REPORT OF THE FIRST GNLU REVIEW COMMISSION

CONSTITUTED BY THE VISITOR AS PER SEC. 48 OF GNLU ACT, 2003

GUJARAT NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY MOVES FROM INFANCY TO ADOLESCENCE : WORK IN PROGRESS

JANUARY, 2013

2

CONTENTS
PART – I GENERAL INTRODUCTION CONSTITUTION AND TERMS OF REFERENCE MEETINGS HELD AND CONSULTATIONS DONE PART – II REVIEW OF JOURNEY SO FAR GNLU : OBJECTS, STRUCTURE AND BODIES INITIAL PHASE : 2005-’09 ….. ON ITS PERMANENT HOME : INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITIES ….. REVIEW OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES ….. REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCES ….. KEY ISSUES AND CHALLENGES PART – III LOOKING TO THE FUTURE : TOWARDS BECOMING A WORLD CLASS LAW SCHOOL A. ACADEMIC AFFAIRS A Look at Aspirations and Goals ….. Elements of Academic Excellence ….. Student Body ….. Faculty Development ….. Courses of Study ….. Preparation of Study Materials ….. Teaching Methods …..

3 Examination ….. Research and Quality Assurance ….. Centres of Study and Specialization ….. Extension Activities ….. B. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT Physical Infrastructure ….. Technical Infrastructure ….. Human Resources Development for World-Class Organization ….. C. ADMINISTRATION FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND EXCELLENCE Organizational Culture and Leadership ….. De-centralized Management ….. Public Relations …. Grievance Redressal ….. D. FINANCES : MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY Sources of Funding ….. Balancing the Budget ….. Management of Accounts ….. Audit and Reporting ….. PART - IV CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

APPENDICES (i) (ii) Gujarat National Law University Act Notification on the Constitution of the Commission

4

PART – I GENERAL
Establishment of Review Commission

Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) is a statutory university established by the Government of Gujarat by the legislative enactment, the Gujarat National law University Act, 2003. The University is recognized by the Bar Council of India and the University Grants Commission under Sec. 2(f) and under Sec.12(b). The University is also a member of the Association of Indian Universities (A.I.U.). Section 48 of the Gujarat National Law University Act, 2003 provides for the appointment of the Review Commission by the Visitor. Sec. 48 [1] [2] The Visitor shall at least once in five years constitute a Commission to review the working of the University and to make recommendations. The Commission shall consist of not more than three eminent educationists, one of whom shall be the Chairman of the Commission, appointed by the Visitor in consultation with the State Government. [3] [4] [5] The terms and conditions of the appointment of the members shall be such as may be determined by the Visitor. The Commission shall after holding such enquiry as it deems fit make its recommendations to the Visitor. The Visitor may take such action on the recommendations as he deems fit. Accordingly Hon’ble Justice Shri A.R. Dave, Visitor, GNLU has constituted First GNLU Review Commission consisting of : [1] Prof. N.R. Madhava Menon, Former Vice-Chancellor of National Law School of India University, Bangalore and National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. … Chairman [2] Prof. H.C. Dholakia, former Member, Law Commission of India, Former Dean, Department of Law, M.S. University, Baroda … Member

5 [3] Prof. Bakul Dholakia, Director, Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management, former Director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Approach to Legal Education Reform: The innovative experiment in the field of Legal Education was initiated by the establishment of the National Law School at Bangalore as a full fledged Law University, sponsored by the Bar Council of India in 1986. The National Law School at Bangalore was established by an Act of Karnataka Legislature – The National Law School of India University Act, (Act No. 22 of 1986). The question of reform of Legal Education in general was discussed at the Conference of the Chief Justices in December, 1993. The Chief Justice of India constituted a Committee to consider the matter in detail. The Committee consisted of the following members : Justice A.M. Ahmedi Justice M. Jagannath Rao Justice B.N. Kirpal Judge, Supreme Court of India Chief Justice, High Court of Delhi Chief Justice, High Court of Gujarat Chairman Member Member … Member

  

The Committee considered all the relevant aspects of this matter in considerable depth and submitted its Report in October, 1994, making wide ranging recommendations. With a view to set up a trend-setting institution in the field of legal education to serve as a model for Law Colleges, the Committee specifically recommended that in each State, on the model of the National Law School, Bangalore, Model Law Schools should be established. The said Law Schools should be funded by the respective State Governments, but it must be autonomous. The Committee also advocated the adoption of a five-year integrated system for the Law degree after 10+2 level. The Law Ministers of various States in their meeting also have considered the reform of Legal Education. The Law Ministers’ Working Group Meeting at Bhubaneshwar during September, 1995 followed by the meeting of the Law Ministers at Hyderabad in November 1995,

6 discussed this question and made significant recommendations covering a wide range of aspects of legal education and entry into the legal profession.

The Law Ministers’ meeting especially recommended : 1. Professional Legal Education shall be a five-year law course after 10+2 level. 2. There should be a National Law School type institution in each State so that it could serve as a model institute for other Law Colleges in the State. 3. In addition to the five-year law course after 10+2 level, it should be open to a University to offer a three-year law course for the benefit of people, who want to gain knowledge of law and advance their careers in areas other than legal profession. 4. No law college preparing students for practice of law should be allowed to operate exclusively in the morning/evening. With such broad consensus on integrated five year LL.B. programme and on a model National Law School in every State, several States have enacted statutes and set up Law Universities. At present there are fifteen National Law Universities in India in fifteen States, all developed on the model of the original National Law School at Bangalore offering the five-year integrated LL.B. programme. GNLU is one such Law University in the State which came up with liberal funding from the State Government in 2003 at Gandhi Nagar. Terms of Reference of the Commission : The Review Commission at its first meeting discussed the terms of reference of the Commission and felt that the scope of the exercise really comprehends the future of legal education in the country and the role GNLU can play in it. The Commission invited its attention to Sec.5 of the Act dealing with objects of the University. The objects of the University shall be to advance and disseminate learning and knowledge of law and legal processes and their role in national development, to develop in the students and research scholars a sense of responsibility to serve society in the field of Law by

7 developing skills in regard to advocacy, legal services, legislation, parliamentary practice, law reforms and such other matter; to make law and legal processes efficient instruments of social development and to promote interdisciplinary study of law in relation to management, technology, international co-operation and development. Section 5 of the GNLU Act stipulates as follows :

[i]

to advance and disseminate learning of laws and legal processes and their role in national development;

[ii]

To inculcate in students and scholars a sense of responsibility to serve society in the field of law by developing skills in regard to advocacy, legal services, legislation, parliamentary practice, law reforms, etc.

[iii] [iv]

To make law and legal processes efficient instruments of social development; To promote interdisciplinary study of law in relation to management, technology, international co-operation and development.

