Constitution and Public Policy: The Present Context – Lecture by Hon’ble Justice P. B. Sawant

CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY, FLAME UNIVERSITY
EMINENT LECTURE SERIES
CONSTITUTION AND PUBLIC POLICY: THE PRESENT CONTEXT
LECTURE DELIVERED BY: HON’BLE JUSTICE P. B. SAWANT
(Ex-Judge, Supreme Court of India)
Date: 27th November 2015.

THE VISION

The constitution of India, the most indispensable law of the land, provides the basic guidelines for the public policies in its formulation and implementation stages. In the instances of conflict in the formulation and implementation of the policies with regard to the breach of the fundamental rights or any other provisions of the constitution. The constitution empowers the Judiciary to adjudicate for consonance of the policy in accordance with the constitution. Hence the integration of the constitution and public policy is to be reviewed recurrently.

In the present time, we have witnessed formulation of some of the most noteworthy rights-based public policies as a result of the interpretation of the ‘Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policies’ by the judiciary. We are also witnessing the lackadaisical execution in some of the instances. In this regard the conflict and struggles of implementation provides an important framework to be examined and analysed.

SESSION AT FLAME UNIVERSITY

There was an air of excitement, as students, faculty members and staff of FLAME University gathered in large numbers for the lecture on the ‘Constitution and public policy: the present context’, to be delivered by- Hon’ble Justice P.B. Sawant.

After the brief introduction to the topic and the guest of the evening by the chairperson, and the Provost, Justice Sawant delivered his lecture on the topic.

He underlined the significance of the constitution, especially the preamble to the constitution and highlighted the salient features of the same. He referred to the present day challenges and ensuing debates in the country on some of the significant aspects of the constitution and how these have consequences for policy implementation. The Justice spoke at length on the issues of farmers, breach of fundamental rights of citizens and development issues.

The session was followed by questions from students of FLAME University. No doubt it was a serious topic, but the thirst for knowledge among students was palpable.

BREIF ON HOW IT CAME ABOUT

The Indian constitution was adopted on 26th November 1949 and in order to celebrate the occasion, Government of India has declared 26th November as the Indian Constitution Day, and embarked on a year-long celebration. In order to celebrate the constitution and public policy, we at FLAME University organized the Inaugural Eminent Lecture Series which was delivered by Hon’ble Justice P. B. Sawant.

One of the most significant objectives of the lecture on the subject of the “Constitution and public policy: the present context” was to sensitize the faculty and students on the Constitution of India primarily, and to understand the various compulsions on the Judiciary for directing the Executive and adjudicating in implementation of the policies.

The Eminent Lecture Series is an important activity of the Centre for Public Policy, introducing the students and faculty to thought processes of the eminent scholars, practitioners and leaders from the different fields of public policy.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE SESSION

The students understood the policy making process and the directives that come from the constitution. It was an important lecture that highlighted importance of public policy, especially social development policies, and the law of the land. The event motivated the students to bring the debate on development and policies back on the agenda and generated interest in public policy courses that are being offered at FLAME University.

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