Sunday, February 17, 2019
 News Details
National Law University In J & K - Yes , but first cure existing legal studies system

By B L Saraf

On 12TH Instant , Jammu and Kashmir Legislature passed a Bill for establishment of National law University in the Stte . The Bill went through despite stiff resistance of the opposition members . They opposed it on the plea that the State has opened so many Universities in J &K but failed to provide them with an “excellent infrastructure and faculty. ”

What has been said in opposition to the establishment of the National Law University may be a charitable view taken of the matter . Situation is quite grim . Leave alone providing ‘ an excellent infrastructure and faculty “ requirements needed by these law schools and the departments, to impart quality legal education, are , at best , half met . Speaking out of personal experience which I have gathered on account of my frequent interactions with staff and students of these institutions , I find great merit in member’s argument raised to oppose the Bill.

Every time one comes out of these laws Schools and the departments contradictory thoughts cross mind . Some very heartening ! Some quite dismal and depressing . Heartening ,when we see very brilliant young boys and girls having taken to the Law education as a first choice , quite in contrast to what it used to be in our times - where studying law was a third option . Medicine and Engineering , respectively , being first and the second choice . Quite depressing , when they don’t find adequate facilities to meet their studying demands . The teaching faculty is woefully short in numbers . It must be said to the credit of those who manage the faculty that despite their numerous challenges they do their best to meet the academic requirement of the students .

Ailment of the Legal Education system can be diagnosed , broadly , as under ;

Insufficiency of the teaching faculty and lack of supporting administrative staff
Almost all the institutions in the State –private or public – suffer from shortage of teaching staff . Whatever is available, even in government institutions , comprises , mostly , of teachers who for years have been engaged on contractual basis , with no certainty of the tenure . They go on working on a consolidated salary , devoid of service benefits which an ordinary public servant in other public department enjoys . Career progression chances are nowhere in the sight . Teachers feel so stagnated and jaded as to lose all interest in the job . Still then they carry on ,almost , in a mission mode . It is great tribute to their commitment and dedication that most of teachers have survived in the profession .No wonder some of the best teacher in these institutes have left the job for some other pursuits , not commensurate to their academic qualifications . Thus inflicting an inculpable loss to the society at large .

Situation in the private institutions which teach law is far worse for the teaching staff . True , these institutions have financial constraints . Some among them have shut the shop . There is an urgent need for upward revision in the decade old fee structure.

Across the institutions , supporting administrative staff is too meager . Even for a petty administrative job services of a teacher is required . There are very few trained computer operators .

Lack of Proper infrastructure

Every such institution has infrastructural problem of one kind or the other .Accommodation is not sufficient to arrange for a Moot Court and Seminars , so essential part of the legal studies curriculum . Elsewhere , law education is imparted in a scientific atmosphere where computer laboratories / libraries are used with scientific precisions to equip the students to meet the challenges ahead .
We have so many Universities in the state . All of them are beset with the same problems . Be it the Cluster Universities , the Central Universities or the out station University campuses - identical complaints flow . It has been years that Central Universities have come up in J & K . How ironic that both operate from , insufficient privately rented premises -mired in one controversy or the other . One of them has shifting problem . Instead of spending on academic activities bulk of the funds go on paying rent to the private parties .

Out dated Syllabus

Much water has flown down the river ever since syllabus of legal studies was prescribed in J &K . There has been a paradigm shift in the curriculum of law studies across the globe . Our country has not lagged behind to fine tune the syllabus to meet local and global challenges . In our case , much of the Legal studies syllabus and the Laws have become redundant and obsolete . Whole focus of civil law has turned round ADR , International Arbitration and other time saving and cost effective modes of resolving disputes . Ways and means are being devised and new tools are being forged to meet the challenge which justice delivery system faces in the country . So , there is imperative need for updating and fine tuning the Legal Studies Syllabus so as to bring it in conformity with the rest of the country . In this regard guidance can be had from the newly constituted State Law Commission and the Bar Council of India . The exercise will help train law graduates to the emerging legal and judicial imperatives .

No Sarava Shiksha Abhyaan for the Universities

Intention of the government to have a Law University in the State may be genuine . But before proceeding further in the matter it will be advisable to make good the deficiencies in the existing facilities and render them deliverable . Well, it may be a State’s duty to spread literacy to the grass root level across the country and take every child to the school and make him educated .For which there is a need for a school at the door step . Nevertheless , proliferating approach with respect to the University Education and over stretching the tottering financial system may prove counterproductive . Quality and not the quantity in the higher education must be insisted upon . Education and health cannot be the doles thrown out to catch votes.

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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