Whether it is through citizens applying for an Aadhar card or procuring rice from a PDS shop, the Indian state is constituted by negotiations, procedures and sometimes even violence on the ground. An understanding of the nature of modern state within the Indian society is indispensable for any practicing professional. How does the State work on the ground? What does it look like in everyday practice and how has it come to take a central role in social life in India? How do public policies negotiate social conditions? We will unpack the sovereign Indian state and how it interacts with regional, local authority and within cultural contexts. This course uses ethnographic, qualitative and theoretical work to understand the practices of governance, the contemporary relationship between the modern state and Indian society, processes of governance (whether the bureaucracy or culture) and the exercise of authority.