Opening more NLU’s or something else?

judges desk with gavel and scales

Kaustav Ghosh

“Education is the manifestation of perfection already in a man”

-Swami Vivekananda

It has been 12 years since I have left my high school Howrah Vivekananda Institution, but the teachings of swamiji which was taught in my school days remains fresh in my mind. My school has completed 101 years this year and going strong, spreading the teachings of Ramakrishna, Swamiji, Ma Sarada and will continue to do so. It is a bengali medium.

Now you can ask me why this introduction? Why I have started this article by stating the name of my school. To let you introduced my struggle-It is the burning problem of India. People who have not studied in English medium in their high school are facing several difficulties in colleges. First they could not understand the lectures given by the Professors in English, Second they face bully as they could not speak smart english(though some of them knows english better than them), third lack of help from professor to get rid out of this linguistic barrier, Fourth the classmate they got are not at all sympathetic to them.

But believe me, I am telling you as a student of bengali medium when you believe in yourself then no barrier is bigger than your effort. I feel proud of my mother tongue and to the fact that I belong to bengali medium which helped me to learn my mother tongue. In fact when some people tried to mock me about my spoken english skill, I taunt them back as they being bengali do not know their mother tongue. It is always about the positivity inside, it is always about the strong mindset which helps you to fight back. I kept quiet and started to learn everyday all about english. I have started not to repeat same mistake, started getting better and never gave up learning. Yes, I am not a celebrity but still my blog have reached 140 nations within its 352 days and 41k+ views. Most of them are coming from U.S.A, Brasil and U.K. My first poetry book ‘A Bengali Patriot’- its 11 copies were sold in foreign countries.

In U.S.A my books are available in ๐๐š๐ซ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ, ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฌ, ๐‡๐ฎ๐๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐’๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ, ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ-๐€-๐Œ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐จ๐ง, ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐œ, ๐๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ, ๐„๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐จ๐ญ๐ญ ๐›๐š๐ฒ ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐ฒ, ๐–๐ก๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐‘๐š๐ข๐ง ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐‡๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž, ๐„๐š๐ ๐ฅ๐ž ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐›๐จ๐ซ ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ, ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐Ž๐๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฉ, ๐Œ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐œ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ, ๐’๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ, ๐Œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ฉ๐ข, ๐๐š๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐๐š๐ฌ๐ก๐ฏ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž, ๐Œ๐œ๐๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐‰๐š๐œ๐ค๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ, ๐๐ซ๐š๐ข๐ซ๐ข๐ž ๐‹๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ฌ ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‚๐š๐Ÿ๐ž, ๐‹๐จ๐ฐ๐š ๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐“๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐‚๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐’๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ž, ๐๐‡๐ˆ๐‹๐‹๐˜ ๐€๐ˆ๐ƒ๐’ ๐“๐‡๐‘๐ˆ๐…๐“ @ ๐†๐ˆ๐Ž๐•๐€๐๐๐ˆ’๐’ ๐‘๐Ž๐Ž๐Œ ๐๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐š๐๐ž๐ฅ๐ฉ๐ก๐ข๐š ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž.

I am not stating other book stores of U.S and other nations as I want to stick to my topic.

My point is in India, language is still a barrier- either we do not learn English or while learning English we intends to forget our mother tongue, our soil, our history, tradition and culture. Let’s build a bridge, let’s learn both. I strongly believe if you have strong foundation of your mother tongue you can learn any or every language exists in India and the whole world. This diversity of languages spoken in India made me fall in love again and again with India.

Now let’s differentiate between normal law colleges and National Law Universities-

If we tried to compare infrastructure It is a hell and heaven difference and I have realised it by facing the same. It is not about only building big campuses, many law colleges does not have minimum facilities which can be provided to the student such as library with many journals and books, up to date synchronization of book, drinking water, sanitized and hygienic toilet specially for ladies, playing ground, internet facilities, the knowledge of current opportunities and many things. The word ‘Campusing’ is still a distant dream for many law college students and the recruiting firm, companies prefer nlu tag in c.v of the candidate. Very few allows a student as an intern which belong to non NLU’s. If I compare my time of college admission with the last four years I must say NLU has been the revolution in this field of legal education. In 2011 there are not many NLU’s. That was the time of 3rd generation sim, text messages; internet was costly, cyber cafe was our last resort. The name or the concept of ‘NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY’ was not well known then like IIT, IIM. Lawctopus, Lawsikho was then just a child which just started its journey. At that time common people could know by studying law you can only become civil or criminal lawyer, if we are studious you will crack judicial, APP or Legal services. They thought there are little scope for those student who study law. Infact, here there was a proverb that says he who do not have any future, studies law. I had face this taunting proverb in my life but at present I could not find those who tormented me with their taunted behaviour. Only two to three (not more than five) seminar was organised by my department in my five years. My passout year is 2016 and my first paper presentation was in 2018 in TISS, Mumbai. It was a great struggle then to find out the opportunities of internship, paper presentation, seminar as this information was only available in notice board outside Principal/ HOD’s cabin/ chamber. Today is the era of internet, but this difficulties has not fully gone.

