On 26th November 2018 we celebrate Constitution Day. Sixty-nine years ago on 26th November 1949 the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India. Do younger generations of Indians born well after Independence understand the importance of the legacy and values embedded in the Constitution?

The Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) has initiated the National Constitution Society (NCS). NCS provides students with a means to critically engage with the Constitution. NCS is a network of Constitution societies in colleges/universities across India.

On 23rd November 2018, CLPR is organizing the NCS Convention, which will bring together Student Delegates from institutions across the country and grant them the opportunity to engage with academics, lawyers and activists.

NCS Convention is supported by Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF).

National Constitution Society Convention

AGENDA (as of 19.11.18)

08.15 am – 09.00 am: Breakfast

09.00 am – 09.15 am: Welcome and Introduction

 09.15 am – 10.15 am: Session I – Why Does Indian Constitutional & Political History Matter?

The Constitution of India, 1950 was shaped over a long historical period by several legal and political processes. This development of constitutional ideas in the 19th/20th centuries has increasing relevance to India’s future in the 21st century.

 Prof Sucheta Mahajan, Professor and Chairperson, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Prof Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Discussant), Managing Trustee, Centre for Law and Policy Research; Professor and Director, School of Policy & Governance, Azim Premji University

 10.15 am – 11.15 am: Session II – Supreme Court’s Push for Equality

Equality cases have come the fore in Indian political life and the Supreme Court in 2018. This panel will examine key cases and their potential to reshape Indian society in the years ahead.

Hasina Khan, Founder Member, Bebaak Collective

Akkai Padmashali, Founder, Ondede; Transgender Rights Activist

Jayna Kothari (Moderator), Executive Director, Centre for Law and Policy Research; Advocate, Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court of India.

11.15 am – 11.30 am: Tea

 11.30 pm – 12.30 pm: Session III – Gender and Sexuality in the Supreme Court

The Constitution envisions a secular pluralistic society, where individuals have the fundamental right to declare and practice any faith. However, inherent in this vision is a tension between different sets of individuals’ claim to this right. How does the Supreme Court balance competing claims to the right to freedom of religion?

 Flavia Agnes, Co-Founder, MAJLIS; Women’s Rights Lawyer

Arvind Narrain, Founding Member, Alternative Law Forum; Human Rights Lawyer and Activist

 Prof Arun Thiruvengadam (Moderator), Professor, Azim Premji University

 12.30pm – 01.30 pm: Session IV – The 21st Century Indian Constitution

The emergence of a vital constitutional culture is key to ensuring the preservation of the Indian Constitution promotion of constitutional values. This session will examine how a student culture around the Constitution can be built and what it would take for the development of liberal constitutionalism in India.

Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director, Human Rights Alert

Prof Sanjay Jain, Associate Professor, ILS Law College

 01.30 pm – 02.30 pm: Lunch

02.30 pm – 03.30 pm: Session V – A National Constitution Society for India: The Need for Student Action

This session will look at the need for a National Constitution Society in India and its goals and objectives. It will also examine the role for student action in creating and sustaining a vital constitutional culture.

 Prof Babu Mathew, Visiting Professor, National Law School of India University; Trade Union Activist

 03.30 pm – 05.00 pm: Session VI – Organizing a National Constitutional Society: Structure and Agenda

This panel will explore different models of organizational structure that the Society could adopt and an Agenda for its work in 2019.

 Sidharth Chauhan, Assistant Professor, NALSAR University of Law

Vineeth Krishna, Centre for Law and Policy Research

Kruthika R, Centre for Law and Policy Research

 05.00 pm – 05.15 pm: Final Remarks and Vote of Thanks

5.15 pm – 5.45 pm: High Tea

 05.45 pm – 06.45 pm: Student Delegates Plenary Session

07.15 pm – 09.00 pm: Convention Dinner