Established just 18 months ago, the Karnataka State Law University (KSLU), Hubli, is on a fast-track mode in adopting the latest tools of information technology for academic, communication and administration purposes, while keeping the principles and practices of Mahatma Gandhi, who was a lawyer, as a model for its law students to inculcate value-based legal education.
In an interview with The Hindu EducationPlus, Vice-Chancellor J.S. Patil stresses the importance of technology, though it is not a panacea, in the education system while elaborating on the progress made by the university during the last 18 months and the future plans to ‘Indianise' legal education and to make it respond to global challenges and grab global opportunities.
Following are the excerpts from the interview:
Q: It is stated that the quality of legal education is poor in the State. What has the KSLU done in this regard?
A: The stringent norms initiated by the University had reduced to 6.7 the pass percentage from the previous year's 20 per cent in the first examination conducted after the University started functioning. We have also revised the syllabus, making it relevant, and last year had introduced a new BBA LL.B. course that has a vibrant syllabus.
We have introduced fire-proof, water-proof and tear-proof marks card and biometric system for answer scripts to ensure that examination and evaluation are fool-proof.
What is being done to improve the quality of education in affiliated colleges?
I have decided to visit all the 90 affiliated colleges in the next 30 to 45 days to give orientation to the teaching staff and also to interact with the students. I have visited four colleges during the past three days. The university will also hold training programmes for the teachers to ensure that they efficiently guide the students.
When will the Ph.D. programmes begin? What measures are being taken to ensure quality of research?
Focus will be on supporting empirical research. We are planning to admit about 80 students for Ph.D. programmes this year. The university is planning to conduct a test for selecting the candidates.
Is there any plan to start an industry-oriented new course?
There is a plan to start a MBA in Executive Law for those who complete the BBA LL.B. course. I am trying to associate with the London School of Economics for this programme. However, this will take a couple of years and the course will be ready for offer when students of first batch of four-year BBA LL.B. complete their course.
We also want to start a one-year LL.M. course in Intellectual Property Rights from our Bangalore regional centre. The process of identifying a land for construction of the regional centre is going on.
What was the response to the university's initiative to make wearing of khadi uniform a day in the week compulsory and singing the National Anthem?
The response is positive. Singing the National Anthem everyday and wearing khadi clothes every Monday is to inculcate patriotism among law students, and the University is happy that the movement received good response.
What are the new initiatives of the University?
We are providing an opportunity to all the law students to connect with the legal professionals and other law schools in the world by creating a platform on www.martindale.com of Martindale-Hubbell Connected, a U.S.-based networking site for legal professionals.
This will expose the students to the legal profession globally.
The university is organising a rally in association with the Gandhi Peace Foundation and the affiliated law colleges in Bangalore on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi Jayanthi on October 2.
The aim of the rally is to promote the principles of Gandhiji, who was a great lawyer.