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GNLU director Bimal Patel's term renewed after rosy report says NaMo should give Rs 25 cr

Dholakia and Bimal Patel
Dholakia and Bimal Patel

GNLU Gandhinagar director Dr Bimal Patel will continue as the law school’s director for another five years, according to a press release which stated that GNLU’s general council had renewed his term that had expired in November.

The renewal of Patel’s term was dependent on GNLU’s final review commission report which was pending because the commission’s third member – Prof Bakul Dholakia – had not released his findings.

Patel held a press conference at Gandhinagar today, having invited and emailed media about the conference yesterday, to partially reveal Dholakia’s findings.

The press release, which was also translated into Gujarati, listed “a few prominent observations”, according to which GNLU had the following in addition to “diligent” faculty:

- a robust and effective system to ensure high quality of academic input and output

- a solid foundation to emerge as a credible centre of training and capacity-building for institutions and individuals

- accountability, empowerment, the separation of power between decision-making and implementing offices, fairness and work load in formation and functioning of internal committees

- a result-based budget system which is an outcome of well-established annual practice of collective inputs obtained from faculty members, centre directors and head of administrative departments on the annual goals and corresponding requirements of resources

The release added that the committee had recommended reconstitution of GNLU’s statutory bodies so as to include “participation from various stakeholders such as law firms, advocates, corporate sector, eminent academicians, foreign experts, professional experts from public sector undertakings”.

It has recommended giving “significant autonomy” to the director while making him financially and administratively accountable to the GC, “strengthening the internal academic governance structure” with a focus on “faculty governance based on a democratic & participative structure” and recruiting full-time professors.

The commission report also said, according to the press release, that the college would design new diploma and certificate courses that integrate law and other disciplines, run collaborative programmes with Indian business schools and international law schools, offer “a diversified portfolio of training programmes”, and for GNLU to create a corpus fund of around Rs 50 crore within the next three years to achieve “overall excellence”.

Another Rs 5 crore per year should be granted by the Gujarat government for the next five years, which would be monitored by the GC, recommended the report.

[Download press release]

Patel did not return repeated calls for comment since yesterday and a college spokesperson and Patel did not respond to an emailed request seeking a full copy of the report.

The original draft report, which was prepared by NLSIU Bangalore founding vice chancellor NR Madhava Menon and former Law Commission of India member HC Dholakia, was highly critical of the administration at the college, covering areas such as a lack of professors, too-strict disciplinary rules and the background to Patel's appointment.

However, that report was not signed by former IIM director Bakul Dholakia who had asked for more time to submit his findings.

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