The Rs 23-crore project supported by the West Bengal government to set up the “Law School of the 21st Century” in Salt Lake has entered its last lap. The sprawling five-acre campus will be unveiled by Chief Justice B. N. Kirpal on October 27.
“The new campus will have the best of facilities, matching international standards,” says N.R. Madhava Menon, vice-chancellor of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS). The university is now functioning out of Aranya Bhavan, in Salt Lake.
The integrated campus, on the EM Bypass, coming up with a Hudco loan and a guarantee from the state government, will have a four-storeyed academic block and a seven-storeyed hostel complex. The library and the classrooms will have state-of-the-art facilities “to offer the best of legal education” and broaden the basket of courses offered by the fledgling institute.
An immediate effect of the shift to the new campus — by April 2003 — will be a doubling of students in the Ll.B and Ll.M courses from the existing 250 to 500.
“We are networking with institutes like Bangalore Law School and foreign universities like Oxford and Harvard to facilitate academic exchange through video-conferencing. The institute will also have an e-library to help students access legal reports from across the globe,” says Menon, who set up the Bangalore Law School. “But here, we are looking beyond the Bangalore Law School,” he adds.
The authorities at NUJS are also planning to introduce a bachelor’s degree in juridical sciences, plus a slew of short-duration diploma courses, covering areas like human rights and cyber crime. “Besides, we will offer distance-learning programmes to reach more students. We will also have a permanent Lok Adalat on the campus,” says Menon.
To mark the inauguration of the new campus, a weeklong programme, involving legal luminaries, has been lined up. This includes Judicial Colloquia (involving judges from the Supreme Court and various high courts), the Bar Councillors’ Conclave and the All-India Moot Court Competition.
“This will be the biggest meet of the legal fraternity in the country,” promises Menon.