Prateek Naval Virk won 1st Prize in Nani Palkhivala Quiz on Constitutional Law, 2020 which was held on 2nd February 2020 . He has been interviewed by EBC/SCC Online Ambassador Vijaya Singh Gautam.
- It will be great if you can introduce yourselves to the readers!
I am a final year law student at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala. I have lived most of my life in Patiala. While being a law student can be hectic at times, I enjoy reading, traveling, music and movies.
- Tell us more about the event? How to effectively prepare for the competition?
The NaniPalkhivala Quiz on Constitutional Law was started in 2019 as part of birth centenary celebrations of NaniPalkhivala, an eminent advocate by LexConsilium Foundation, with an aim to motivate students and young professionals to imbibe the sterling qualities of hard work, integrity and patriotism.
So, far as the Competition is concerned, it is open to all students pursuing a full time undergraduate programme in any recognised university in India. Each college has to send a team of 2 students. The Competition is divided into two rounds (individual round and team round) which are held on the same day. The Individual round involves a Written Test wherein 100 questions have to be answered in 90 minutes with the top three highest scorers winning the round and the cash prize. The top eight teams (cumulative of individual scores) emerging winners enter into the Oral round which was conducted by Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde.
The preparation for both the rounds is quite distinct. For the written round, you need to be thorough with the provisions of the Indian Constitution, the landmark constitutional cases and to a certain event, constitutional history. Thus, reading the bare act and remembering landmark constitutional bench decisions is sufficient. However, as it is an individual round, you don’t have the luxury of relying upon your teammate in case you falter. Thus, in order to avoid such precarious situations, its best to cover all the bases.
For the oral round, I must say its best to be prepared for the unexpected as the questions are not delimited to constitutional perspective but can vary in their range. You have a partner in this round but having a grasp over current affairs and general knowledge wouldn’t hurt.
- What motivates you to participate in quizzes/ events alike?
I have always participated in wide range of extra curricular activities since my school days so, I would say I have a natural inclination towards such events and certainly there has never been any dearth of motivation. Such events have been a constant source of fun and exaltation for me.
However, during my time at Law School, travelling has become a bonanza which has acted as a major source of motivation to participate in such events. It sometimes become mundane to repeat the same schedule everyday especially at law schools so, such competitions are not only useful in testing the depths of your knowledge but also in exploring new avenues and obviously, being a foodie at heart, trying the new restaurants which often plague small town kids like me (laughs)!.
- What are your career goals and how does quizzing contribute to the same?
I plan to give Civil Service Examination after I complete my Law School. I wouldn’t say quizzing is helpful to me in my preparation per se however, it has helped me in enhancing my knowledge base over the years as a result, I have developed a curiosity about the different fields of knowledge and not strictly towards my academic syllabi. How far will it contribute to me in the long run is a question, only time can tell!
- How important as per you is legal research in the legal field?
I believe it is the most important aspect in the legal field and its not limited merely helping you in getting a deeper and more fundamental understanding of law but it can enhance your logical thinking as your brain ventures into areas where it would have never gone but for legal research. Academically speaking, if you apply abroad for your masters, research papers hold a lot of value and in the field of academia, having published papers on your CV, gives you a distinctive edge.
For practising lawyers, being a solid legal researcher is an essential prior to becoming an advocate of any credibility. Also, in the fast changing world with vast technological advancements coming everyday, it is essential to frame a legal framework to regulate the modern technologies such as Big Data, Cryptocurrency, Quantum technology etc and for that legal research is a prerequisite.
- Message to the readers!
I think an important advice would be to participate in all extra curricular activities, not just mooting or quizzing. One should not get bogged down by the fact that during their schooling years, they did not participate in any such activities.
Also, a special message to 5th year students like me would be to keep working towards your goals and objectives, without getting diverted and affected by the world around you. Everyone works at their own pace, and hence patience, perseverance and persistence are the virtues, one should definitely look forward to in their approach towards career and life goals. Be open to learning from others and always keep doing new things, ones that keep you interested.