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Nalsar first to scrap 2-year LLM, ready with 1-year course for 2013-14

Faizan Mustafa
Faizan Mustafa
Breaking: Nalsar Hyderabad yesterday agreed on the final course structure for the first one-year LLM degree in India, which was in principle approved in India by the University Grants Commission in September 2012 after long delays.

According to its vice chancellor (VC) Faizan Mustafa, Nalsar’s executive council (EC) approval makes it the first Indian national law school to have in place the machinery to induct students for the 2013-2014 academic year for the LLM degree that is one year shorter in duration than LLMs to date.

Mustafa told Legally India that his academic council and EC decided on six specialisations for the course: corporate and commercial law, intellectual property law, international trade law, personal laws, the general LLM, and a sixth purely research-based specialisation known as “LLM research”.

Mustafa said: “There is an acute shortage of family law teachers in the country. Two family law papers [at every law school] are made mandatory even by the Bar Council of India (BCI), but hardly any university has enough teachers. Very few universities offer an LLM in personal laws.”

All students would be assessed on the basis of research papers at the end of their first semester.

Based on their performance in that semester, selected students would then be allowed to take the LLM-research specialisation, where they would be assessed on teaching skills and research papers written by them.

“For instance the [NLU] Orissa model [for the LLM-PhD joint degree] – that course is meant only for future law teachers. Only three out of 50 students are likely to b able to undertake that kind of an intensive research,” explained Mustafa.

The university will admit not more than 60 students to the one-year LLM class, on the basis of Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) scores, he said.

The two-year LLM degree course would be scrapped, noted Mustafa, because the college met the minimum faculty requirement of 10 to teach the one-year LLM. However, he said he anticipated that other colleges might offer both one- and two-year LLM options.

Update: NUSRL Ranchi in Jharkhand has also notified a one-year LLM on its website, dated 22 February, allowing specialisation in intellectual property (IP), business law and constitutional law and governance.

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