Read with Sec.5 (Objects) the Terms of Reference ask the Commission to do two things:

[a] [b]

Where does GNLU stand now after 7 years of its existence in regard to its objects? How shall GNLU plan and execute the indicative list of goals in the next five years to be able to evolve world class standards?

The indicative list includes the following specific items :

[i] [ii]

Make GNLU a truly world class Law University; Involve GNLU in cutting edge research frontier areas of law;

8 [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] Develop and disseminate legal knowledge efficiently; Take up high quality teaching; Provide good library, laboratory and other infrastructure; Enhance employability of its graduates; Innovate and transfer knowledge relevant to the needs of Indian society and thus contribute to its access, equity and standards.

Procedure Adopted by the Commission :

The Commission felt that to begin with its work, it should interact with all stake holders involved with GNLU and get their inputs on the Terms of Reference.

The Commission identified the concerned stake holders including teachers, students, administrative staff, Judiciary, Bar Council and members of the profession. While the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court declined to interact with the Commission, the Bar Council members were not available on dates in which the Commission had its meetings. The minutes of the meetings were prepared and evaluated to the members of the Commission and the Directors of the University.

The Commission met the Faculty of GNLU and sought their support in making recommendations. After a brief discussion, the Faculty volunteered to file suggestions in writing before a specified date. Two rounds of meetings with the Faculty and the Commission helped it to appreciate the problems in proper perspective and to formulate its views. Some faculty

9 members submitted their thoughts on the Terms of Reference in writing which the Commission took on record.

A similar meeting was also held with the administrative staff of the university, who also submitted their written suggestions to the Commission.

The Commission met and interacted with students. The students enthusiastically welcomed the initiative and agreed to consult their friends in their respective classes and gather suggestions for submission to the Commission. Some of them submitted a voluminous memorandum of facts and opinions on which the Commission did interact with them as well as with the members of the teaching staff.

Meetings of the Commission:

The Commission had three sittings during August 2012 to January 10, 2013. The first meeting was on 1st August in which it clarified the mandate, adopted the procedure to be followed and interacted with some of the stakeholders.

In the second meeting on 24th September, more interaction with the remaining stakeholders were undertaken, confirmed the minutes, reviewed the reports and documents submitted by the Director, evolved a broad structure of the report to be prepared and responsibilities assigned to members to draft the report on the bais of document supplied and views gathered.

10 The third sitting was between 7th and 9th of January 2013 which included a series of meetings and a second round of consultation with the faculty including the Director. After detailed deliberations on 7th, 8th, and 9th, the draft report was finalized and signed. One of the members sought more time to formulate his views and therefore not signed the report. It was agreed that his request for more time to recommended to the Visitor while forwarding the report finalized by the other two. (Prof. N.R. Madhava Menon and Prof. H.C. Dholakia).

PART – II REVIEW OF THE JOURNEY SO FAR
The Beginnings : The University started its official functioning in the year 2004 in Sector 26, District – Gandhinagar, Gujarat. At its inception, university building was 2.5 kms away from the hostels. University consisted of Class Rooms, Library, Reading Room, Computer Lab and Faculty Chambers. The students commuted between the College and the Hostels by buses arranged by the university. The university provided its students accommodation in its temporary premises which were government quarters earlier. In 2012, GNLU shifted to its new campus, Attalika Avenue, Knowledge Corridor, Koba, Gandhinagar. The new campus is a state-of-art design campus and can be considered as one of the finest campuses in the country. Government of Gujarat has extended all possible support to make the campus world class in physical and IT infrastructure. The Government of Gujarat generously gave 50 acres of land and nearly Rs. 150 crores towards the capital cost. In addition, the UGC has also contributed Rs. 5 crores for building modern infrastructure facilities. Starting on Firm Foundations :

11 The university has been in a process of striving for academic and professional excellence in the field of legal studies in the country. Teaching methodology and the student response to it are being developed to suit the needs of a modern institution of higher learning. Student fraternity of GNLU has won laurels in the various spheres of national and international moot court competitions, paper presentations and cultural activities. GNLU strive for an all-round and inter-disciplinary academic programme in sync with the other National Law Schools of the country. As per the proposed plan developed by the Director, it is said that a three-tiered approach, state, national and international level, in its legal education, research and training, is put into operation to enable GNLU to respond to the needs, interests and concerns of judiciary, legal profession, industry and agriculture sectors, government agencies and the civil society at large in the medium and long term. This is the declared policy being pursued through various initiatives and schemes. GNLU has succeeded in attracting students and faculty from various corners of the nation as well as from abroad on a regular basis. Members of judiciary, executive and legislative organs of the State and federal governments and leading personalities from various walks of life are giving lectures, engaging students and faculty in intellectual discourses and policy-making exercises regularly. GNLU students as well as staff members reportedly have free access to all faculty members and all functionaries of university from Director to last person of university to address their grievances. GNLU has also appointed Appeal Council to provide another platform for staff members in case of any irregularity or contestable decision by any functionary of university. The faculty at GNLU takes the responsibility of mentoring students and all the students are provided with a faculty mentor. Regular mentor meets are organized to help them better understand various aspects of their personal as well as career prospects. REVIEW OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES :

12 Integrated Law Degree in fives areas GNLU offers integrated Law Degree in five major areas of specialization. The five integrated law degree programmes are : B.A. LL.B. (Hons)

    

B.Com. LL.B. (Hons) B.B.A. LL.B. (Hons) B.Sc. LL.B. (Hons) B.S.W. LL.B. (Hons)

Students are admitted to these courses on the basis of their merit in the results of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). To be eligible to appear in CLAT, a candidate should have obtained a Senior Secondary School (10+2) or its equivalent qualification from a recognized Board with no less than 50% marks in the aggregate (45% marks in the case of SC/ST and Persons with Disability). 160 students are admitted on the basis of their merit in the results of CLAT examination every year. Teaching Staff at GNLU The position of the teaching staff as on 31st March, 2012

Designation Professor Associate Professor Assistant Professor Part-time, Ad hoc, Temporary Total

Sanctioned Strength 05 12 32 06 65

Existing Strength 00 05 27 06 38

During the year 2012, one Associate Professor has been promoted as Professor. Subject-wise the distribution of teachers is as follows : Law Economics : : Associate Professors Assistant Professors Associate Professor …. … … 03 16 01

