On 20th August 2016, the Centre for Law and Policy Research organized the National Finals of ConQuest 2016 : India’s first national-level quiz on Indian Constitution, History, and Politics with the support of the Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). The Venue was the Indian Society of International Law, Delhi.
Participants of the National Finals included the winners and runners-up of the four Regional Rounds that were held across the country. Over 200 hundred teams, from varied disciplines – political science, history, engineering, law, Buddhist studies etc. – participated in the Regional Rounds. The teams that made it to the National Finals from the four zones were:
- South Zone: two teams from National Law School of India University, Bangalore
- West Zone: one team from Symbiosis Law School, Pune and one team from VM Salgaoncar College of Law, Goa;
- East Zone: one team from College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar and one team from National Law University, Cuttack;
- North Zone: one team from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and one team from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
The National Finals of ConQuest 2016 consisted of Potpourri rounds – direct questions on diverse topics; a long visual connect round – where teams had to identify a common theme when shown images of personalities, events, and concepts; a 3 clue round – where teams had to come up with an answer on the basis of clues provided, and finally a buzzer round. During the initial stages of the quiz, JNU had a lead and seemed to be destined to finish at the top. The Long Visual Connect round, however, saw two NLSIU teams overtake JNU.
In the last buzzer round, the NLSIU team comprising Jaydev CS and Abhishek Choudhary, put in a magnificent performance and accumulated substantial points and emerged as the Champions of ConQuest 2016. They won a cash prize of Rs. 25,000. The second team from NLSIU – Sarthak Gupta and Aradhya Sethia – were not far behind and became the First Runners up and took home a cash prize of Rs. 15,000. The JNU team – comprising of Karthik Manickam and Mohit Srivastava – were the second runners-up and won a cash prize of Rs. 10,000.
The quiz was designed to draw from on multiple disciplines including politics, history, law, and international affairs.CLPR’s objective of encouraging participation and engagement with the Indian Constitution by non-law students was achieved – almost all regional rounds saw non-law teams reaching the Regional Finals. The National Finals had three teams which were non-law teams: JNU (Economics), St Stephen’s College (History) and CET Bhubaneswar (Engineering).
The Chief Guests were Professor M.P. Singh, an eminent academic who writes popular constitutional law commentaries and related books, and Dr. Ronald Meinardus, Director of the Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Professor. Singh appreciated the ingenuity of the quiz as a means to encourage students from all disciplines to engage with the Constitution. Dr. Meinardus applauded ConQuest 2016 and saw it as an event that disseminates liberal democratic values which lie at the core of the Indian Constitution. Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Co-Founder, Centre for Law and Policy Research, argued that the durability and relevance of the Indian Constitution can only happen in the context of a constitutional culture. He saw the ConQuest Quiz as a means to do so. He ended his remarks by thanking all the regional partners involved in ConQuest 2016: School of Law, Christ University; Symbiosis Law School; KIIT Law School and the Indian Law Institute. ConQuest 2016 was a spectacular success and shall be an annual event.