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It’s been some five odd months since I joined the Campus Law Centre. I would not like to delve into why I am pursuing law right now, but I will talk about the experiences I’ve had here. I will also not introduce you, or give you a glimpse into the past of CLC, if you wish to do that, a simple Google search will suffice.
To put it rather mildly, it has been disappointing. I’ll go on to write it, but I’m afraid this will be a fool’s errand, because, as the running argument in CLC goes, “you’re paying ₹5000 a year, don’t expect much”.
I don’t know about others, but I certainly believe that CLC should charge rather more, and provide the best services that are there to offer, but that seems like a bleak plan, not because the fee won’t be increased, but because of what I have seen.
Teaching quality has certainly declined, (which is beyond Law Faculty’s control, DU has not seen permanent professor appointments in ages) because only a few teachers remain who are tenured and the rest are ad hoc. This results a huge quality gap between the two types of teachers at times, one with decades of experience, and the others quite always new, trying to get comfortable with Grad school level teaching. One good part is that some teachers have litigation experience, and thus can teach better, and can throw a dose of reality in the lessons. In addition to this, the extracurricular lectures happening in college usually have a star-studded line up, with people from Supreme Court Bar making frequent appearances. I personally believe that making the teaching positions permanent/tenured would attract better talent, but I do not see that happening.
Moving on, to infrastructure, and what follows, would only apply to CLC solely, as the other two law centers have shifted to a rather swanky building. So, infrastructure, well, it does exist. I mean, of course we have a three-storied building, and an extension block, but CLC’s infrastructure is disappointing, and I say that after having attended school under an asbestos sheet. CLC has a mosquito problem, and seeing as how Delhi is also the Dengue capital of the country, one should wear shorts and the likes on their own risks. The mosquito problem is so bad, that there have been HC petitions by students on the matter.
I had heard that CLC is a beautiful campus, and you will hear that all the time and of heritage that the building has, but of late, I think that the building has been nothing but ugly, ugly and ugly. Every nook and cranny, one can find posters of student leaders. Simple text based posters, sizes of a few inches across, with glue that has come straight from Satan’s locker. The content is simple “VOTE FOR XYZ ABC FOR THE POST OF PQR DEF”, and one can find these on every surface imaginable, on the stair steps, on the freshly painted walls, on the ancient looking watercoolers, on the desks, (literally every class desk has residue from one, or has one), and if one looks hard enough, one can find them inside the library, the tea stall has them, and while I have never been to a toilet here, I believe they will also have many. In its apathy, CLC has tried to take the trendy way out, and now has designated “walls of democracies” for those ugly posters, and well, the walls look pretty ugly themselves. In celebrating democracy, CLC has forgotten to celebrate the beauty of the college building, however ill maintained it may be.
The library, in any institution, is a place of learning. In CLC, it is more than that, never mind the fact that none of the ACs works, not even in the peak summers of July and August, but, on most days, it is hard to find a place to sit in the library. If you want to, you have to come around 0900, leave a couple of books at any table of your choice, go outside, attend a few classes, have some tea, and then come back. For an institution, which has some 2100 students studying, CLC’s library has a meagre 100ish seats, most of them occupied on a usual day by the people who are preparing for UPSC and the likes. The same goes for the computer room at the library, where people use the outdated, 20-odd XP running PCs to give SSC and IBPS mocks online.
Speaking of computers and their roles in CLC, like every other law college, there is a student volunteer unit attached with the Delhi Legal Services Authority, the selection to which is solely, dependent on the typing speed at which one can fill a basic Google form with college and contact details. The applications close in 1 minute, and a lot of people, who would be way more deserving of the opportunity, are denied the PLV work, and yet, CLC has not done anything about it. LC2, on the other hand, will start conducting entrance exams this year onwards. That is a step in the right direction, and should happen, but I doubt if I’ll see it anytime soon.
That said, all is not bad about CLC, and I can keep piling up the negatives, but that would be unfair to. That said, I am hard pressed to find any positives about this place, anything remotely optimistic, I am just trying to be as realistic as possible. I do like the tea at CLC though, and while the crowd seems to be full of people who take themselves too seriously, there are good people too. The teachers try their best to make even the insipid subjects interesting, and most of them succeed at it. The provision for any internal assessment does not exist in spite of the fact that it should, and consequently, marks are hard to score in end semester examinations, thanks to miserly marking.
In the end, CLC is an aberration from the rest of the DU, and seems frozen in time. I can assure you though, it is not bad as it seems, and this write up is a rather poor source for making any opinions about it, but at the end of the day, CLC, like most public institutions of our country, is a victim of deep seated apathy. I would like to conclude this by mentioning that there is one thing that CLC must be appreciated for, not the sheer number of judges it has sent to the Supreme Court, or Delhi HC, or to lower judiciary, and nor the number of successful lawyers that have passed out through the institution, the one thing for which CLC, and the Law Faculty of Delhi University must be lauded for, in my humble opinion, is their effort in keeping the legal education accessible to anyone who wants to try, irrespective of one’s background, and in a post NLU world, that in itself is a big thing.
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