13 Assistant Professor Assistant Professor : One each in … Sociology Political Science English Physics History Commerce Management Teaching & Research Associates : GNLU Academic Audit Unit : A Unique Experiment : Education is a vibrant process which is evolving, developing and sprouting all the time. In pursuit of excellence, institutions and educationists have an obligation to continuously discover better ways of teaching, researching and learning, thereby contributing to better services to the society. Perfection or excellence can only be the outcome of determined effort and continuous improvement. With a view to consider and review GNLU’s mechanisms for monitoring and enhancing the academic quality and standards which are necessary for accomplishing afore-stated aims and objectives and to comment on the extent to which procedures in place are applied effectively and reflect on good practices in maintaining quality and value, the university has established the Gujarat National Law University Academic Audit Unit in the year 2011 to undertake annual audit of the entire academic affairs of the university. In the academic year 2011-2012, the Academic Audit focused on : Teaching quality Programme delivery and relevance of the courses The research-teaching nexus Research policy and Management The achievement of learning outcomes Publication; and 07 01

     

14

Extension activities

The process of academic audit requires a self-review which informs an audit portfolio in which the faculty members (of the university) appraise their progress towards achieving their goals and objectives related to the focus of the audit, identify areas for improvement, and provide detailed intended plans, strategies and activities with respect to enhancement of initiatives. Hence, the Audit Unit requires the submission of the self-review portfolio by the teaching staff of the university. After examining the portfolio and seeking further information, if necessary, the Audit Unit/Panel may carry out consultation to seek verification of materials/information furnished, and to prepare an audit report. The Academic Audit Unit (in its report) will commend good practice/s and will make recommendations intended to assist the university in its own programme of continuous improvement of quality and added value in the activities identified by the Unit. Soon after the publication of the Audit Reports, the Unit will discuss with the university authorities the way forward to follow-up actions to audit that are undertaken by the university and are monitored by the university. Parameters that have been taken into consideration in the audit exercise are as follows :
 

How well a subject was/is taught? Use of participatory and innovative teaching-learning methodologies, updating of subject content, course improvement, etc. Classes allocated and classes engaged (reason/s, if classes engaged are less than 90% of the total classes allocated) Syllabus completed (reason/s, if completed portion is less than 80% of the syllabus prescribed) Quality assurance in relation to evaluation/assessments Feedback by the students on ‘teaching quality, course content, course-relevancy’ etc. Peer Review

  

15

Professional Development Activities (such as participation and presentation of papers in seminars, conferences, short term training courses, talks, lectures, membership of associations, dissemination, etc.)

      

Participation in Orientation and Refresher courses Articles/Research Papers published Research publications (books, chapters in books, reports, monographs, etc.) Delivery of lectures as Visiting/Guest – Professor/Faculty, etc. Research projects Consultancy projects Institutional approach to research and consultancy; relative importance given to it, etc. Collaboration with industry or other institutions Problems identified, actions taken and outcomes

 

The findings of the Unit, as expressed in this report, are based on the written information supplied by the teaching staff and on the information gained through personal interaction, whenever and wherever the Unit deemed it necessary, with them. The general information obtained about the university is also important source for this report. The Unit is pleased to recognize that a number of initiatives in support of enhancing the teaching and learning experience of students at the university have been undertaken independently of the specific requirements of this audit. It is clear to the Unit that the university has been proactive in undertaking its own investigations of aspects of its operations as and when issues arise. The above summary is what the Commission received from the Director’s report which the Commission felt is worthy of reproducing in the Review Commission’s Report. It deserves appreciation and strengthening. Teaching and Research in Contemporary Areas of Law GNLU reviewed the recommendations made by the National Knowledge Commission Working Group on Legal Education, Bar Council of India Rules and Curriculum offered by several national law universities in India and abroad and introduced a comprehensive curriculum from the academic year 2009-’10. Courses already introduced as optional courses from the academic year 2009-’10 are : Air and Space Law (2009-’10), Comparative Laws, Foreign Laws,

16 Sports Laws, WTO Law, Maritime Law, Terrorism and Law, Biotechnology Law, Competition Law, E-contracts, Economic offences and While Collar Crimes, Election Law, Disability Laws, Litigation Management, Natural Resources and Energy Law, Parliamentary Procedures, Transport Law will be introduced in phased manner depending upon the availability of expert faculty within GNLU. In addition, the following Centres of Excellence are established by GNLU, which are intended to serve the requirements of legal infrastructure in the emerging scenario :

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Centre for Private International Law Centre for Public International Law Centre for Sports Law Centre for Food Security and Agro-Economy Centre for Environmental Science and Law (including Climate Change) Centre for Finance, Banking and Investments Centre for Foreign Policy Studies

The initiatives are welcome developments in the academic sphere which need to be strengthened in quality and reach in coming years. REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATION : The GNLU Act (Section 10) provides for the office of a Chairman who plays the role of a friend, philosopher and guide of the institution giving it the necessary direction for growth and development. The Chairman of the General Council shall be an eminent person in the field of law, academic, industry, trade or commerce or public life. He shall be appointed by the State Government in consultation with the Visitor.

17 Shri Kiritbhai Raval, former Solicitor-General of India was the founder Chairman. The Act provides that the person acting as Chairman of the Institute of Legal Studies Society shall be the Chairman of the General Council. Unfortunately due to the sad demise of Shri Kiritbhai Raval in April 2005, the post of the Chairman has been lying vacant. The vacuum at the top is bound to adversely affect the efficiency of the functioning of the university as the Chairman was supposed to be the constant source of inspiration and guidance to the university. An eminent public man with a towering image as the Chairman would provide a healthy and sobering influence on the affairs and the functioning of the university. It is submitted by the Director that this lacuna in the university structure at the top may be immediately attended to with a view to restore the efficient functioning of the university. The Commission is in full agreement with the views of the Director in this regard. Director Under Sec. 33 of the Act, the Director shall be appointed by the General Council, after considering the recommendations of the Executive Council and in consultation with the Visitor. Provided that the first Director shall be appointed by the State Government, in consultation with the Chairman. Regulation No.9 provides that the Director shall be an academic person and an outstanding scholar in law with published work of high quality to his credit. He should, in the estimate of the General Council, be capable of providing effective leadership to the university. Prof. V.S. Mani, a distinguished scholar and former professor in Jawaharlal Nehru University, was appointed as the First Director and formally took over the responsibility from April 1, 2004.

