Gearing up for law earlyGearing up for law early Eleventh-standard students in 200 Indian schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) may have “legal studies” as an elective subject option academic year 2013-14 onwards, according to the Times of India.

The elective will be open to students opting for any of the three streams of compulsory subjects - science, commerce, and humanities - after the tenth standard grade, reported the paper.

The CBSE wrote to 200 affiliated schools on 5 April 2013 asking for their expression of interest in offering the new course to their students. The schools have to reply by 20 April, and depending on this initial response the board may introduce the elective in other affiliated schools, CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi told the paper.

The curriculum will include political theory, nature and sources of law, Indian legal history, civil and criminal procedure, family law, alternate dispute resolution, human rights in India, international law, and the “legal profession in India”, according to Times’ report.

Nalsar vice chancellor Prof Faizan Mustafa, who has been supporting the proposals, commented: “The idea is to have a basic introductory course in law so that those who are [for instance studying] humanities in 12th [standard] eventually develop an interest in law.”

“If you add all the engineering colleges in the country, 20 lakh people are taking the entrance exam whereas for the CLAT [Common Law Admission Test] there are only 30,000. That clearly means that law is not a preferred option despite its job prospects […] because it is not taught at the school level,” he added.

29,500 aspirants registered for taking the CLAT this year, which is a 15 per cent hike over last year’s total number.

“To my mind on a preliminary level it seems a pretty okay move but it does disadvantage students who are not going to a CBSE school,” commented Diptasri Basu, executive director at Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA) – a non-profit initiative training underprivileged CLAT aspirants.

“Basic history and polity is good enough for anyone who needs a taste of law, you don’t need to know core law before attempting CLAT. My primary concern is that schools are becoming super-specialised at too early a stage,” she said.

“While [teaching legal studies in schools] can be tested as an introductory scheme, apart from encouraging a few students to do law I don’t think it will have too much of an impact in the number of people taking [law] up. A lot depends on the syllabus framed and the expertise of the teachers engaged in taking up the subject. Teaching school students CPC or CRPC, as is mentioned in the proposed syllabus, does not make sense at all,” added Basu.

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Like +2 Object -2 GS Bhatia 13 Apr 13, 23:11
Sir,
There is no harm if the subject of law as optional is introduced in+1 or +2. In fact if we go 40-50 years back at that time the students of 9,10,11 learn the basic English &Math and humanities,science or medical line. There were rare students in the class who obtained more than 70% marks. Similarly if we go back 20-30years the students of primary education i.e upto 5th standard were perfect in basic english,GK,Airthmatic and computer and there were rare students in the class who obtained less than 50-40%marks. Meaning thereby that grasping power of students have been increased and its main cause is to imbibe English at grass root level ,therefore, the basic & common english,science,medical,A rithmatic,GK,computer knowledge is obtained at 5 or 6 th level. Now the stage has been
reached that students may get option at 9,10,11 level as early as it could be.
The students of law are commonly law abiders. Actually the knowledge of law should be embarked by every student . It is not only helpful for law practising but to streamline the society also.It keep disciplined in the society. Only one example I will quote here that student of 8,9,10 onwards knew that if he ride the scooter,motorcycle without license it is offensable and punishable. If he grasp the other basic law knowledge like begamy,rape,scuffle,murde r,accidental case,property matter,labour law it will create discipline,knowledgable citizens.
Gurinderjit Singh Bhatia
Patiala. 9815651256
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Like +2 Object -1 shahi saurabhi 05 Jun 13, 15:13
whats the eligibility criteria for teachin law in schools LLM or B.Ed
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Like +2 Object -1 Drishti B 05 Jun 13, 16:24
Even though you say that the grasping power of kids has increased, but that dosen't mean that we are not kids anymore. I think a whole new added SUBJECT concerning law will only help in increasing the burden. The students of the current generation have been transformed into "hurried child" as quoted by Dr. David Elkind. And as for the matter of learning about basic law knowledge,that has been and will continue to be grasped from our surrounding. Probably only introducing an additional chapter on basic law knowledge will be enough to give a little taste of legal studies, and anyway the people who have made up their mind to take up law will persue it anyway. I don't think adding a new subject option will show substantial increase in the number of students taking up law.
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Like +2 Object -0 San 07 Jul 13, 01:14
This is a good move. I do not think, the course on legal studies is about hard law stuff, but rather an introduction to what law is all about - like general knowledge - for much specialized course students will have to get into a law school. Just the way I learnt about Bosch process in chemistry in grade 9, I think students can learn the basic difference between what is civil matter vs, what is criminal matter, or what is this animal called human rights?
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Like +2 Object -1 Good move 08 Jul 13, 10:16
So it means more jobs for law lecturers!!!
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