This chapter introduces bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and the debates surrounding BITs and investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS). It examines briefly the origin of BITs; their evolution and the current debates on the relationship between BITs and host state’s right to regulate. The chapter also documents the backlash against BITs and ISDS as evidenced in state practice and academic literature. Midst this global backdrop, the chapter introduces the Indian BIT programme and explains the rationale for studying India’s approach towards investment treaties. Given India’s deepening integration with the global economy, a massive BIT programme and the recent developments of India contesting the BIT regime due to increasing BIT cases, necessitates a detailed discussion of the Indian BIT regime.
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