Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Ms. Tanya Sarkar is the Director of S. K. Acharya Institute of Law, Kalyani, at present. She completed her B.A. LL.B (Hons.) and went on to complete her Masters in Law from the University of Leeds, UK. She had earlier worked for a legal publication house, specializing in Intellectual Property laws and Competition laws and has also published articles on various issues. She has been in the education sector for 8 years and continues to work on new avenues for growth in the education sector.
Ms. Tanya Sarkar’s experience in the ever-evolving education sector
Education, today, is one of the most growing service sector linked with the industry in India. As a matter of fact, it has been a determining factor in the country’s social economic growth. With new technologies, education is no more confined to one particular area but is truly global. With more government sectors and private sectors stepping in to invest in this service linked industry and furthermore with more online modes of education in India, will see a huge success in the coming years. To be associated with an education sector is truly fulfilling. It not only gives you respect but also gives you the opportunity to instill knowledge in a large number of section. To be able to shape and guide a novice in order to face all challenges in life is an achievement in itself. There is no other job-related industry which is more inspiring than the education industry.
Ms. Sarkar’s philosophy of leadership to reach the peak of success
I learned my philosophy of leadership from my parents, seniors or as a matter of fact, my teachers. I believe that honesty, trust, hard work, knowledge, competence and being a good listener are few attributes that a leader should possess to reach the peak of success. To be able to foster these in S. K. Acharya Institute of Law is my target. To be able to build good teamwork and have open and honest communication, and to learn and win is what I seek from my workplace.
Significant challenges faced by Ms. Sarkar in her career
Life is full of challenges and nothing comes to you without a fight.
Only when you are thrown in an unknown environment, you realise your true strength.
I realised mine when I joined the S. K. Acharya Institute of Law, Kalyani. Earlier I was working in print media where the work and workforce were completely different from that of an education sector. But being a law graduate and postgraduate I was open to all the challenges. My biggest challenge was how to motivate the young/new generation and most importantly how to inspire, groom and build confidence amongst Bengali medium students with a background of parents-centric nucleus family and how to bring them in the line of a new generation of lawyers. Life will never be easy, we will always have to face new challenges, the only thing that matters is how to respond to them, and that is the real difference.
The curriculum of SKAIL ensures that it is suitable to the modern dynamics
The curriculum is considered as the heart of any institution and S. K. Acharya Institute of Law is conceived as a premier center of legal education in the region, keeping pace with emerging trends of modernization and professionalism in legal education. With globalization, liberalization and subsequent entry of MNC’s, the profession has undergone a complete transformation. The canvas is wide, and developments in science and technology have given the profession a new dimension. The discipline is no longer confined to sheer advocacy in a court of law as the students are having many exciting specializations to choose from namely Cyber Law, International Law, Intellectual Property Rights and Corporate law being some of them. What is important to note is that none of the areas is rigid and watertight compartment rather they are interrelated. We have incorporated a curriculum that fits in with the modern dynamic changing society so as to prepare our graduates to fight all odds.
The nurturing of students at SKAIL for Job placements
We undertake overall growth of a law student by everyday topic simulation and problem based learning as followed in the UK. Our aim is to develop the highest capacity building and to instill confidence in every student personality. Job placement by a Lawyer is considered as secondary but their induction as a member of the Bar is considered as the highest priority where the job providers remain happy to take our students for their job requirements. All our students are doing well in the Bar as well as a good number have also joined the Bench, and we use everyday court proceedings as a live laboratory for every budding lawyer as sent from our institute.
Building a relationship with the students, while holding the responsibilities of a Director
SKAIL believes in having an interactive session with the law students. After all, they all are the upcoming advocates, and to hear them out and understand the psychological development of every student is very important. We hold moot courts & meetings or some simulation exercises to be connected to our students and at the same time build up their confidence. SKAIL is a family and we consider every individual important. Hence we make it a point to meet our students and have a little session every now and then by undertaking everyday capacity building programmes.
SKAIL attempts to create an ideal student-learning environment
We are running a professional course and SKAIL endeavours to promote and advance its mission of Promoting advanced learning of law and legal processes; Developing professional skills and competence in law and legal profession; Advancement of cause of research and dissemination of knowledge in law; Evolving legal education on a socially relevant basis; Evolving legal education on a professionally significant basis; Instilling sense of social and professional responsibilities in every student; Promoting rule of law and good governance.
To be able to achieve these wholly is what we would consider ideal and in order to achieve this, we must first bring a change in our own attitude and behavior. Therefore, we first focus on the administration of the college or in the heart of the college which will further ensure our ideologies. We believe in practicing what we preach.
Goals for SKAIL to achieve in the coming years
SKAIL aims at setting the highest standards in legal education in the country, in terms of course content, teaching methodology, learning environment, and examination system. SKAIL focuses on developing intellectual and professional capabilities of students and highlights compressive and in-depth learning about the legal concepts and doctrines, substantive and procedural laws and judicial rulings and precedents in various areas of law. We aim to grow bigger and better with coming times and make a difference in the legal world by producing capable, hardworking and competent advocates who will bring or add more honour to the profession.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students to evolve
I just have one thing to say,
“Dare to be Different”.
The students shouldn’t back down when they face a difficult situation and should be more upfront, fearless, patient, meticulous and honest. Students should not only learn to receive but should learn to give back to society. They should further inspire people around to bring in positive changes for a better world.