteur for 10th Donor Harmonisation Group Meeting Programme, “Leaving No-one Behind: The role of Higher Education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Access, Equity and Social Cohesion” held between 20-22 November 2019 organized by Association of Commonwealth Universities, British Council & the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, London, United Kingdom.
  • Paper titled “Right to Clean and Safe Environment in India: From a Gender Perspective presented at 10th Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship held on September 21 2019, Vermont Law School, USA.
  • Paper titled, ‘Intersectoral water allocation of groundwater in India and water scarcity in cities: Human right to water v Human right to food?’  presented at the 2018 IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, on ‘The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience’ at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (July 4-6, 2018).
  • Presented a paper titled- ‘Nonstate actors and turbulent water: Role of Non-State Actors in development, management and dispute settlement in International Water Law’ in the 10th Ph.D. colloquium in SOAS (8 June 2018).
  • Part of Organizing team of ‘Designing Law and Policy Towards Managing Plastics in a Circular Economy’ organized by Law Development and Environment Centre, SOAS on 2 June 2018, at SOAS
  • Paper titled ‘Analysis of Child Rights and Access to Safe Drinking Water in India’ presented at One-day Workshop on ‘Children’s Right To Health organized by Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health (CORTH) School of Global Studies, University of Sussex held on 11th December 2017.


  • High Court of Kerala
  • Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK
  • Law Development and Environment Centre, SOAS University of London
  • IUCN-World Commission on Environmental Law



Environmental Law, Water Law, Human Rights, Public International Law, Constitutional Law of India, Conflict of Law, Legal Theory, Gender Equality