Prof Dilip Ukey, Head, Dept of Law, Savitribai Phule Pune University
Q. What all changes are needed in the legal education framework in the country?
A. We have to understand that the legal education does not only create advocates, so in curriculum the foundation courses that are required, if the student has to enter into judiciary, academic field then they need to have knowledge of these fields, which is not there at present.
Students needs to become more logical which is not there at present as it bolsters the application of mind and argumentative strength, it required now. For legal education unless the basic foundation is proper, the NLUs or the deemed universities that are offering law courses are very good; however, 90% of the legal education is being catered by the state universities. There is handful of students who could join these NLUs and the majority of them go to state universities so the curriculum of these state universities and their affiliate colleges across the country has to be at par with the NLUs.
Q. There is shortage of good quality faculty in the legal education field?
A. If we see any of the top level jobs in India there is procedure for training like civil services, judicial services while there is no such provision for academics. Academic staff colleges are there all over India but that is for teachers to undergo refresher courses. If we see today if a student has just passed and tomorrow he goes and starts teaching without knowing how to teach.
Today neither teacher are serious about taking lectures nor are students serious about attending it, this problem will be solved to a large extent if a proper training is imparted before one starts teaching.
Q. Is this about the mindset towards teaching profession?
A. There is no shortage of good people but, there is shortage of policy, we treat teachers secondary, why is it so when they are the creators. We do not do so with doctors, not with engineers but a lawyer who enters into the teaching profession is not looked at, at par with others.
The mindset has to be changed there is no dearth of good teachers in the country the policy and training part is missing and if that is filled everything will be fine.
Q. Do you agree that the curriculum review has become important in legal education in country keeping developments happening around the globe?
A. When time changes society also has to change, when society changes the legal system also needs to change accordingly. Now, corporate sector is playing major role so we need to understand the current trends in it, some of the merging fields are cyber law, biotechnology and it is time to incorporate these subjects in the curriculum of legal education. Unless and until this is done it will not possible to meet the demands of the country.
Q. What all areas in legal education there is need for more research?
A. Teaching and research cannot be separated; they are not two sides of the same coin, both are same. Unless you are a good teacher you cannot be a good researcher and vice-versa. Separating them is the reason both have not been very successful in our education system, research what we understand is just publication, today being in the internet age copy-cut-paste is very easy, while what we need is application of mind, analysis and foremost is understanding. Unless that is developed how there will be good teaching, good research, no area can be left out from research point of view.