18 Prof. Mani has been senior academician, having more than 35 years of teaching and research experience. Unfortunately his services were discontinued during his second term and GNLU was under the charge of an officiating regime, resulting in some slowdown in pursuit of academic and administrative standards. There is a provision for the Search Committee to recommend to the Executive Council a panel of three persons eligible to be appointed as Director (Regulation No.8). The Executive Council shall submit to the General Council with its recommendations the names of persons for appointment as Director, suggested by the Search Committee. Regulation No.8 (dealing with Search Committee) has Clause (4) which states, the Executive Council may also recommend the name of a person other than those recommended by the Search Committee, if it has reason to believe that such other person is having regard to the interests of the university suitable to the post of the Director. This clause (4), in effect, nullifies the recommendations of the Search Committee and tends to defeat the very purpose of a search by an expert group. Further it provides for the appointment of a person whose name may not have been found fit by the Search Committee, or even rejected by the Search Committee. This provision – Clause (4) – in fact, makes a mockery of the provision for a Search Committee. The Commission is of the view that the Government needs to review the provision in the best interests of the institution. It is submitted that this clause (4) be omitted and to ensure transparency in the appointment of the Director, such appointment should be made only from amongst the panel of three persons recommended by the Search Committee. In case the appointing authority finds difficulty to accept any of the three names, let it ask for a fresh panel from the search committee. This is what is being done in appointment of heads of institutions to ensure credibility, transparency and respect for the office. Registrar

19 Sec. 35 of the Act provides for the Registrar to be appointed by the Executive Council and provides that he shall be a whole time officer of the university. Regulation 10(A) provides that the Registrar shall be appointed by the Executive Council on the recommendation of a Selection Committee consisting of the Director as the Chairman and two experts to be nominated by the Executive Council. It may be noted that ever since the first Registrar was removed from the office, the GNLU has no regular whole-time Registrar and has been functioning with a member of the teaching staff being appointed by the Director to officiate as the Registrar from time to time. As the Registrar is the head of the administrative and ministerial staff of the university and the principal officer responsible on all matters pertaining to the administration of the university, it is desirable to appoint a regular whole time Registrar and put an end to the present practice of appointing an officiating Registrar by the Director from amongst the teaching staff of the university.

Committees The university is functioning through its various committees, each having a definite mandate and each contributing to the management of the affairs of the University. As there are no Professors, these committees are headed by Associate/Asst. Professors, necessarily lacking the requisite experience in the matters concerned. Lack of guidance by senior teachers in these committees adversely affects the functioning of the university. Many of these committees deal with important academic matters where junior staff members lacking experience of taking decisions manage the affairs just to keep things functioning. This is a sad situation which needs correction. There are 21 committees headed by the Assistant Professors and 3 are headed by the Associate Professors.

20 Not that the Asst. Professors are necessarily incompetent or that they lack the intelligence to understand their role, but the confidence acquired by experience in the field is absent and hence this may dissuade them from taking bold and courageous decisions in vital matters on crucial issues, thus adversely affecting the efficiency of the administration on the whole. Even important senior academic positions – Dean, Academic Affairs, Co-ordinator of Research studies – are held by the Asst. Professors, without much experience in the field concerned. The grand design envisaged in the objects of the university and the projected vision of a world-class university as also the ambitious Mid Term Plan cast heavy responsibility on the young inexperienced shoulders to achieve results of strategic importance without proper guidance and under constant stress of achieving performance. This may prove counterproductive and may even lead to the self-complacent belief that all is well and everything is fine. Appointment of experienced Professors to lead and guide various academic and administrative activities is highly desirable in the interests of the overall development of the university. It is submitted that an effective grievances redressal mechanism need to be set up, or the existing arrangement revamped, so as to inspire confidence amongst the students and the teachers, that their concerns will be effectively addressed by the administration. Effective steps may be initiated to set up a Students Bar Association or a Representative Council and a Faculty Consultative Council so as to provide constructive outlet to ventilate the aspirations of the students and teachers.

21

PART – III LOOKING TO THE FUTURE TOWARDS BECOMING A WORLD-CLASS LAW SCHOOL
While Parts I and II focused on the first issue of functioning of the University during the past seven years, Part III would concentrate on the inferences the Commission has drawn on the existing state of affairs and the strategies we recommend which the University may adopt; which in the opinion of the Commission, may take it to greater heights of academic performance and standards. Among the objects of the University as stipulated in Section-5 of the GNLU Act are the following : (i) (ii) to advance and disseminate learning of law and legal processes and their role in national development; to develop in students and scholars a sense of responsibility to serve society in the field of law by developing skills in regard to advocacy, legal services, legislation, parliamentary practice, law reform etc.; (iii) (iv) to make law and legal processes efficient instruments of social development; and to promote inter-disciplinary study of law in relation to management, technology, international co-operation and development. By and large, these are part of the mandate of all the sixteen law universities in place today. They allow wide scope for developing academic programmes depending on resources, market demands, student interest and faculty availability. law school. These concepts include : (i) (ii) (iii) Law-in-development Law and management Law and international co-operation There are some key concepts expressed and hidden in these objects which enable the University to look towards a truly global

22 (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) Education for social responsibility Skills training in relation to advocacy, legislation, parliamentary practice and law reform Law and social change Inter-disciplinary study of law The Terms of Reference (TOR) gives an indicative list of activities which may contribute to putting the University on the road to making it a world-class institution. Among these activities are high quality teaching, cutting-edge research in frontier areas of law, relevance to Indian social needs of access, equity and excellence, good educational infrastructure and improved employability of its graduates. During the last seven years of its existence, the University evolved a Mid-term Plan (2009-’14) and have, inter alia, launched the following activities : (i) Five different streams of degree programmes in law education. These include the following degrees – (a) B.A.,LL.B.(Hons); (b) B.Com.,LL.B.(Hons); (c) B.B.A.,LL.B. (Hons); (d) B.Sc.,LL.B. (Hons); (e) B.S.W.,LL.B. (Hons). Besides, the university runs the LL.M. and Ph.D. post-graduate degree programmes and a number of certificate/diploma courses. (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix) (x) A brand new campus with state-of-the-art facilities essential for a residential university. Hostels accommodate nearly 800 students. Academic exchanges with national and international institutions. Sponsored research and training programmes with private sector organizations, Gujarat High Court, State Government. Academic support programmes to students of the university and to law colleges in the State. Extension activities including conferences, seminars and workshops. Publish legal journals based on student/faculty research. A scheme for visiting foreign law professors. Provide liberal scholarships to deserving students for participation in academic programmes in India and abroad. Has a full-time Placement and Internship Co-ordinator with an MBA qualification.

