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A Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was launched on Monday at the Faculty of Law, Manav Rachna University by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The Centre was inaugurated in the presence of former Chief Justice of India RC Lahoti.
Also present at the event were Sonal Goel (IAS), HUDA Administrator; Gopal Sharma, BJP Faridabad President; Prashant Bhalla, President of the Manav Rachna Educational Institutions; and IK Bhat, Vice-Chancellor of Manav Rachna University, among others. Many eminent dignitaries from the legal fraternity were also present..
In his address to aspiring law students, Ravi Shankar Prasad said,
“In today’s context, Institutional arbitration is very important. And, in that respect, I am very happy to inaugurate this CoE on ADR. This shall encourage, in a fast way arbitration and mediation processes”.
He went on to explain why such efforts to promote arbitration in India should be made, remarking,
“I have a passion that India must become a center of international and domestic arbitration. India must become a big hub of international and domestic arbitration.”
Among the suggestions made to improve the quality of arbitration in India was to make the panel of arbitrators a varied panel. He pondered why relevant experts should not be made part of the arbitral panel depending on the kind of dispute. To cite an example, he queried, “In case of banking disputes, what is the harm if a retired banker from the Government of India is also in the panel?“
He also appealed to the students to keep a heart of gold for the needy and to provide them free legal advice once they become practicing lawyers.
In his welcome address, Prashant Bhalla commented,
“The justice delivery system in India has come under great stress for several reasons, one of them being the huge pendency of cases in courts underlining the need for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods. The COE in ADR at Manav Rachna shall provide students opportunities to explore issues from different perspectives.”
On the occasion, a Gold Medal for overall Excellence in Law was also instituted by Justice Lahoti in the memory of his father, RL Lahoti. This medal is to be given to the best performing law student who showcases exemplary academic and people skills.
The Centre of Excellence on ADR is a functional unit under the aegis of the Faculty of Law, Manav Rachna University. It is established with the purpose of conducting and promoting research and generating and disseminating knowledge in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms.
To achieve the purpose, the Centre intends to conduct training programs, workshops and simulation exercises to advance experiential learning in the field of ADR, both adjudicatory (Arbitration) and consensual (negotiation, mediation, and conciliation). The workshops and training are designed and curated to suit the requirements of participants interested in practicing ADR.