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NALSAR University in Hyderabad has been chosen by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice to conduct a study with a view to improving legal education in India.
The focus of the study will be to garner information on (i) the explicit and implicit barriers to legal education in our country, (ii) concerns about the quality of academic inputs/infrastructure and (iii) the persistent debates surrounding the social outputs from legal education. It will also look at how student diversity can be improved, especially in NLUs, and how universities can better attract quality faculty.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Vaibhav Ganjiwale, Teaching Associate at NALSAR and one of the faculty members involved in the project said,
“Before this, there have been two studies on the topic. One was headed by Prof Upendra Baxi and the other by Justice Ahmadi. But both of these were closed-off sessions held in Delhi. It was suggested that we need to hit the ground and go to all law schools, and not just the NLUs.
We cannot go to all law schools, because there are around 1200 law schools in the country. Most of the national law universities have agreed, and we will begin the visits this month. The intention is to make the study as pervasive as possible.”
The study will be conducted by interviewing Vice-Chancellors, faculty members and students and gathering information from them.
As per this Facebook post by NALSAR Assistant Professor Sidharth Chauhan, the first leg of the study will begin on August 19. Two teams from the University – one including Chauhan and Assistant Professor Jagteshwar Singh Sohi, and another comprising Ganjiwale and Assistant Professor Sudanshu Kumar – will visit national law universities which are more than five years old.
The second phase of the study is likely to begin in November this year, and will cover traditional law colleges and law departments across the country. Additionally, various members of the legal profession will be approached for their opinions.
The target is to submit a report to the Law Ministry by the first half of next year.
“It is the first time that an empirical study is being conducted to map the contours of legal education in India. I have no hesitation in saying that this is among the most crucial projects ever undertaken by NALSAR. And we are more curious than anyone to study its outcomes.
Our aim is to involve all the stakeholders and benefit from their inputs and experience, while making our recommendations.”