National Law University, Orissa


National Law University, Orissa
National Law University, Orissa
NLUO logo
Motto सत्ये स्थितो धर्म:
Established 2009
Type National University
Chancellor Chief Justice of Orissa High Court
Vice-Chancellor Faizan Mustafa
Students 360
Undergraduates 360
Location Cuttack, Orissa, India
Campus Cuttack
Website www.nluo.ac.in

National Law University, Orissa (NLUO) is the newest addition to the list of the National Law Universities in India. It is located at Cuttack, Orissa. The university offers courses for undergraduate and graduate legal education. NLUO has been established to be a national level institute of excellence in higher learning of law in the state of Orissa by the Government of Orissa by virtue of the Act 4 of 2008. The university is offering integrated B.A. LL.B. and B.B.A. LL.B. courses.

Its first session began in 2009; classes started from 20 July 2009. The first batch is 120 students, 60 each in BBA LLB and BA LLB. The university offers to have streams of BSc LLB and BCA LLB in the following years. The present temporary buildings of the university consist of a six-storey hostel and a three-floor academic building. The university plans to shift to its new campus the next session. The new campus has an area of 30 acres (120,000 m2) already sanctioned and 20 more acres to be given soon by the Orissa government. The formal inaugural function of the university was on 31 October 2009. It was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of India, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan in the presence of the Chief Minister of Orissa, Shri Naveen Pattnaik. The Orissa government's law minister and the higher education minister were also present along with the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court Mr. Quddusi and the former vice chancellor of National Law Schools of Bangalore and Jodhpur Mr. N.L. Mitra. The first vice chancellor of the NLUO is Prof. Dr. Faizan Mustafa.

Contents

Overview

The National Law University, Orissa promises to be an exciting new development in the field of legal education. A very new institution, its establishing Act of legislature was notified as recently as April 2009, entrance examinations were conducted in May, and classes began in July. Already it has made its presence felt both in terms of education quality as well as in co-curricular activities such as moot courts. NLUO is located in Cuttack. Not only is the Orissa High Court situated here but also some of the finest lawyers and judges of the country trace their roots back to this city.

The university is presently situated in temporary premises along the Mahanadi river, towards the north-west of the city’s present limits. It is scheduled to move to a new purpose-built campus at Naraj, a location being developed as an institutional area. It is heartening to know that despite the very brief time in which the university was set up, it has received positive responses from across the country. In its very first year, it has admitted students from 25 states, representing a diverse range of socio-economic, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. NLUO hopes that, in the years to come, students from even more diverse backgrounds will join NLUO, thereby underscoring its truly national character

Background

To appreciate the significance of NLUO and what it aspires to, it is necessary to understand the background in which it was set up. There was a time when integrated five-year law courses were looked upon as a novelty. This is no longer true. More than 20 years have passed since the first such course was established, and now the concept is regarded as commonplace. Indeed, no less than 19 dedicated public and private law colleges, not to mention the law departments of numerous larger universities, have come to offer integrated five-year courses. This serves to throw a singular challenge to new law schools. Previously, the very fact that a university offered a five-year integrated course would have automatically established it as a centre of excellence. Now, in this crowded and even competitive scenario, an institution must earn this recognition. And the only way it can do so is by achieving genuinely high standards of legal pedagogy and research.

Objects

NLUO has positioned itself to meet this challenge squarely. Being what is termed a “third generation law university”, it is ideally placed to learn from other law schools, from their strength and their drawbacks, their success and lapses equally. Drawing from these experiences, it has embarked upon a well-defined course of action to achieve the levels of excellence it aspires to. This comprises three aspects.

Teaching

The first concern is its teaching curricula. NLUO has designed its undergraduate programme keeping certain specific objectives in mind. It recognises that classroom study must be integrated much more closely with the profession and practice of law. It acknowledges equally the need for instilling in students a sense of social and ethical responsibility. This would include not only exposing them to the right values but also imparting the appropriate skillsets to uphold them, for example those of advocacy, analysis, legislative drafting and judicial reasoning. As an extension of the above, NLUO also strives to ensure that students’ education is well-rounded. To this end, it has right from its inception adhered to an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach. At present it offers BA, LLB (Hons) and BBA, LLB (Hons) courses. Moreover, it has made several optional courses freely available to all students, which means that a student from the social-sciences stream is free to opt for a few management-related courses and vice versa. The University is also concerned that most graduates of other national law universities tend to avoid a career in litigation (as either practising advocates or judges), and instead seek employment in law firms and corporate houses. It seeks to reverse this trend towards “soft lawyering”, and encourage students towards “hard law” career options. NLUO also regards continuing education as an essential part of its pedagogical programme. In this regard, it intends to regularly organise orientation and training programmes for legal academics, judicial officers, practising advocates, social activists and so on.

