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The approach in Indian law schools is in need of disruption: BITS Law School Dean Prof Ashish Bharadwaj

Attracting top faculty – be it in a law school or engineering school or policy school, or a young school or old school – is always a challenge, not just in India, but around the world.

The very first element of our conversation with prospective faculty candidates is our promise of academic freedom and institutional autonomy. These are the critical ingredients that will really define a new age law school, or for that matter, a world class law school.

The second parameter, or conversation we are having is around how do we balance teaching and research. We are very mindful in bringing in people who are willing to invest time and energy in learning new teaching techniques, which means that they have to be committed to high quality teaching. Alongside their teaching, they have their research aspirations and commitments. The way we have designed our workflow, the distribution of efforts of the faculty within the law school is a very balanced way in which teaching and research can go hand-in-hand.

There is also a wide range of opportunities that are going to be available for faculty members for their own professional development. We are not merely restricting ourselves to a faculty development program. I think it is important to focus on internationalization of faculty. For students who are graduating from our institution and joining academia, we need to put in substantial institutional resources to give them international exposure, give them opportunities and resources to engage with the best minds around the world. Once they flourish intellectually and professionally, the benefits are going to percolate down to the students.

The last bit is, faculty who are going to agree with the three points I shared, would also deserve a set of students who are not only passionate about learning law, but who are also genuinely interested in evolving and growing into better individuals. That’s an institutional responsibility we have, because teaching-learning is a two-way street. If you have students who will engage, you will also have faculty who will be willing to engage in a meaningful manner. So, that’s another promise that we are making to faculty candidates – that there will be a very interesting, diverse, passionate set of students who you could engage with. 

Source: Barandbench

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