23 (xi) (xii) Faculty strength is 40 and that of administrative staff is 52. The student strength is roughly 1200 of whom 40% are females. The administration is run through as many as 30 Committees each with a Convenor and 8 to 10 members consisting of faculty and staff. In the above context and in view of the observations of the Commission recorded in Part-II of this report, we make some recommendations in this section which in our view may help to prepare the university to attain global standards in course of time. recommendations are organized under four heads – (A) Academic Affairs; (B) Infrastructure; (C) Finances; and (D) Governance. Some of these recommendations are implementable in short-term and others in the long-term. A. ACADEMIC AFFAIRS These

Teaching and learning and achieving excellence in it at the individual and college level is the major function of an institution of higher learning. The institution organizes that function through a variety of institutional arrangements which tend to maximize the opportunities for the learners while generating in them an urge to achieve higher and higher levels of learning in pursuit of academic excellence. Three things go to make it happen. Firstly, the student body. How are they selected? How motivated are the students and what are their expectations? Secondly, the teaching faculty? How are they appointed and how committed and competent are the teachers? Thirdly, the learning environment which includes the infrastructure, learning resources, staff support services, curriculum, pedagogy, examination and extension activities. Depending upon the learning environment, institutions can be classified as catering to the cognitive level of learning or the affective or psychomotor levels of learning. Most institutions of higher learning imparts education at the cognitive level and aims to reach the affective and psychomotor domains. (Benjamin S. Bloom, ed. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, N.Y.1956). The American Association for Higher Education Bulletin (March 1987) published Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education which captures the theory and practice of good university education. The Seven Principles are as follows :

24

Principle 1 : Principle 2 :

Good Practice Encourages Student-Faculty Contact : Frequent student-faculty Good Practice Encourages Co-operation Among Students : Learning is Good learning is more

contact in and out of class is the most important factor in student motivation and involvement. enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. collaborative and not competitive. Principle 3 : Good Practice Encourages Active Learning : When students talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives active learning happens. Students do not learn much just by sitting in classes and memorizing pre-packaged assignments. Principle 4 : Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback : Students need appropriate feedback on performance to benefit from courses. Frequent opportunities to perform and receive suggestions for improvement helps better learning. Principle 5 : Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task : Time plus energy equals learning. There is no substitute for time management on tasks. How an institution defines time expectations for students, faculty and staff can establish the basis for high performance for all. Principle 6 : Good Practice Communicates High Expectations : Expect more and you will get it. Students, teachers and institutions need to hold high expectations for themselves and make extra efforts – result is high performance. Principle 7 : Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning : There are many roads to learning. People bring different talents and styles of learning to college. Students need opportunity to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. The Seven Points evolved by American scholars involved in higher education are reproduced here only to suggest how a university may strategize its teaching programmes in order to attain world standards of academic excellence. It is for the Faculty and Management of GNLU to decide where it stands in the scheme of things and how it plans to adopt Good Practices to be able to make their institution world class in teaching and learning. STUDENT BODY :

25 Presently, the University has a student strength of close to 1200 of whom 800 stay in the campus. With the present infrastructure, the law school probably has reached its optimum capacity excepting in its distance education programmes. Students are admitted on merit and on choice of students based on the All India Combined Law Admission Test (CLAT). This can continue as such. Perhaps there is need for greater diversity in the student body. More foreign and NRI students would add value by way of enriched learning environment. The idea of giving liberal scholarships and fee exemptions to deserving students admitted on merit is a good policy and deserves to be continued and expanded. The principle of equity and inclusiveness which is a national norm in higher education has to be endorsed and encouraged. Given the reservations in student admission, there is need for the university to identify early those who need additional help to be able to cope up with the high demands of study at GNLU. Special coaching, mentorship and individual guidance by senior teachers in the first or second semesters would certainly help the weak students to cope up with the high demands of legal studies. Repeat examinations have to be discouraged as it tends to stigmatize and take away attention from their studies. Discipline is variously understood in universities. Fine, suspension, expulsion etc. are to be reserved for extreme situations which seldom happens in an elite law school aspiring world class status. Commanding attendance in class under threat of detention does not speak well of the quality of teaching. A world class university should be able to dispense with attendance requirement in course of time by motivating everyone voluntarily to participate in learning. Learning is seriously impaired in an atmosphere of mistrust between the teachers and students. GNLU needs to take these issues seriously and work out strategies in consultation with students to ensure voluntary obedience to the rules and regulations of the University. FACULTY :

26 The quality of education and the character of the institution are determined by the quality and character of the faculty. Of course, the leadership can make a big difference through leading by example. As such an institution aspiring for excellence in teaching and research has to be extraordinarily careful in selecting its faculty, setting the conditions for tenure, creating a work culture conducive to excellence, motivating them to give their best and taking care to retain them by appropriate service conditions. This is indeed a difficult job particularly when the demand for good teachers is on the rise and the supply is extremely limited. What attracts good teachers to an institution? What are the attributes of teachers who can be rated good or potentially so? Good teachers are those who internalize and practise the Seven Principles of good teaching mentioned elsewhere. It is said that good teachers are those whose instruction results at creating both intellectual excitement and interpersonal rapport with students. Excellence at either dimension can make a teacher effective with some students in some courses; excellence at both will make the teacher highly effective with most students in nearly any setting (Joseph Low-man). The dimension of intellectual excitement happens when the content is well organized and clearly presented, when relationships between concepts and applications are stressed, when teachers appear to love presenting the material in an engaging way. Class time seems to pass very quickly, and students may get so caught up in the ideas that they forget to take notes and hate to miss class. Interpersonal rapport happens when the teacher appears to have strong interest in the students as individuals, acknowledges their feelings and encourages to express them, communicates subtly that each student’s understanding is important to the teacher and is fair, helpful and caring. (Quoted from Techniques for Teaching Law by Gerald F. Hess and Steven Friedland, Academic Press, North Carolina, 1999). If these are the characteristics to identify good teachers, they provide the clue how to organize the selection process, whom to recommend for tenure, how to organize incentives and rewards and where to give emphasis in faculty promotions and retention. Many applicants for teaching positions are just looking for an employment. They have no experience in the theory or practice of teaching as that is not part of the LL.M. curriculum or NET programme. Some of them have false notions of teaching from the way they themselves have been taught with the

27 result they don’t even care to learn better teaching techniques. Given this situation, the

university has no option but to prepare their own teachers through an year long well-organized Teaching Fellowship Programme. What is recommended is to make initial recruitment at the Assistant Professor level be as Teaching Assistants only with a consolidated salary equivalent to the total emoluments of an Assistant Professor. Their job assignments be specified in the appointment order which, inter alia, require attending two hours of course work leading to a Diploma in Teaching and Research at the end of one year. A proposal in this regard is now under discussion among Vice Chancellor of some National Law Schools. The dual assignment of having to do a Diploma before appointment as an Assistant Professor and having to teach, do research and assist in law school administration under supervision give them both an opportunity to learn good teaching requirements (not available elsewhere) and to show their potential to deserve a regular teaching assignment. If they fail in either of them their services may be terminated or continued as teaching assistants on the discretion of the university. This strategy is recommended for GNLU because of some complaints received by the Commission on the quality of teaching in few subjects. No university can hope to attain world class status even if a minority of its faculty is not able to deliver to relatively talented students. Even the SWOT analysis done by the GNLU Director authorities have pointed out the following weaknesses on academic affairs : (i) “The concept of reading is to some extent a missing scenario with faculty members. In defense, it is said for teachers, the university may have to relieve them from the various types of non-core academic activities if they have to do reading! (ii) The university must focus on developing and improving teachers’ individual professional competence. The university must see that not only the teachers are well qualified but they are equally competent enough to discharge their academic duties (an observation making a strong case for the Diploma programme proposed earlier). (iii) (iv) Tensed or tired faces are more visible than free and fresh faces among the staff and faculty. Faculties are often criticized for no reasons. There is lack of full-time professors. We need them to handle P.G. courses.

