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NLU-Mumbai receives 3,000+ applicants for entrance test (General update)

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NLU-Mumbai receives 3,000+ applicants for entrance test (General update)

Things appear to finally be looking up for the national law university at Mumbai. Apart from getting a temporary campus at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the university has also seen a healthy interest amongst pre-law students.

The university has received over 3,000 applications for its first entrance examination, to be held early next month.

Speaking to Bar & Bench, Prof. Bhavani Panda revealed that the university has also received a fairly large number of applications in response to faculty advertisements. Prof. Panda is looking to recruit faculty on a contractual basis, focusing on getting younger staff with a few retired or senior professors to act as mentors.

He hopes to complete the recruitment process by the first week of July, a month before the academic session officially begins.

When it does, students will attend classes at a temporary structure set up within the TISS campus. The campus within a campus will include classrooms and a separate library; students will be also allowed to use the TISS library as well as the TISS mess.

As far as hostel accommodation is concerned, Prof. Panda says that he has already finalized a hostel for 30 boys, and the one for girls will be finalized soon.

By working over the weekend, with a weekly off every Wednesday, Panda hopes to minimize any friction between his undergraduate students and the post-graduate students of TISS.

It has certainly not been the ideal start for NLU-Mumbai; far from it. The initial plans to construct the campus at Yusuf Ismail University were shelved after protests from Muslim organisations. Even plans to use the University as a temporary base had to be discarded. In fact, it was unclear whether the university would commence operations this year at all.

Full credit, says Prof Panda, ought to be given to the current Director of TISS, Prof. Parasuramam S for the change of fortunes. Prof. Parasuramam has been extremely supportive of the entire venture. What has also helped is the presence of some proactive judges in the university’s executive council.

As far as the long-term is concerned, Prof. Panda says that the TISS campus will function for a minimum of three years, within which time the NLU-M campus shall be set up. He is currently looking at a 100-odd acres close to the state judicial academy, although nothing has been finalised yet.

Of course, in the larger scheme of things, NLU-M is a classic example of the politics of education. For a while now, NLUs are seen as a way to score brownie points with little, if any, prior planning in actually setting up the institute. Maharashtra, for instance, has plans to open two other NLUs, in Nagpur and Aurangabad. In all likelihood, the notification for the same shall be published this year itself.