Dear Reader,

Nilima in Assamese translates into Open Skies. Nilima also happens to be my Aita (Grandma). Aita was a humanist philosopher, an educationist, writer and poet. When I think of Aita, I am reminded of someone who had immense curiosity of the world she inhabited, a childlike curiosity, which she treasured, nurtured and held very dear even as she aged. She was also someone with immense courage and an indomitable will to explore unchartered terrain.

Aita named me Abantee, which she adapted from the Italian term Avanti, meaning to go forward! When the first thoughts arrived on taking ahead the idea of connecting the seemingly disparate worlds of law, governance and culture in Assam, I chose to walk with the one who had willed me to go forward. And it's her values that guide us on this journey - an open mind, a curiosity, courage, integrity and an awareness that is Nilima - the vast blue sky.

A Warm Welcome to Studio Nilima

Abantee Dutta

Our Mission
Our Mission
To create an active and engaged knowledge and resource center in Guwahati, Assam in the Northeast of India that works at the intersections of law, culture, governance and civil society
Our Mission
Studio Nilima brings together lawmakers, thinkers, practitioners and learners with people from across the arts with a vision that this will open up many new ways of learning, thinking, research and practice.


Studio Nilima, registered as a Society in 2016 under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, positions itself as an action based, legal and policy collective which seeks to be at the forefront of engaging and initiating dialogues on the contemporary public policy concerns of Northeast of India. Through its activities, the Studio seeks to build linkages between individuals who work in the fields of education, governance, public policy, law and the creative arts. Its practice seeks to develop a body of research that spans from specific research projects, consultancy, publication of journals, books and research reports and enabling a vibrant interdisciplinary forum for legal/policy dialogue, capacity building and networking, particularly for the law students of Northeast India. Read More


  • Cultivate a culture of research and scholarship in the Northeast of India by creating a community of researchers.
  • Build synergy between the various disciplines that intersect with law – between academics, policy makers, artists, law makers, thinkers and practitioners to discover new ways of engagement and practice.
  • Facilitate an engaged and active space for dialogue between thinkers, practitioners and learners foregrounding interdisciplinary research, training and practice.
  • Facilitate innovative and interdisciplinary research on contemporary concerns of the Northeast of India.
  • Empower a new generation of professionals with the expertise and skills to engage in interdisciplinary policy research.
  • Work with educational institutions in innovating, designing and implementing new approaches for training students to facilitate a nuanced understanding of the law and its application.
  • Work with global experts from national and international agencies to foster a culture of research, training and skill development.