28 (v) We need a methodology for integration of law and non-law subjects. This requires a brainstorming exercise with experts and a careful and studied approach to curricular development” (Again a case for the proposed Diploma). It appears from responses received from teachers that there is not adequate communication between the Director and members of the Faculty. They seem to be aggrieved of academic decisions being taken unilaterally without consultation, seminars being organized without an institutional purpose, non-academic activities being imposed without consultation and grievances are not promptly and properly addressed to create a conducive environment for collectively taking the university forward. Without taking sides on the issue, the Commission would suggest the authorities to follow a policy of consultative decision making on academic matters through weekly or fortnightly Faculty meetings and recording and circulating the minutes for action by all concerned including the Director. University certainly needs at least half a dozen senior faculty members (Professors) to handle P.G. classes, supervise work of centres of studies, guide the research and training activities of the institution and assist the Director in administration. They must be people who fully subscribe to the philosophy of the institution willing to take residence in the campus and make the necessary sacrifices for nurturing the university in its evolution. If competent persons are not available for regular service, they may be engaged on contract for five years or more from among retired scholars or other scholars of eminence. This is an urgent necessity for GNLU to pick up speed in its academic development. Finally, a thought not necessarily palatable to faculty and staff but essential for the overall growth of the institution. A good university must have most of its students and faculty living in the campus so that they interact and learn all the time in an atmosphere of freedom and scholarship. National Law Schools are established as residential universities and wherever they function like that the quality of education distinctly improves over a period of time. Now that GNLU has built its own campus it should look for a policy of insisting on teachers living in the campus. Already teachers are grudging that they are being compelled to stay on the campus for eight hours a day which they consider to be violative of UGC rules!! There is need for change of this attitude and teachers should voluntarily stay in the accommodation provided by the

29 university. The Director should himself stay in the campus. If sufficient accommodation is not available yet in the campus for all its teachers, the authorities must consider buying or hiring a group of flats in the nearby apartment clusters and making them available to teachers free of rent. COURSES OF STUDY : The objects of the law school determine the courses of study it offers and the curriculum it develops for the different courses. Dissemination of legal learning for national development is a major object of GNLU. Accordingly its programmes have to be geared to study the role of law and legal processes as instruments of social change and social development. This is a much larger goal than the conventional role of legal learning for producing advocates for litigation and dispute settlement. Naturally, the curriculum has to reflect how law influences social processes and gets influenced as well. Study of law in social context is a necessity. The five-year integrated LL.B. course is designed for that purpose. But how that integration is operationalized in teaching and learning is the real challenge in realizing this object of law-in-development. This is an exciting field of study where inter-disciplinarity, clinical methods of teaching, experiential learning through extension activities, research-based or project-based learning are all key factors for the teachers to take note of. The objects of GNLU (Section 5 of the Act) emphasizes study of law in relation to Management, Technology, International Co-operation and Development. How far the curriculum reflects these objectives in terms of courses of study, subjects offered for different courses, the methods and materials for teaching are matters of constant concern, review and revision for the academic bodies of the university. Certainly a technology-based law curriculum is yet to emerge in GNLU. It involves challenges in assembling appropriate faculty, The B.Sc.,LL.B. (Hons) infrastructure resources and methods employed for teaching.

programme requires a fresh look in this context. If international co-operation and development is to be a goal for academic pursuit, a lot more needs to be done in language instruction, evolving courses based on diverse legal systems including comparative law, international law and relations, diplomacy, governance of international institutions, trade and commerce, peace keeping and conflict resolution etc. To be able to assemble a faculty competent to teach those subjects and produce international lawyers, diplomats and civil servants, GNLU will have to

30 evolve a long-term plan and work closely with international organizations and people experienced in diplomacy and foreign relations. Finally, one of the objects of GNLU across all courses of study is to produce graduates with a sense of social responsibility and professionalism skilled in advocacy, parliamentary practice, law reform, legislative drafting etc. In short, skills and ethics are two essential values which the university is mandated to inculcate in all its graduates. The university’s agenda in this regard requires a closer look and lot of reforms are needed for which well-trained clinical teachers have to be inducted. By placement alone this cannot be accomplished; nor with extension activities loosely organized and poorly supervised can this be achieved. A variety of clinical activities have to be devised appropriate for integration with subjects of study and instruction manuals evolved with clear statement of objects, methods and expected outcomes by way of skills and ethics education. A Committee of Clinicians should take responsibility to supervise and evaluate student performance according to internationally accepted standards of skills training and mandated by professional bodies. Preparation of study materials for inter-disciplinarity and social context education in law is a challenging field in which GNLU will be well advised to invest. Very few of the available text books in the market can meet the demands for the purpose. A phased plan of action in this regard is recommended in which groups of teachers are assigned the job in different subject clusters over a period of three to five years. Firstly they must prepare an outline with a teaching plan and circulate for critical feedback from knowledgeable scholars. Then they must write or assemble the materials with proper editorial notes and teaching instructions and do pilot teaching with it for a semester or two. With the feed back received from students while teaching they must review and revise the materials before it is printed for wider use. GNLU may consider this as good research activity and finance it as it not only helps the production of its own text books but also prepares the teachers for interdisciplinary and social context teaching of law. Lecture and clinic do not exhaust the pedagogic kit in a law school. Of late, with the advent of technological tools a variety of exciting methods of law teaching have emerged which can profitably be used by an informed and interested law teacher. The Good Practice Principles above quoted give ideas on how and where to employ them in designing teaching methodologies.

31

Finally, examination is a vexed issue which has already created some mistrust between teachers and students at GNLU. Therefore it needs immediate attention and necessary correction. To begin with one would recommend the following norms : (i) Evaluation of student performance is part of the teaching/learning process primarily intended to let the student know the progress he is making in his learning graph. It is not intended to determine who in the class is better than the other. (ii) Examination for the above purpose should be an on-going exercise exclusively left to the teacher concerned to be done according to pre-determined parameters in a manner that is objective, transparent and explainable rationally. (iii) There is lot of discretion and some amount of subjectivity inevitable in the process. So long as it can be justified on rational grounds adopted by the university there is nothing wrong and the students have to accept it. Therefore, it is prudent for the teacher to announce at the beginning of the course how he or she is going to evaluate performance and what is possible to look at grievances, if any. (iv) Ordinarily the decision of the teacher is to be accepted by the university. In extreme cases of alleged malafides, an Examination Committee may get it re-examined in consultation with the teacher concerned recording its decision therefor. (v) Results should be announced only in Grades as that accommodates possible disparities in evaluation and avoids unintended penalization of students. (vi) University may examine the feasibility of recording in the report card whatever grade secured by a student and decide to award the degree on the basis of a prescribed minimum total average grade for the subjects prescribed for the course of study instead of insisting that every student should get a certain grade in every subject. Thereafter, students who want to improve the grade in any subject or subjects may be allowed to do so in special examinations held for the purpose once a year. This would make it

