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Things are getting better, says NUJS student council report: Faculty exodus reversed, better infra, more open admin

NUJS Kolkata’s Student Juridical Association (SJA) has released a report outlining the changes it has facilitated in college, “from faculty recruitment to drastic overhaul of infrastructure including the remedying  of the girls hostel space crunch, the situation has improved considerably in the short span of two years”.

“Please note that these initiatives are based on the SJA's contribution and are not exhaustive of all the steps the administration has taken up on its own,” wrote SJA president Adithya Iyer in an email.

“As you are well aware, NUJS has been in the [news], mostly for the wrong reasons in the recent past. And without attempting any justification, we regard it as a part of an institution's journey of making mistakes and learning from them to make it a better place for everyone,” he added.

Below the executive summary and the full report.

Summary by SJA

The SJA, over the course of A.Y.s 2013-14 and 2014-15, committed itself to providing the best possible representation of student interests in NUJS, and our commitment to this ideal has helped us achieve substantial and much-needed reforms in matters pertaining to academic quality and facilities, infrastructure, recreational facilities, and transparency.

In 2012 and 2013, NUJS faced difficulties with what can be described as an ‘exodus’ of many eminent faculty members and a deterioration in the quality of faculty members being recruited.

We are happy to report that we have been able to reverse this trend and introduce student involvement in the recruitment process, in the form of demo classes. The entire academic setup of NUJS has also witnessed significant change, including the introduction of a fairer and more transparent method of awarding elective courses, the establishment of a dedicated Credit Course Cell and an Academic Reforms Committee, as well as doing away with the arbitrary discretion afforded to teachers regarding late submission of projects, and its replacement with a fair and transparent system.

The past two years have also seen a substantial improvement in the academic facilities afforded to students- printing and photocopying costs have been halved and the University authorities have agreed to allow the library to remain open until 10 p.m. on weekends and the journal room to function from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 8 p.m. on weekends.

Infrastructure at NUJS has also witnessed significant up-gradation over the last two years and a direct corollary of this has been an improvement in the living conditions in our hostels. The hostel toilets have been renovated and malfunctioning equipment has been replaced, industrial capacity water coolers supplying RO filtered water have been installed on every floor in the hostels, air-conditioners have been installed in the ladies’ dormitories and new flats have been constructed to house lady students, who have hitherto had to live in cramped dormitories.

A more permanent solution to the problem of space scarcity has also been found, with the grant of an additional 0.75 acres of land adjoining our campus, which will be used to build hostel blocks, sports facilities and a guest house. The previous canteen vendor, whose services left much to be desired, has been replaced with a new vendor ‘Little Sisters’, about whom we are yet to receive anything but positive reports.

Recreational facilities at NUJS have also seen a change for the better over the last two years. Our Sports Committee has secured a tie-up with SAI, which will allow students to use its facilities, with the cost being borne by the University.

The dilapidated condition of the gym has been a long-running complaint- this has been addressed by increasing the size of the gym, installing air-conditioners and purchasing new, branded equipment for the use of the students.

We are also happy to report that our annual cultural fest, OUTLAWED, has surpassed itself to become the biggest cultural fest in the law school circuit. OUTLAWED has witnessed an immense increase in both its budget and scale of activities, and has hosted star-nights featuring Indian Ocean, AGNEE, Pentagram, Dualist Inquiry and Midival Punditz over its two editions in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The most far-reaching reform that NUJS has witnessed in this period has been the institution of transparent procedures where there previously existed a system of discretion, more often than not exercised arbitrarily.

The administration is now more open and accountable, and this has been reflected in the many positive changes that the University has witnessed over the course of A.Y.s 2013-14 and 2014-15.

In the past couple of years, many had been erroneously led to believe that the high standards that are representative of NUJS were being eroded.

However, the high academic standards of NUJS, as well as its unique location in the heart of Kolkata, which afford students opportunities that they would not experience in any other law school of the country have helped relegate this perception to its rightful place in the margins and cement NUJS’s rightful place amongst the top two law schools of the country.

Full report

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