In 2017 India celebrated 70 years of Independence from British colonial rule. In 2018, Indians born in the 21st century will for the first time become eligible to vote for their own government. Do younger generations of Indians born well after Independence and the adoption of a new Constitution understand the legacy and values of the freedom movement in India? How do they understand the ambition of the Constitution of India to transform a traditional and hierarchical society into a modern and secular republic of India committed to the pursuit of economic and social justice? How does the Constitution matter in their everyday life?

In 2018, the Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore (CLPR) will initiate a network of Constitution societies in schools and colleges across India to be known as the National Constitution Society (NCS). Through its institutional chapters and a central Society, it will critically engage with India’s constitutional inheritance: As a first step, the NCS will recognize the normative and institutional foundations of a democratic society as encoded in the Constitution; second, it will critically interrogate the implementation of the constitutional vision of founders of the Indian republic; and third, it will take stock of the challenges to the constitution posed by efforts that seek to restore traditional caste, religious, gender and class hierarchies in India.

The NCS will have a diverse and large number of member institutions with eminent lawyers, civil society leaders and activists. CLPR will work with this network to organise activities that will include:

  • National events like the Conquest Quiz, Parliamentary Debates, Model Parliaments and Model Constituent Assemblies to promote active engagement with the Constitution.
  • Facilitate popular engagement and understanding of the role of the Supreme Court as the interpreter of the Constitution.
  • Conduct workshops making Indian constitutional history relevant to everyday debates.
  • Host regular meetings, in collaboration with school and university chapters of the NCS, eminent judges, lawyers and academics to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the role the Constitution plays in our everyday life;

All India National Constitution Society Convention

 In October 2018, CLPR will organise a one-day All India National Constitution Society Convention that will bring together student delegates from institutions across the country along with academics, lawyers and activists. The Convention will be an opportunity to critically engage with the Indian constitution and develop a plan to preserve, protect and promote constitutional values in the 21st century.

The Convention will facilitate collaboration and engagement between student members of the NCS along with eminent lawyers, civil society leaders and retired Judges who will be patrons and will be the first step towards the establishing the NCS as an independent Society. 

If your institution/club/society/group would like to join this society or for more information please write to: nationalconstitutionsociety@clpr.org.in