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Prof (Dr) KC Sunny was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Advanced Legal Studies in January last year
In January last year Prof (Dr) KC Sunny was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), Kochi. In this interview conducted by Ayushi Singh, Prof. Sunny discusses the impact of Covid on NUALS, his passion for teaching, and a whole lot more.
How has NUALS adapted to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Owing to the spread of Covid-19, NUALS was forced to suspend regular classes with effect from 10 March 2020. However, within two weeks online classes were started and course requirements for the even semester have been completed by the end of May 2020. Student evaluation for the final year students was also completed by the first week of June and the result was published on 30th June 2020.
As usual the odd semester started on 1st July itself. The classes have been arranged from 08:30AM to 03:00 PM on the basis of a fixed timetable.
Other course requirements like internal examinations, assignments, presentations etc are also being completed.
To make online classroom transactions more effective, nearly one hundred videos containing the lectures of experts in various branches of Law have been uploaded. In addition eight webinars have been arranged. Participation of experts having national and international reputation has been ensured in these webinars.
One of the significant achievement of NUALS during the pandemic period is the completion of project ‘A Study on the Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Socio-Economic Life of Kerala Villages with Special Reference to Strategies Adopted to Combat Challenges Posed’.
It is pertinent to note that the data collection has been done by the students by way of door-to-door collection of information strictly following Covid-19 protocol.
In online classes, the percentage of attendance is more than 95 percent. Apart from that the examinations are also been scheduled in Moodle platform for the LL.M. students.
What do you enjoy most about teaching law?
The most enjoyable part of teaching Law is the classroom transaction based on current developments in law. Since law is a dynamic subject every week there may be dozens of judgments pronounced by Indian Courts / Tribunals, Adjudicatory bodies of other jurisdictions and International and Regional Adjudicatory bodies.
Introducing a topic through current developments is a challenge; for example in this week the action of Supreme Court against Prashant Bhushan may be the basis for introducing a topic related to Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Professional Ethics, Law & Society, Jurisprudence etc.
Thus, through current developments the teacher can introduce specific legal provisions and its interpretations.
Through this process, the social and curiosity quotient of the students can be increased.
Who was the one law teacher who has had the greatest influence on you?
Professor Upendra Baxi for multiple reasons.
Firstly his research mind especially in the matter of presenting things with authoritative reference, a quality acquired from his own mentor, none other than Julius Stone.
Secondly the original ideas mooted in writing and oral presentations.
Thirdly, his commitment to the values of democracy and human rights.
Fourthly his magnanimity in giving due regard to the opinion of youngsters.
Finally, his critical mind, especially in criticizing all developments in society including the approach of the judiciary.
Why do you think one should study law?
The legal profession is one of the oldest professions and this profession acquired new horizon in this globalized world. The employment potential of law graduates is increasing in public and private sector with an alarming speed, crossing the boundaries of nation.
Out of the 3 organs of the government namely executive, legislative and judiciary, the judiciary is fully manned by law graduates with the support of bar consisting of trained lawyers. In legislature and executive, participation of law graduate is substantial.
In the corporate world, scope for employment as legal managers and professional practice as corporate lawyers (both as individual and firms) is increasing day by day. In addition the international institutions including United Nations and its agencies need the services of legal experts.
From the last quarter of 21st Century, importance of legal studies as an academic discipline is increasing. In the new academic disciplines like Human rights, Intellectual Property rights, Local Governance, Defense Studies, Gender Studies, Environmental Studies, Consumer Studies, International Trade, the role of Legal Studies is dominant or substantive and consequently job potential of Post Graduates and Researchers in law is on an increase.
(Ayushi Singh is a Campus Ambassador with Bar & Bench)