Interview by Yash Panchal
Dr. Venugopal B.S. is serving as the Principal at IFIM Law College. His educational qualifications include M.Com., M.A., LL.M., Ph.D. He holds a rich experience of more than 30 years in the education industry and also possesses administrative experience.
He has taught the subjects of Company Law, Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, Indian Succession Act, Labour Law, Medical Law, Banking & Negotiable Instruments Act, Administrative Law, Contract I & II, Land Laws, General Principles of Criminal Law, Law of Crimes( offences under I.P.C. ), Law of Evidence, Public International Law & Human Rights, Legal Language & Legal Writing, Elements of Research, Cr.P.C. ,Transfer of Property at the UG level.
Dr. Venugopal has also taught Jurisprudence, Law & Social Transformation, Law & Justice in Globalized World, Legal Research & Legal Writing, Criminology, Principles of Criminal Law, Juvenile Justice at the PG level. His research interest lies in Medical Law.
Dr. Venugopal’s experience in the education industry
I am immensely pleased to say that I have been in the sphere of education for the past 30 years in various capacities like warden of Men’s Hostel for a number of years, Lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor, Principal, Director & Dean. It is not a lucrative job but a very noble and sublime one as it is the teachers and educational institutions who produce the potential torchbearers of the society that the stupendous vision and mission of education makes it unique.
All over India, I have students who respect me from the bottom of their heart for what I am. It is the young and dynamic students who infuse dynamism in teachers that dynamism remains in teachers like a river in a continuum that growing age is not a hurdle to stop the flow. Education is a perennial two-way process of imparting and acquiring knowledge as teachers by themselves do not constitute a class as true teachers are perpetual learners, sans which imparting knowledge becomes a bloodless abstraction deprived of its vitality.
Dr. Venugopal’s philosophy of leadership
A true leader is one who thinks ahead of time that the vision and mission must loom large in his eyes always in the pursuit of the institutional goals. As a broadminded person, he must keep away from the parochial mindset. Essentially, he must be a cogent bridge between all the stakeholders. True leadership is one which stands on the bedrock of democratic principle where despotism has no place at all and renders credit to all the team players as to what they are worthy of by way of their contribution in the attainment of the goals set. A true leader is one who develops the second line of leaders that the institution continues functioning unhindered sans any vacuum even after his departure and leads by example.
A principal’s position, according to me, is that of a custodian of a soccer team who makes the last attempt to avoid a goal where the strikers, midfielders, and defenders fail. But for the dedication and hard work of the players referred to above, one cannot imagine how many goals a custodian has to concede. I consider all my colleagues as my backbone but for whom the vision and mission of the institution remain a mirage. To quote Nelson Mandela, “a true leader should be like a shepherd who leads from behind that the wayward sheep can be brought back to the track”. All the employees need to be encouraged to take the lead and the missing link in the chain must be provided by the head of the institution taking all the blame and extending credit to all the other team players for the success.
Significant challenges faced as the Principal of IFIM Law College
Creating visibility for the Law College keeping in mind the threat of National Law Schools and other reputed Law Colleges is really a challenging task which myself and my team members have already accepted. I have no scruple to say that we are making fast strides in the horizon of legal education for which awarding of 4th position to IFIM Law College in GHRDC Law Schools Survey in the category of promising law colleges bears testimony. A long journey begins with a small step.
The management has already taken meaningful steps with its obvious vision and mission to develop IFIM Law College as one of the top-notch law colleges. The real challenge is to be traditionally radical which will be certainly translated into a reality in course of time as the management is magnanimously supportive of all our academic and co-curricular activities.
Curriculum of IFIM Law College
The regular curriculum is augmented by enhanced learning courses consequent upon which the students of IFIM Law College are exposed to the knowledge of many more law subjects. The enhanced learning courses are so designed to encompass disciplines which are contemporarily relevant. The academic delivery focuses on the need to equip the students with the skills of advocacy required to meet the challenges of the legal profession in the globalized world. Apart from the traditional legal profession of advocacy students are trained to don the role of an arbitrator, mediator, negotiator, and conciliator.
Hence, paramount importance is given to clinical legal education as a part of which students are encouraged to participate in moot court, arbitration, client counseling, cross-examination and judgment writing competitions. To manifest our commitment in this regard, we are organizing our flagship moot court competition entitled “South Asia Law and Technology Moot Court Competition” scheduled in the next academic year in which many foreign teams are going to participate.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at IFIM Law College
I am extremely delighted to say that the students at IFIM Law College have enormous placement opportunities. The parent institution IFIM B-School is a doyen in the sphere of management education being in existence for the past 23 years has a well-established corporate connect which can be extended to our law students. Further, law firms will be invited to the campus. It is mandatory for the students to intern. The internship carries with it the opportunity of placement. Many of our students are offered placement on completion of the course in the law firms where they have interned.
Dr. Venugopal on his relation with the students being the Principal of the institute
I strongly believe that the head of the institution must be approachable to the students so that they can air their genuine grievances both academic and non- academic which is one of the important components of managing an educational institution that a stitch in time saves nine. We need to be democratic but without diluting the campus discipline. It is equally important that vibrant academic ambience should pervade the educational institutions perpetually failing which they fall into oblivion.
Ideal school environment for Dr. Venugopal
An ideal school environment is one where teaching-learning is a great experience. Effective Academic delivery is the responsibility of the principal and faculty. Equally important to developing an environment where the students can express their ideas. Above all, the institution must stand on the substratum of moral and cultural values. The combined effect of the above factors must enable the students to develop their all-round personality. At the threshold, the faculty members and non-teaching staff are guided in this regard properly. The mentoring program enables us to make the students move in the right direction.
Suggestions to the current youth and the aspiring students
The current youth has a lot of potentials which they should realize at the earliest so that it can be channelized in the direction for a better future and societal growth. These potentials must be utilized constructively for the pursuit of their lifetime goal. Success in life materializes only with hard work for which there is no substitute. One message to all is that we must keep others happy by our mere existence which is possible only when the society recognizes us as men of sublime personality.
Top qualities that an aspiring lawyer must possess
Undoubtedly, they must possess advocacy skills and agility to emerge as the best in whatever avenues they choose as part of their legal profession. Being best in the profession, they should not forget their social responsibility and remain humane forever.
Goals in mind for IFIM Law College
It is my earnest desire to see that IFIM Law College breaks into one of the top 10 Law Colleges in India, at least one among the top 20.