32 unnecessary for the university to hold supplementary examinations for failures in every subject after every semester and insist on mandatory rules for promotion. Furthermore, career conscious students will take classes and examinations seriously to avoid a poor grade in their report card which will give a negative image of him to his employer. (vii) It is important to extract work from students through projects, class examinations, viva-voce and seminar presentations so that the pressure of end-semester examination is minimized on the student. (viii) Finally, questions in law exam should be problem-type which requires application of mind rather than mere memory test. For this university must endeavour to build a Question Bank in every subject which is accessible to the students also. RESEARCH, TRAINING AND EXTENSION : Research, especially cutting-edge research which offer productive solutions to contemporary problems, is the weakest link of Indian legal education. If law education is to serve the objective of social and economic development and if legal training is to enhance access to justice capabilities of the system, legal research has to occupy a central place in law school activity. More so, after law schools have become independent universities. No university can survive in future exclusively with teaching and training activities only. Disseminating existing knowledge, of course, is integral to education. For higher education it is more important to create new knowledge and find new applications for existing knowledge with a view to improve the quality of life of the people to be able to claim community support and remain socially relevant. The question therefore is how to formulate and organize the research agenda for the next few years keeping in mind the limitations in resources and commitments. GNLU claims to have introduced research-based learning. That is good for improving the quality of teaching and learning in under-graduate and post-graduate programmes. Research in that sense is integral to teaching and every teacher in higher education is supposed to be doing it. Research of the kind we are talking about is research for policy development, research for law

33 reform, research for economic growth, research for programme evaluation, research for better international relations, research for better administration of justice, research for good governance etc. all of which are largely dependent on laws, legal institutions and legal process. To be able to carry out that kind of research, partnership with policy planners, administrators, private sector enterprises and NGOs become essential for which appropriate strategies and mechanisms have to be evolved. Quality assurance in design, methodology and interpretations are essential to get credibility and acceptance to research efforts. There is no institutional arrangement available at present to facilitate research in law schools with official and non-official agencies who are the consumers of such research. The Law Commissions at the Centre and in the States are yet to develop such mutually useful arrangements. Several Departments and Ministries of Government have established Professional Chairs in National Law Schools which have largely remained teaching rather than research positions. It is in this context, the National Knowledge Commission recommended establishment of Regional Research Centres in Law with Central Government funding on the model of the Regional Research Laboratories for Science established in the 1960s and 70s. GNLU if it aims to be world class on the research front should formulate a plan of action on the following lines : (1) (2) Formulate a Research Development Council involving the stakeholders. Develop a research agenda for the next five years keeping in mind its present and potential research capacities for the near future. Identify the areas where GNLU can become the leader in the region. (3) (4) (5) (6) Create a Research Development Fund with contributions from stakeholders. Decide priorities and assign a core team of researchers drawn from different disciplines whose 50 per cent time is to be assigned on research work. Involve faculty members and students in research work depending on their expertise and interests. Have a benefit sharing plan between the university and faculty on how the work will be compensated out of research funds and how seriously the university is going to take good research contributions for promotions and other rewards.

34 GNLU has already set up few Centres of Study apparently to promote specialization and applied research. It needs to review the objects and outcomes of such centres in terms of expertise available in the Faculty and their contribution to the objects of the law school before opening fresh centres. Quality assurance is essential for development of centres and this is not possible without expert faculty who have established their credentials in the field. A lot of extension/outreach activities has been undertaken by GNLU which are to be welcomed. The idea of helping to develop the quality of education in the law colleges in the State is good. The Review Commission had no feedback on how the initiative was received by the colleges, what were the main components of the programme and whether it was evaluated by any independent agency. Nevertheless the Commission would recommend GNLU to make it as one of its major outreach programme in a planned and co-operative model. If it succeeds it can help other National Law Schools to do the same in their respective States based on the experience of GNLU. This will be for the common good and will help enhance quality in colleges which do not command the resources and patronage of National Law Schools. Again a number of training programmes are being organized from time to time depending upon requests from other agencies. The Resource Persons are invited from outside GNLU. How does it help GNLU in its mandate when it is not able to enrich its intellectual or material resources. It is recommended that GNLU may consider establishing an Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) in view of the felt need and demand for CLE among the legal profession and law teaching community. There is as yet no institutional arrangement for it and GNLU will be a leader in CLE if it sets up this Institute independent of the law school but yet under the sponsorship of the university. It should be headed by an eminent academic or a retired High Court/Supreme Court judge supported by a core team of experts capable of designing CLE courses and delivering it on a professional way. It can be run on a self-financing basis and can offer short-term courses on new areas of law to law teachers both from GNLU and outside. For advocates it will do immense good for better delivery of legal services. For public prosecutors, legislative draftsmen and law officers of the Government CLE programmes can help improve quality of legal work they are involved in a manner competitive to the private bar. The training programmes now being offered on ad hoc basis by GNLU can also be brought under ICLE.

35 B. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT This part is divided into three parts – Physical infra-structure, Technical infra-structure and Human Resource infra-structure. Physical Infra-structure : The campus buildings at the new campus is a state-of-art structure with an impressive design which can claim to be best in this part of the world for a law school. It is located in a 50 acre land at the edge of the Knowledge Corridor at Koba, Gandhinagar. The structure includes an administration block, a large library, classrooms of different sizes and shapes, hostel blocks (35 each having 12 rooms) for housing 1000 students. Canteen building, VIP Guest House, Staff Quarters and service apartments are said to be under construction. Besides, the campus accommodates a medical centre, general and stationary stores, cafeteria, gymnasium etc. Technical Infra-structure : The library has a large collection of books and periodicals which are being added regularly to cater to the needs of faculty and students. There is a good collection of books on foreign legal systems. The electronic collection is also impressive. Several E-books and electronic databases and information resources including on-line legal resource services add to the requirements of researchers and advanced learners. A computer laboratory for students is in place equipped with on-line law resources supported by printers and WiFi network connectivity. This is available in hostel rooms and faculty cabins as well. Thus perceived, the physical and technical infra-structure at GNLU new campus when completed may be capable to respond to world class standards if they are maintained and managed properly. Human Resources Infra-structure :

36

There are large gaps in the human resources infra-structure when world-class standards are set for the institution. Most of the faculty are in junior positions and there are hardly any senior teachers to develop and guide academic programmes. Even on the administrative side the absence of a regular Registrar is quite pronounced. The issue is discussed elsewhere in the report and, as such, is not repeated here. GNLU has a problem in hand in its aspiration to become a world class institution and that is about scholars and scholarship which alone can make an institution reputed in academic circles.

