(This article first appeared in ThePrint)
The fifth edition of ConQuest, India’s premier national quiz on the Constitution, history, constitutional law and politics, is taking place online. The quiz is an initiative by the Centre for Law & Policy Research (CLPR).
Two out of four knockout rounds were conducted on 10-11 October, with 16 teams participating. Four teams — Delhi University’s St. Stephen’s College and Hindu College, one team from West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences and one from Symbiosis Law School — claimed spots in the grand finale to be held on 25 October.
More than 180 three-member teams from across disciplines had participated in the preliminary rounds held on 3-4 October.
Mixed bag of questions, some multiple-choice
The knockouts were structured into three types of rounds — ‘Potpourri’, ‘List It!’ and ‘Kahoot’, with the latter two focusing on multiple-choice questions.
Teams stumbled on a question that showed four pictures. A hut, a green and white flag with an arrow, B.R. Ambedkar and a poster of the 2011 film Miley Naa Miley Hum were displayed on a screen and teams had to find the connection between them. Many guessed Chirag Paswan and the Lok Janshakti Party, due to the movie poster from the LJP leader’s acting days and the green and white flag of the party. However, the specific answer was Ram Vilas Paswan who was also an Ambedkarite and a legislator from the Samyukta Socialist Party, denoted by the symbol of a hut.
In ‘List It!’, teams were shown a grid of nine answers to a question, six of which were correct. They had to pick the right answers in under a minute — 500 points for every correct pick and zero points if even one was wrong. St. Stephen’s, for example, was asked to pick ‘Items on the Concurrent List’, out of options like factories, bankruptcy, fisheries, labour disputes, electricity, newspapers and printing press. They chose tolls, an incorrect pick that led a quiz facilitator to quip, “Looks like that took a toll on them.”
Many participants were stumped when presented with pictures of two unnamed statesmen (K.M. Munshi and Gopalaswamy Ayyangar) who came up with a formula in 1949. Teams were then asked to identify what decision was made using the formula that ended up forming the basis for a part of the Constitution. Only St. Stephen’s correctly identified it as the official languages of the Union.
The Munshi-Ayyangar formula — named after constituent assembly members K.M. Munshi and N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar — emerged amid heated debates in the Constituent Assembly on the issue of a national language. The assembly eventually came to a compromise by adopting a formula that defined the official languages of the Union and made no mention of a national language for India.
Almost all teams correctly identified Bilkis from Shaheen Bagh as the Indian, representing a certain location, who was featured in TIME Magazine’s list of ‘100 Most Influential People of 2020’. All teams also nailed their task to arrange four movements led by Mahatma Gandhi — Champaran Satyagraha, Non-Cooperation Movement, Quit India Movement and Salt Satyagraha — in chronological order.
The teams that made it
The eight teams that participated in the first knockout included the National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi; a team from West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences; Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, New Delhi; St Stephen’s, New Delhi; and one team each from Symbiosis Law School, Pune, the National Law Institute University, Bhopal, the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru and NALSAR, Hyderabad.
The two teams that qualified were Delhi’s St. Stephen’s, with 14,377 points, and West Bengal’s NUJS, with 12,457 points.
The eight teams that took part in the second knockout included one from West Bengal’s NUJS; Chanakya National Law University, Patna; University School of Law and Legal Studies, New Delhi; Hindu College, New Delhi; a team from Symbiosis Law School, Pune; Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad and St Joseph’s College (Autonomous).
The two teams that qualified were Symbiosis Law School, with 12,052 points, and Hindu College, with 10,691 points.
ThePrint is the digital partner for the event.