Research

The second aspect relates to research. NLUO recognises the dearth of quality theoretical and applied research in law. In this regard, it also notes that legal research is perceptibly distancing itself from socially relevant issues. To address this, the University proposes to establish a number of specialised centres, such as the Centre for Mining Law, the Centre for Food Law, the Centre for Water Law, the Centre for Agriculture Law, and the Centre for Energy Law. At a more general level, it proposes to nurture quality legal research by establishing conditions most appropriate for incubating scholarly activity. Foremost among them is a library comparable to the highest international standards. This can be achieved only over a reasonable span of time, but already the library can be considered adequate to meet the basic needs of students, despite the acute shortage of space in the present location. Once we move to the new campus at Naraj, this will no longer remain a constraint. In addition, NLUO has already begun the process of acquiring access to the best online repositories and databases, relating to not only law but also other areas such as management and the social sciences. Any significant research initiative can be sustained only through the involvement of the best brains. Accordingly, assembling world-class good faculty members remains one of NLUO’s topmost priorities. Even at this early stage, its staff includes products of the best national and international universities. In the days to come, this is sure to improve even further.

Dissemination

Research can be a worthwhile endeavour only if it is made relevant to the needs of individuals and the society at large. To achieve this, it is necessary to unshackle scholarly output from ivory towers, and disseminate it amongs those who may derive practical benefit from it. NLUO has adopted a multi-pronged strategy for this purpose.This includes first of all organising lectures, seminars and conferences to promote legal scholarship, propagate legal knowledge, bridge the distance between law and society, and also channelise the legal process as an effective means of social reform and evolution. And the second aspect is to generate publications, intended for scholars, non-legal specialists as well as the general public.

Campus

At present, the university is housed in temporary premises originally intended for other purposes. Despite this constraint, the school has made considerable efforts to ensure this does not handicap them in academic standards or in the quality of life provided to the students. National Law University, Orissa is fully Wi-Fi enabled, with routers installed outside almost every room in in academic block and some seven or eight to a floor in the hostels. Other areas of infrastructural development are being addressed as expeditiously as possible

Academic block

The academic block is in a rented building on the outskirts of the city, along the banks of the Mahanadi river. A few months of after they obtained possession, the school can claim infrastructural resources that are at least adequate to sustain education and research in reasonable comfort. This includes classrooms, a moot court hall, a well-appointed conference hall, faculty and administrative offices, and a snack bar.

Classrooms are spacious, comfortable, and air-conditioned. They are equipped with the latest in audio-visual equipment, such as LCD projectors and wired sound. Use of these facilities have been consciously integrated into the teaching curriculum. In most courses, viva voce examinations have been eschewed in favour of presentations. This acclimatises students with public speaking and makes them familiar with PowerPoint and other presentation software, a valuable skillset in today’s professional environment. This emphasis on infrastructure also permits recourse to classroom strategies not seen in many law schools in India.

Film screenings are frequently organised in class, which are followed by discussions and brainstorming sessions.

The Moot Court Hall is more than twice as large as a classroom. It is air-conditioned and equipped with all the necessary audio-visual equipment. It has been designed to serve several roles. Apart from hosting moot-court competitions, it doubles up as a practice area where students hone their moot court skills; as a hall where subject-presentations are organised; and as a venue for guest lectures by eminent personalities. Within the short existence of National Law University, Orissa, they have hosted talks by several distinguished speakers, such as the political scientists Prof. S. K. Das and Prof. Ashwini Ray, and the social activist Medha Patkar.

Hostel

Temporary hostel premises are at Cantonment Road, about five kilometres east of the Academic Block along the banks of the Mahanadi. It was originally built as a set of apartments for senior IAS officers. Right now this building accommodates 120 students across six floors. The ground floor contains dining halls and recreation areas equipped with television, table-tennis tables, carrom boards and so on. The space outside the building is given over to games like football and badminton.

Discipline is given considerable priority. Though the present arrangements entail housing boys and girls in one building, great care is taken to ensure that interaction across the genders remains within the bounds of propriety. Security arrangements are stringent to ensure the safety and security of residents and their property. Other welfare measures include round-the-clock housekeeping services, broadband wi-fi access, extensive first-aid facilities, and an ambulance on duty 24 hours.

Work is in full swing on a permanent hostel complex at the Naraj site. It was expected to be operational by June 2010, in time for the arrival of the next batch of students. This complex boasts certain singular features, such as single-seater rooms for all students, including those in the first year.

