Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. Anindhya Tiwari is currently working as the Head of the Department at MATS Law School, Raipur. He holds B.A. L.L.B. (Hons.), L.L.M. and Ph.D. (NLU Jodhpur) degrees. Before joining academics, he worked at Law firm, later he did Masters in Law and joined legal education institutes at Jaipur National University, National Law University Jodhpur (NLUJ) & Galgotias University.
Dr. Tiwari has many publications in national and international journals and is a regular presenter/chairperson at various national & international conferences. He is also done Ph.D. research at NLUJ, researching in the field of International Taxation. He has also authored two books. His latest book got published in the month of April 2018 from an international reputed publisher.
Dr. Tiwari’s choice of choosing the Education sector over a Law Firm
Interning at almost all the forums in which a law student can earn experience from, after my law school (HNLU), I finally started my career in Law with a Law firm in 2009. I was placed there through a PPO but that was the stage where I was still figuring out that why I wanted a job at a Law firm. And finally, I found, that I joined the firm out of peer and family pressure as I was confirming to the established law school dogma that “if you are not getting a placement after 5 years at a premium law school, you are probably a below average student”.
But it didn’t take me long to identify that I don’t want this job and my priorities are different than what is coming out as a resultant of this job. So, I resigned and started preparing for CLAT to do Masters from a Law School. I appeared in CLAT in 2010 and since then I have started teaching Law either as part of Masters course curriculum till 2012 or as a full-time faculty at various institutions like Jaipur National University (Jaipur), National Law University Jodhpur, Galgotias University (Greater Noida) and currently MATS University (Raipur).
It’s been a great & rewarding experience working in the education industry mainly because of the respect that you get, which of course one has to earn through performance backed by humility, and the kind of exposure one gets in the education sector is unparalleled. Talking about the work environment, as I have a taste of both industry and education sector, I can say with all confidence that the education sector has the least of office diplomacy involved, comparatively. Only in this sector, you get to meet the young and vibrant crowd every day that helps you in keeping abreast with the young age group, which is renewed every 5 years.
Talking about the labour involved, it is a wrong notion that teaching is a 9 to 5 job. A ‘good’ teacher’s job starts only after 9 AM which mostly extends till 2/3 AM and any teacher who is not working hard in the profession will not get the most important reward associated in the profession i.e. respect. It's like burning midnight oil is ‘sine qua non’ to the respect earned by the faculty. The only thing, which might hurt, is the financial growth that the Education sector was offering previously. However, with mushrooming of various competitive private universities and new 7th pay commission things have started to change.
A leadership style which keeps things light and leads by giving examples
Lead by example. That is the only philosophy that I believe works best for me. I believe in keeping the work environment very light to allow a cordial relationship to develop among the co-workers for which a leader should come upfront and make the group feel like a family.
Yes, there may be disagreements among people in the workspace and yes, at times you need to go strong on some issues but that should not become a behaviour pattern. I remember, when I was working at Galgotias University, for a brief period, Ms. (Dr.) K. Rai (currently in MNLU, Mumbai) who was senior most faculty there, was appointed as our acting Dean and she carried all her professional responsibilities in such an inspiring manner which encouraged and motivated faculties to work and perform and encouraged students towards better academic endeavours, without creating a heavy work atmosphere. I try to follow that style, of keeping things light and leading by example.
The challenge of maintaining the high reputation of MATS University is not an easy one
The only challenge that I am facing is the pressure to keep up with the goodwill & reputation, which MATS University carries with its name. The position of HOD, being my first academic administrative assignment, is a great pressure to live up to the reputation and legacy that MATS University has earned in the education sector in Central India.
Maintaining the same decorum of studies and par excellence educational practices and improving something which is already better than the competitors in this field is one of the most challenging tasks. My current aim is to make MATS Law School a centre par excellence of research and training center and in the same process, I am glad to share the good news with you that on July 25, 2018, we received an official communication from the Ministry of Women and Child Development regarding selection in the empaneled organization to conduct capacity building exercises on “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013". MATS Law School, MATS University is the only university, which has been selected from the Chhattisgarh and the central region for the mentioned work.
Our curriculum aims at matching the International outcome-based education module
MATS Law School has pledged and is committed to providing its student with the best in the industry so that when they join ranks with the crème de la crème, they should walk and talk the business like any other professionals. In order to achieve that goal, we revise/update our syllabus with the help of industry experts and it’s reviewed by the top-notch professors of the subject.