Now if I looked and talked about quality of faculty it is a sad fact that is some law college is working purely on the guest lecturer, there are lack of permanent faculty. When teacher is sort, it is futile to talk about quality. Another aspect in this regard is lack of funds from central or respective state governments for the research in legal studies, many guest faculty in law colleges work on meagre daily wages.

If I summary this fact, there is a huge gap between NlU and non NLU’s. NLU provides better exposure of students as they are exposed into several opportunities.

Now the question is building more NLU’s or something else. It is a true fact that NLU’s, IIT’S, IIM’s has helped a lot to Indian students to reach peak of excellence. Sundar Pichai, a student of IIT kharagpur, is now the CEO of Google. But there are some bitter truth we need to digest, so let’s dig deep to this fact. But I belong to legal background so this discussion will be in the light of NLU’s only . So let’s start.

A) The Registration feesCLAT which is known as Common Law admission test is an entrance test for entering into under graduate and post graduate programme in legal studies in the reputed National Law Universities. But the registration fees for this entrance examination is Rs 4000. This was the amount I had to pay for the first two and half years college tution fees. Infact this is the annual fees of any undergraduate programme in here mainly in arts and commerce stream. I do not know is it justified or not.

B) Quantity or Quality– There is a surge in the number of NLU’s across India but very few amongst them has that world class quality which will help them to compete in international arena. Some of those institutes are lacking proper infrastructure, some facing acute faculty issues, some facing administrative mismanagement. Not every NLU students securing good job offers. There are some internal issues, student issues which are rising day by day.

C) The Price they paid– Everyone has a dream but very few could afford it. Yes, I am talking about semester fees and other fees for studying in these National Law Universities. It is very expensive, specially in a country where per capita income is one hundred and fifty rupees only. Now you can say about education loan- but still it is a loan and that student had to repay that. Thinking of how he or she will repay create lots of stress, mental pressure and it is a nightmare for mental health. It will hamper studies and its whole life will be circled around repayment of loan. So even after quality education instilled, quality can be hardly seen in them due to this fear.

D) A new elite caste born-Indian society is a caste ridden and now an elite class has been born. We know as we have witnessed and tasted the bitter fruit of caste system in India for thousand of years. Now we may witness new form of debase, untouchability and what not. We are dividing, subdividing, re dividing the society again and again.

Now what needs to be done?

I always prefer quality over quantity- not only in the national law university, but I want all the stake holders to concentrate on providing quality education to all the existing colleges and universities. A fund should be generated along with the option of taking donation from all the alumnus, ex students or any enthusiasts or owner of social enterprise. This fund will be audited annually and will be transparent. This funds must be under the purview of R.T.I and Judicial review for having a strict check. This fund will help to build a great or atleast minimum infrastructure any educational institute should posses.

The semester fees and specially registration fees of Clat should be reasonable. If the loan really needs to take, then the interest rate should be lower and Central and State Government should pay the half of interest on behalf of the students. If the Government wants to view this money as an investor then be it- they need to realise only education can ensure employment opportunities and employment can ensure taxes to the government. We have the right to education enshrined in our constitution but it has been remain in papers only. We need to change the reality.

This young generation has courage, has intelligence, has everything but they needs proper guidance, they needs a sympathetic teacher who will be able to understand their feelings. They needs that encouragement, only then we can see them to set a new height where sky is not the limit.

Mental health is still a neglected subject in India, we need to seriously work on it. A sound mental health of both student and teacher may break many records of the past in imparting education in India. It will help to prevent crime and to break the vicious circle of bullying.

More and more practical trainning, c.v writing, to teach the use of words, excel and other tools which may help a student to pursue a career in research. The students not belong to english medium needs more help and patience; to ensure it, college may start spoken english and any other courses suitable for their learning. We need to enhance their confidence level so that in future no student may lost themselves in the crowd of uncertainty.

The teachers should remain up to date and should inform the students of new dimensions of legal education.

The main concern should be to bridge the gap, fill the loopholes of our system and strive for excellence.

So if we do not start working on it then in near future we may not have any work left

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