Persona non grata

This article is submitted by Debashish Dumbre (BBA. LL.B. Class of 2020) 

 

One would think the college wants us dead inside if we didn’t know better. They took away those nice single seater desk/chairs we had in our first year, we didn’t say anything. They added an hour of classes and an extra subject to our daily schedule, we stayed silent. They had those amazingly efficient video presentations back in our second trimester, we accepted that because college hi toh maalik hai. But today, NMIMS School of Law threatened to take away the most sacred of institutions away from us. They threatened to take our Sunday away from us.

 
This exceedingly arrogant pronouncement by the School of Law not only treads upon the patience of us students, but it worryingly undermines the work that has been put into the NMCC event as a whole. Having to resort to the threat of attendance, which will undoubtedly be effective (getting debarred sucks), screams to the students that the administration lacks faith in the event. The work that the students have put in for the event has been amazing, and the NMCC is bound to be a success. But, a move like this breeds nothing but contempt and spite against the forced participation asked of us. How would you feel if in some dystopian future, the government forced you to partake in its countless endeavors? What if the Supreme Court forced you to stand up to the National anthem before every movie? (OOOOOOOH SNAP)
SOL students go through a lot. That constant paranoia of maintaining a steady GPA, keeping up with your amazingly talented peers, and keeping your attendance figures afloat is a monumental task for some. In the end, this isn’t about taking up our Sunday (it actually is), its about the administration realizing that its whims and fancies are mutually exclusive to its obligations.

 
Maybe, just maybe, we really do not know any better.

 
I hope they don’t expel me for this. I have a family to feed.

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#HootForMoot #NMCC_2K17 : The hollow charade of threats

This article is submitted anonymously.
The shameless scare tactics employed to fill an auditorium resonate only hollowness if students are forced to sit in all day only to be eye candy for few photographs. It is a pointless charade that reduces adult human beings to mere objects for gratification.
Please note, this has nothing to do with the fact that students are being intimidated to attend on a Sunday. The very idea of intimidating students is an horrid one on any given day of any month. I do not appreciate being threatened with attendance every second day in Law School.
I was going to attend the Final Round simply because the spectacle of averments amuse me. However, I no longer wish to do so, as a sign of protest against the fact SVKM’s NMIMS School of Law National Moot Court Competition 2017 (NMCC) chose threats before appealing to my innate sensibilities.
They chose threats rather than telling me about razor sharp judges ripping through argument. Or the appeal of seeing participants from around the country finding their way through multifaceted tax laws. Or simply a request to help out my colleagues in the Organizing Committee.

It is sad.

Editorial Note: We entertain views from all sides of any argument. Rebuttals are always more effective. You know where to reach us. 

Mana nahin kar rahe hain, lekin permission leni chahiya na

Permission

This article is submitted anonymously.

I am a victim. I am a part of the system. I have been there, done that.

I am an enthusiastic ex-organizer. Ex, for many reasons, one of which I will talk about elaborately in this article. I have voluntarily organised nearly 3 events in NMIMS, and aided a few others while they were being organised. One of the major upside of having an authoritative position, was being able to tell people that you had an authoritative position. Unfortunately, it ends there. This, in NMIMS School of Law, is essentially the person who manages everything between the students and the administration.

The NMIMS administration. Ah. That glorious body, whose sole purpose is to discourage a student from organizing an event anywhere ever. The administration department of NMIMS School of Law is not evil, it is simply frustrating. The purpose of the administration department is to create a system helpful for the students, to encourage them to approach the authorities. In SOL, not so much. The admin department hides behind the garb of paperwork to make sure that the spirit of the student is utterly crushed by the time his approval is in place. With their patented dialogue, “You are future lawyers, you need to rely on paperwork”, they have managed to singlehandedly jeopardize the entire environment by the sheer number of applications and paper they ask the students to print (mostly using the student’s money). The NMIMS SOL office makes you type applications so that you can be allowed to write applications, so that you can go ahead and get the permission to have access to class till 8, which they will eventually rescind anyway, because why not. People who have organised events in SOL know the importance of a team just for typing and submitting applications. It doesn’t matter if you are just planning an event or if you are LITERALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ONGOING EVENT, if they want an application, you’ll need to give it.

In my college, everyone wants an event to happen. The students, the committees, the student council, even the admin department. The students help by volunteering, the committees by organizing, the council by aiding, and the admin department, by, well…the admin department doesn’t help organize events. It helps build your resilience though, and is extremely good if you want to have field tests for your anger management techniques.

This might look a lot like a rant that’s pretty much uncalled for against people doing their jobs, but it’s not. It is a plea. A cry for help, a cry for change. A cry by someone who once wanted to change the system, who once wanted to be able to help the college, who wanted to create a “Culture” in the college. I was once an enthusiastic worker, and worked outside of the system just so that I could help the people who wanted to do something. Then I joined the System, and it all went downhill.

It’s not like I didn’t try to change the system either. So many suggestions have fallen on deaf ears up until now, that the suggestions that are actually paid heed to seem out of line now. The best solution would be to keep one, just one point person in the admin department for the students to have contact with. That one point person then goes and gets the approvals, and guides the documentation. Sneha ma’am has to a certain point filled that role, but in her seat, there was only so much she could’ve done. Another simple solution was to reduce the number of signatures required. If the signature of just the faculty head would be authority enough, getting approvals would’ve been so much more convenient and faster. Another simple yet obvious solution would be to assign faculty heads who know about the committees’ mandate. A faculty head who knows how things happen and what is to be done, is more of a boon to a committee than any outsider would understand.