C. ADMINISTRATION FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND EXCELLENCE

While reviewing the administrative functioning in Part II of the report, it was pointed out that the Chairman’s post is lying vacant, the appointment procedure of Director through Search Committee is defective, the post of whole-time regular Registrar is not yet filled and there are no senior teachers to guide academic activities of the University. The Director must be doing multiple jobs as best as he can to keep the institution functional and it is to be appreciated. However, such a University cannot even aspire to become world-class, much less achieve competitive excellence. The present situation adversely affects efficiency, productivity and pursuit of excellence. The Commission therefore has no hesitation in recommending the following steps to be taken immediately by the authorities: (i) Appointment of Chairman: (Section 10) An eminent public figure known for scholarship, industry and leadership should be appointed as Chairman to guide and supervise the functioning of GNLU. (ii) Appointment of Director:

37 As provided in Regulation 8, appointment of Director should be made only from among names recommended by the duly appointed Search Committee. Clause 4 of the Regulation which authorises the appointment of persons other than these recommended by the Search Committee should be dropped. If necessary the appointing authority may seek a fresh panel from the Search Committee if in extraordinary situations it finds difficulty in selecting any one out of the original panel submitted. Being a University, there is a case in converting the designation of the head of the institution as Vice-Chancellor in place the existing designation of Director for its executive head. The Centres of Study/Research established by the University may have directors to guide them; in which case it will lead to confusion if the head of the University is also called Director. (iii) Appointment of Registrar: A whole-time Registrar with proper qualification and experience with authority to make decisions independently on administrative matters should be appointed early for the efficient functioning of the institution. An Academic Dean is another position which can be thought of when the University picks up activities in teaching, research, training and extension in full steam. (iv) Appointment of Professor: While acknowledging the problem of getting qualified professors in adequate numbers, the Commission would like to submit that any University aspiring to maintain quality cannot run its programmes without experienced and accomplished faculty members. It is therefore imperative on the part of University authorities to scout for talents in India or aboard and attract few senior teachers at least for temporary periods of three to five years even if it means offering of special pay and allowances. Organizational Culture and Leadership :

38 If IIM Ahmedabad has earned reputation as a world class institution, it is partly because of its organizational culture and dynamic leadership of those in command. To be able to develop a work culture of devotion to scholarship, endeavour to do things better and commitment to academic values, the senior faculty has responsibilities to perform. This work culture is not the product of laws and regulations or rewards and punishments alone. They develop through taking everybody into confidence in ‘decision making’, adopting best practices from elsewhere, developing powers and functions to functionaries at all levels and projecting a common vision carefully crafted. This is not to say that these are absent in GNLU, but only to emphasise their importance when one aspires to become world class in a highly competitive environment. De-centralized Management : Unlike conventional universities, GNLU is a small institution with a thousand students and fifty faculty members supported by another fifty administrative staff. Yet it has to perform all the functions of a University in terms of teaching, research, training and extension. The best way to organize it is decentralizing of decision-making at least in administration, if not in policy making. GNLU reportedly functions through Committees. Are the committees democratically constituted? Are they given clear mandate, independent authority, and accountability? What is the relationship between the Committee and the Director? How the Committees’ functioning is co-ordinated, audited and assessed? The management culture reflects on academic quality and efficiency of every educational institution. There are complaints the faculty raised in the constitution and functioning of the Committee system at GNLU. The Commission would only appeal to the authorities including the Director to have a close look at the system and see where corrections are needed to make their functioning smooth, productive and consultative. Public Relations: Public relations is part of legitimate image building of an institution. But when it is overdone it boomerangs particularly when the internal structures and processes are weak, and if

39 there is even a modicum of discontent among the staff or students. Promising more than one can offer through prospectus, advertisements and leaflets should be eschewed. The policy should be to let the programmes speak for itself. This is not to say that GNLU is guilty of it but to empazise a point. After all, for an institution which is still in its infancy, one cannot expect miracles to happen in an environment where academic institutions or even long standing are finding difficult to innovate, experiment and change styles of teaching/learning. The difficulty on organising teaching of Science and Technology in the law curriculum had dissuaded many law schools from offering B.Sc., LL.B. Degree courses. Some who attempted it have found it non-viable. The experience of GNLU in this regard is also not encouraging. Therefore the wisdom in continuing such a course requires re-thinking if quality is to be maintained.

Grievance Redressal : The Director in his note to the Commission has submitted that there is an effective grievance redressal mechanism which has the following elements: (a) Free access to Director and members of the faculty to seek redressal of grievances. (b) An Appeal Council to provide a platform for staff members in case of an irregularity or contestable decision by any functionary of University. (c) Mentorship by faculty members of students and regular mentor meets to address personal problems of students.

During the Commission’s interaction with students it was revealed that there are communication gaps between the students and the administration and there are apprehension of victimisation if they take up their grievances. Even a section of Faculty complained of actions “demeaning the honour of faculty”, too many seminars and training programmes unrelated to faculty/student interests and “conducted for name sake”, appointment of unqualified and inexperienced wardens in hostels etc.

40

Apparently, the system of grievance redressal is not functioning effectively and there is some amount of suppressed feelings both among faculty and students unrecognised by the administration. The Commission has not probed the problem further to be able to pass any judgment on the issue; but we want to flag the issue that there is some amount of simmering discontent which need to be addressed by the administration in the best interest of the institution.

D. FINANCES AND ACCOUNTS Frankly the Commission had not been able to go into issues of finances and accounts though it can be construed as part of its mandate. The fact there are no scandals and allegations of financial irregularities and the auditing by Government of accounts of the University are being regularly done are enough to indicate that the University is taking care of this important aspect with due care and caution. Nonetheless, the Commission would like to make one observation in this regard for the authorities to consider if they find it of relevance. The University spends over Rupees Twelve crores every year to run the institution. The Government has spent nearly 150 crores of rupees to develop the infra-structure. In return for such investments, the University is now able to give education for a total of about 1200 law students each year. The per capita expenditure is fairly high compared to the expenditure on legal education elsewhere in the State. 76% of the expenditure is recovered as student fees. This can be justified only in terms of high quality education offered comparable to the best in the circumstances. In other words, GNLU may sooner or later will be confronted with the issue of quality of instruction in relation to the quantity of fees collected. Public may ask whether the society is getting due return for the investment of tax payers’ money particularly when graduates tend to migrate to the private corporate sector. GNLU now tries to offset such criticism by way of offering a variety of services to corporates, Governments, sister institutions and civil society. All these need to be constantly reviewed to justify the liberal investment Government has made on the institution.

41

Prof. N. R. Madhava Menon Chairman

Prof. H.C. Dholokia Member

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful