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YouTube LLB: Nalsar has been quietly uploading 100+ top-class lecture vids on YouTube • Could this be a future of legal ed? [WATCH 22 NOW]

While providing some visibility for a university, it also gives access to legal knowledge for those who may not have access to it right now

Nalsar goes YouTube
Nalsar goes YouTube

For the last one-and-a-half-odd years, Nalsar Hyderabad has been avidly uploading mostly student-organised guest lectures to its YouTube channel, available to freely watch by all.

Explaining the reasons for uploading the videos, assistant professor Sidharth Chauhan, who has been coordinating the programme from the Nalsar faculty side, explained: “Not only is it a question of visibility for the institution, but sometimes the content is also useful for those outside - students from other institutions can watch it.”

With more than 70,000 views and 120 uploaded videos, also including series of panel discussions and several classes, Nalsar’s YouTube channel has indeed developed some traction

While not every single guest lecture had been uploaded (a few preferred staying offline), Chauhan noted that most had.

Topics and speakers have included ex-NUJS Kolkata vice chancellor Prof MP Singh, who lectured about judicial review in Europe several weeks ago, senior counsel Indira Jaising on rape laws, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) founder Colin Gonsalves on human rights lawyering, National University of Singapore’s Prof V Umakanth on Indian corporate laws (see fuller list of 22 below or on the YouTube channel).

Also included are several non-lawyers, such as politicians Yogendra Yadav and Swapan Dasgupta, and journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta.

Two student groups have been primarily responsible for organising the sessions and speakers, said Chauhan: the public policy lecture series, and the lecture series on constitutionalism.

Faculty members occasionally helped with their contacts - academic dean “Amita Dhanda is quite proactive in getting visiting scholars to come and doing short courses”, noted Chauhan - and the university in turn funds resource person’s travel and stay.

And the government-funded Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) was also a useful way that national law schools have used of getting star lecturers to come and teach in India, said Chauhan.

YouTube LLB?

Whether Nalsar would also considering one day uploading all course lectures to YouTube for open access of some legal education to everyone, Chauhan said that this was an option though it had not yet been publicly discussed on campus.

“Regular class is something which has its own sanctity and students [would] have their own concerns,” he said. “We want to first experiment with some of the visiting courses [with external resource persons] and if we get good feedback on that, we can think of uploading a regular course in the future.”

Studying on YouTube FTW? Not quite yet...

Many US universities have for many years now freely published lecture series of entire law and other courses online.

India is not quite there yet, particularly in law, though some other law schools have also worked on their video and social media presence: NUJS Kolkata’s students, for instance, curate a Facebook page and have uploaded several guest lectures on a YouTube channel.

But a cursory search on YouTube shows not much similar activity from NLSIU Bangalore, NLIU Bhopal and NLU Jodhpur, for instance.

Jindal Global Law School, despite hosting a wealth of lectures, unfortunately did not appear to have uploaded very many on its YouTube channel (though a few sessions, such as the explosive one on the opening up of the Indian legal market that we liveblogged at the time, are online).

By contrast, said Chauhan, social sciences universities such as Azim Premji University had been hugely active on YouTube, have uploaded hundreds of its lectures in the last several years.

Some of the most popular Nalsar lectures

PUBLIC POLICY LECTURE SERIES

1. Yogendra Yadav, India at the Crossroads (January 16, 2017)

2. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Media Ethics and Democracy (August 13, 2016)

3. Arun Shourie, On Reading Judgments (July 6, 2016)

4. Swapan Dasgupta, Conservatism and the Indian Right (April 18, 2016)

5. V. Umakanth, Evolution of Corporate Law in India (March 6, 2016)

6. Mohan Guruswamy, India: A Nation in Search of a State (February 18, 2016)

7. P. Sainath, Inequality and Rural Distress (January 7, 2016)

8. Jayaprakash Narayan, Decentralization and Good Governance (September 30, 2015)

9. Brinda Karat, Food Security in India (September 10, 2015)

LECTURES SERIES ON CONSTITUTIONALISM

10. Upendra Baxi, Constitutionalism and Identity (February 17, 2017)

11. Indira Jaising, Crime and Punishment: The Law of Rape in India (February 4, 2017)

12. M.P. Singh, Judicial Review in Europe - Insights from Germany (February 3, 2017)

13. Arvind Datar, The Constitution, Federalism and Goods and Services Tax (January 21, 2017)

14. Justice Ruma Pal, The Uniform Civil Code Debate (September 8, 2016)

15. Arghya Sengupta, Judicial Appointments and the Basic Structure Doctrine (August 3, 2016)

OTHER RECORDED LECTURES

16. Mr. Colin Gonsalves, Human Rights and Courts (January 26, 2017)

17. Hon’ble CJI Tirath Singh Thakur, Address at 14th Convocation of NALSAR (August 6, 2016)

PANEL DISCUSSIONS

18. ‘The State of Technology Policy and Advocacy in India’ (February 18, 2017)

19. ‘Public Law and Access to Places of Worship’ (October 13, 2016)

20. ‘What yes means? Understanding consent in intimate relationships’ (October 11, 2016)

21. ‘Should political parties be banned from University campuses?’ (September 23, 2016)

22. ‘Censorship and the Freedom of the Press’ (July 31, 2016)

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