But I see hope. With a few outstanding events being organised in SOL, small but outstanding events, there is hope that the admin department of SOL will learn in time that the larger the event gets, the easier they are supposed to make things go for the students. Someday, SOL will leave its mark on the circuit, and that day, hopefully, all of us will be seen as the harbingers of the Moots and the Debates and the MUNs and Meraki. Or not. It’s a thankless job, and we don’t need to be recognized. We will be just as happy to work from behind the veil as we were to work in the limelight. It’s the results that count and nothing else.

For the time being, my hearty condolences to the Student’s Council.

Education v. Training

dil-churaya-tune-mera-o-sanam-tu-sanam-o-sanam-tu-sanam

This article is written by Aditya Mudgal (BA.LL.B. Class of 2020)

Whether a wall may be strong or weak, it is made up of bricks. A society stable or unstable is made of people. To make the strongest wall in the world you need the bricks to play their part well. You need the best bricks. To make a stable society you need educated people. A stable society is the ideal humans have been pursuing from the time unknown. Educated humans in a society are indispensable for its existence.

In today’s world, people actually don’t have much option other than to rely on universities for education since it has created such an institution of itself.

With India being one of the most populated country in the world, a great population creates a great demand for resources and competition. With demand for resources comes the race to provide resources. With competition comes the capitalist self. Such segmentation leads to a poor quality of citizens and undeveloped society.

It is pretty clear that well educated people get employed for sure thus correlating education to not starving one to death. In such a mess with quality resources only for some and fierce competition it is pretty necessary for anyone to be educated.

So talking about present day India’s institutions, the story is weird and complicated. With students the institutions are also in a race to provide employment and not education. With such a high demand comes great money and with great money comes commercialization. Private institutions in India have commercialized a very basic need of the society.

I never knew what commercialized education was until I visited the financial centre of India that is, Mumbai. I had heard a lot about the institutions under the banner of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Science but I did not know what the reality was.

Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Science or NMIMS is the very example of such a commercialized channel of education. What came to my surprise first was how there are twenty seven colleges in one building. That kind of also answered my question as to when I was googling images of NMIMS School of Law I did not get satisfying results. But I don’t get a lot of things about NMIMS and SVKM still and here is the list:

  • How did the planner convey to the architect that we need a plan to make approximately twenty seven colleges in one building?
  • Do students need glass lifts and other fancy stuff more than a better faculty?
  • How did the planner envisage to maintain student’s health without providing absolutely any sports facility?
  • When there can be glass lifts, automatic doors and plastic gardens in a building, why aren’t sufficient steps taken to provide something as basic as affordable accommodation to students when, from years, more than half of the student population is from other cities than Mumbai?

Coming back to education let us take the case of NMIMS School of Law. School of Law is run by NMIMS with a plan to dish out the best lawyers in the country. I do not disagree. Even the students coming in want to be the best lawyers in the country but sometimes it does not matter what you want but matters is how you want. The question is as to how?

The college is more of a training ground than an educational institution. The college seeks to create lawyers with high CGPA and suppressed mindset. The college seeks to create students who do not question authority above them and just work when they are told to because they are being paid for it. It is the corporate culture at its best. Here success is a big thing excellence is not.

I am an ardent believer in the notion that a college atmosphere is the one where new ideas and innovations should crop out. It is the place where people find themselves and become the best they should be and that is only possible when they are allowed to do things freely. It is only possible when they are not touched by anything else than life itself because it is the biggest teacher. I feel that a college institution should be valued upon what kind of channels it provides to its students to become the best they can rather than valuing colleges over the packages that students score after it. Anyway, if a student scores an exemplary package that is not because the college trained him well, it is because the student was born for the field he was studying there. Also such packages as are rare anywhere. There are a lot of people who find what they want to be in college. There are a lot of famous example like Anil Kumble who is one of the most celebrated cricketers of all time, started playing in college. Had he been in NMIMS School of Law, he would had been advised by the faculties and college indirectly to focus on law more so that he can earn a beautiful salary for rest of his life. The thing is, that these choices as to what you need to do are very subjective and can prove disastrous or wonderful for anyone’s life. Your work consists a major part of your life.

The question can be how a college hinders the path you want to choose? The moment you tell students to sit in class in a particular manner, to look at the faculty in a particular manner, to talk to anyone in a particular manner, to wear a uniform, not give them enough freedom to operate their clubs and societies, to create permission for nearly everything that students need to do, to tell them what and how everything is to be done, to not be open to creativity in projects and stick to the instructions that are given to you by someone who is a authority over you, when you make them suffer assuming that they’ll suffer later so why not practice that before hand to assume that students are irresponsible, stupid and barbaric and the last as to not practically evaluate your own policies and be rigid about them.

It might be the difference of ideology between me and the authorities. Every administration works with a balance of stick and lenient and rigid and flexible. I don’t think college administration has to work with a stick if the administration is cogent enough to make its students understand the importance of any law. Though you need a stick somewhere in the process but you should know the practical implication of your actions and try to be more understanding. The key is always to strike a balance. Have rigid law but be flexible enough when they have to. Have the guts to argue and convince your own students for anything. After all it is all about the students. You don’t know for sure that everyone who comes out of this college will wear white and black or not.