Faculty

  • Prof. (Dr.) Faizan Mustafa, is the vice-chancellor of NLUO. Before joining NLUO, he was the founder director of KIIT Law School. He has served as dean of Faculty of Law, AMU and registrar of AMU for two years. He is honourable director, RLEK, Human Rights Centre, Dehradun and visiting faculty to several reputed institutes in India and abroad. Mustafa is a gold medalist in LL.M. from Aligarh Muslim University. He completed his PhD in intellectual property law. He has a diploma in International and Comparative Human Rights from the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. He has been decorated with several accolades which include René Cassin Gold Medal (1999) of International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France and International Educator of the Year Award (2004) by International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England. As a keen researcher and avid academician, Dr. Mustafa has authored eight books and about hundred national and International papers to his credit.
  • B.K. Sahoo is the ex-registrar.
  • Prof. N.L. Mitra received his M.Com, LL.M. and PhD from Calcutta University. He holds a certificate in Human Rights from International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. Mitra has been the vice-chancellor of National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore and National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur. He has been the chairman of several important government of India committees and has advised Reserve Bank of India and other important bodies.
  • Yogesh Pratap Singh earned his LL.M. (with specialisation in Human Rights Laws) from National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore and M.A. in History from the University of Allahabad. He has worked as a “law trainee” in the Supreme Court of India under the guidance of Hon'ble Justice S. B. Sinha, Senior Judge, Supreme Court of India. He has also worked as a Legal Researcher in the Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK), Dehra Dun. He participated in the 39th Annual Session on International Human Rights Law organised by International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. Yogesh has also been a part of Ciedhu[clarification needed] programme in France conducted for university teachers.
  • Abhik Majumdar did his LL.M from National University of Singapore and B.A.LL.B from National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore.
  • M. L. Shankar Kaarmukilan earned his B.A. B.L. from Government Law College (GLC), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. He pursued his Master of Law (LL.M.) in the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata. He worked as an intern in the Securities and Exchange Board of India, Mumbai and in the Planning Commission, Government of India, New Delhi. He did his dissertation titled Compensation, Securities and Stakeholding – The Way Forward under the supervision and guidance of Prof. (Dr.) Mahendra P. Singh, vice-chancellor, NUJS, Kolkata. He taught at NUJS as Junior Lecturer and Lecturer in Law at KIIT Law School before joining NLUO.
  • Tapan R. Mohanty completed his M.A. in Sociology and M.Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has worked as Research Officer in Centre for Rural Studies, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. He was awarded Junior Research Fellowship from the Wildlife Institute of India, Ministry of Environment and Doctoral Fellowship from Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi. He has published widely in many journals on topics including primary education, social dynamics of economic principles, reproductive rights, caste and economic reforms, environment, Indian politics, etc., and is a regular contributor in national and regional dailies. At present he is the Global Adviser, Poverty Advisory Group, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, U.K.
  • Pinaki Nandan Pattnaik earned two MBA degrees, one in International Business from University of Saskatchewan, Canada and the other in Marketing and Communication from Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands with five years of teaching experience. He has been associated with Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology, Canada as a professor. As a part of the business department, he has advised and participated in several pre-business initiatives. As an assistant professor of marketing at KIIT Law School, KIIT University, he has taught courses in Economics in addition to the different papers in Marketing. Here at National Law University, Orissa, he is working as an Assistant Professor of Management since 15 July 2009 involved in courses like Principles of Marketing Management and Practices and Principles of Management. Pinaki has a multicultural knowledge of business ethics, operations and strategies spanning to three continents. During the last seven years, he travelled, learnt and spent quality time researching and assimilating the intricacies of doing business in Europe, North America and Japan. He has had the opportunity to visit Sendai, Japan in June/July, 2005 to develop a regional economic development project that would involve exploring linkages among various stakeholders in Canada and Japan.
  • A.B. Debasis Rout graduated in chemistry, switched streams and qualified as a chartered accountant, worked for three years in the rural- and micro-banking sectors with ICICI Bank, and has now abandoned the corporate sector in favour of an academic career. He brings to NLUO a rare combination of theoretical acumen and practical experience. He is in charge of the principles of financial accounting, a course that makes the basic principles accounting accessible to first-year BBA, LLB (Hons.) students. In future, as the university grows, he plans to introduce courses that range from the purely theoretical to specialist modules that make finance and accounting relevant to different branches of law.
  • Manisha Mishra earned a Masters degree in English from the University of Hyderabad in 2008, opting for three papers of English language and 14 papers of English literature. Before that, she completed a post graduate diploma in print journalism from Manorama School of Communication, Kerala. She earned her undergraduate degree in English literature from Utkal University, Orissa.
  • Byasa Moharana completed his Masters degrees in anthropology (University of Pune, 2000) and in sociology (Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2003). He received the first Prof. T.K. Oommen Award as the Best Student of Sociology (2003). Issues related to social stratification, gender and religion have been his areas of research interest with a special emphasis on the regional character of Orissa as a cultural landscape. He is about to finish his PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. In the first semester, he taught basic concepts and themes of sociology that lay the foundation to proceed to the second semester. Here, the attempt would be to explore and engage with the specific issues and debates that bear relevance to study contemporary India.



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