Our whole aim is to create such a teaching-learning environment, which matches with the international outcome-based education module. Our Board of Studies (BoS) consist of Partners of Laws Firms, Professors from National Laws school, Retired judges of Constitutional Courts and top lawyers, who sit together to design the curriculum which is in the best interest of students, considering their course requirement of credit-based internship or future job prospect.
In addition, we conduct various Faculty development programmes, conferences and workshop to meet our goal of best education facilitator. One of the upcoming conferences is going to be organized in the month of October that will be followed by a Book release. We take this opportunity to invite you as a media partner in International Conference on Current Development in Law, Society and Economy (ICCDLSE – 2018), to be conducted on October 7, 2018.
Changes noticed in the Education sector and in the field of Law
Education industry, specifically legal education, has evolved many folds in the past decade as per the demand of the time and society. A stream of studies, which was considered the last resort for anyone, who could not do anything in life has regained its lost glory and has again taken centre stage, leading to cut-throat competition among the best of the best students and between various educational institutes.
All of this was the result of an integrated law course and rigorous coursework put forth by the various law schools in the late 90’s. Now, the time causality shifts every 5 years with the introduction of the new teaching-learning method, making our students more and more professional and ready to take the legal world head-on.
This idea of training professionals and not teaching students has dramatically changed the expectations of the corporate world as well. No one wants to hire a liability considering the cost and prospective attrition. So, the corporate desire that the entry-level professional should have the minimum basic skill set to start their work and who can be easily guided as well.
In order to meet the demand, we have designed our course curriculum keeping in mind the last student to opt for the placement, that she/he should be able to crack the interview and can represent us in the market. We have introduced compulsory credit-based internship, which has not been introduced even by many universities of national repute as well. To encourage research and outcome-based learning, we encourage students to volunteer for various local causes through our legal and social service committee. Our idea is to remove the gestation period, which comes with the legal profession so that the student should join the bar with full force after they take their degree in hand. Same applies to the students who want to join civil services and the result is evident as the last year judicial service topper was a beloved alumnus of MATS Law School.
Encouraging the students to practice practically their theoretical knowledge can lead to an ideal environment
In the words of Shri Rabindranath Tagore, I personally believe that ideally, a Law school should be a place:
“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”
However, the Utopia does not exist in reality. There are so many things which are required to be done and it is a long way home. We can only perceive and try to reach that goal by following the certain basic human behaviour of TRANSPARENCY, CONSISTENCY, HONESTY, HARD WORK, EMPATHY & SOUND KNOWLEDGE. However, a goal can only be achieved through the above process. Therefore, we try to stimulate our students by conducting various brain-storming sessions and encourage them to ask the right question or for that matter, question everything and search for answers by means of discussions and debates. Our examination pattern is also designed in such a manner that a student should be able to apply what he has learnt and test them at their various knowledge levels. Our questions are mostly application-based and there is no right or wrong answer to it. Only the application of the law is judged and encouraged.
Things to be kept in mind by the students aspiring to choose the field of Law
Passion. This is very important because a student is going to choose a career for a lifetime. If he/she is not passionate about it, he/she may not be able to take it till the end. So, only those student should join the legal studies and profession whose numero uno plan was always to be a lawyer. As quoted by Justice Joseph Story “The law is a jealous mistress and requires a long and constant courtship. It is not to be won by trifling favours, but by lavish homage.”
Furthermore, a lawyer is required to read a lot. So, the primary quality is that the student should be ready to read and study a lot which is basic. Then comes another important point i.e. understanding and application. So, a student is required to be sharp enough to apply what they have read to the real-life situation. Last but not the least a lawyer is required to be “Jack of all trades and at least Master of some”.
Goals for the Institute for the next few years
We are a leading Private university in M.P., Chhattisgarh region, with the highest number of students in Chhattisgarh in comparison to any other private university in Central India. Our plan is to bring this university at par with any other Ivy League universities in the country with the best teachers who impart knowledge to the students of our institute. Our students completing their course with the best of the placements available to the students of any other university.
Life and career suggestions for the current youth
- Discuss, Debate, Fight (academically) and get back to status quo
- Stay happy
- Keep working hard
- Love what you do or do what you love
- Identify who is your well-wisher and stay close to them
- cut negative people from your life
- Stay Competitive but not cut-throat competitive
- most important, have faith in God & Family