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NUJS exec council rejects triple-campus expansion plans after students slam idea in 8-page representation

Student action helps NUJS EC bin admin 3-campus proposal
Student action helps NUJS EC bin admin 3-campus proposal

The NUJS Kolkata executive council (EC) has rejected the West Bengal state law ministry and vice chancellor-endorsed Prof Ishwara Bhat’s controversial plan to establish two more campuses of the national law school, we have learned.

As we had reported in September 2016, Bhat’s term as VC had been renewed as a last-minute addition to the agenda for the executive council proposed doubling NUJS' batch size to 250 students and opening two new branches of the college in West Bengal outside of Kolkata.

The plan had faced considerable resistance, with the NUJS student juridical association (SJA) having sent an eight-page letter to the EC earlier today, resisting the establishment of two more campuses (see full letter below) making arguments such as it:

  • being antithetical to the structure and functioning of NLUs,
  • potentially leading to disparity and fall in academic quality, as well as a fall in student quality,
  • making the present student body and culture at NUJS unsustainable,
  • potentially impacting NUJS-wide recruitment opportunities, which are limited,
  • being hampered by the dearth of quality law faculty in India, and
  • diluting the NUJS brand.

We understand that the SJA later today also informed the student body today that “the proposal to set up two new branches of NUJS has been definitely rejected by the Executive Council”.

The SJA noted in its email:

According to multiple trusted sources, the Council noted that the State Government is free to establish new NLUs. However, their establishment shall not affect the existing working or structure of NUJS. NUJS' role in the establishment of new NLUs (if any) will be entirely passive. NUJS may mentor these new NLUs (if any) set up under alternate statute.

The news coincides with Bhat and the college awaiting the report of the long-overdue review commission of NUJS, which is to examine the administration, academic credentials and student grievances.

NUJS students had passed a second no-confidence motion in Bhat in September 2017.

NUJS SJA representation against two campus model (PDF)

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