Constitutionofindia.net has come a long way since we launched the site on Republic Day in 2016. The first version of the site contained human tagged searchable transcripts of only the Constituent Assembly Debates around fundamental rights and directive principles. Over the next 3-4 years, we expanded the database to include all sittings of the Constituent Assembly and also added a range of Historical Constitutions. We also added informational pages like biographies of Constituent Assembly members, debate summaries, blogposts, desk briefs and even constitutional education materials.
In 2021, we aim to further expand and deepen public engagement with India’s constitutional history and take the site in new directions. One of these is to make the site accessible to a vernacular audience. We are aware thar our site, as it stands, mainly caters to only English-speaking individuals. Large sections of the India’s population read, write and engage with public affairs in regional languages.
And so, this year we aim to make significant progress towards having our core database and informational pages available in regional languages – starting with Hindi and Kannada. There are significant challenges that lay ahead in this endeavour mostly revolving around the formats of available primary materials that make digitization and human tagging excruciatingly hard. But we’re confident of overcoming these as we move along.
We’ve already started this process: Hindi versions of the Constituent Assembly Debates (pdf) are now available - each Constituent Assembly day has a link to a Hindi translation. For now, these are in pdf formats, but we will soon have them digitized in a format that integrates them into the advanced search.
We’ve also been collaborating with the www.sociolegalliterary.in initiative to make some of ConstitutionofIndia.net’s articles available in Hindi.
We’ll keep you posted on our progress. Sometime soon, you may receive a Desk Brief like this one in a regional language of your choice!