National Law Universities (NLUs) have started their first batches of the LLB-5-year programmes after significant delays. With the commencement of the first batches, they are hoping to catch up on the lost time due to postponed CLAT admissions by working through the first semester holidays.
GNLU Gandhinagar, NLU Jodhpur, and NALSAR Hyderabad are the first among the National Law University colleges, who have started their classes for the first years only a few days after the CLAT results were declared in mid-October.
NLU Jodhpur and Nalsar both started their online classes back on October 19. NLU Jodhpur Vice-Chancellor Professor Poonam Saxena explained that the first semester for them will end in February and the second by middle June. She further said that classes for all from next year onwards shall commence from July 01, 2021.
GNLU Gandhinagar Director Professor Sanjeevi Shanthakumar stated that though there was a short Diwali break, there would be no mid-term break. He said that they have a separate calendar for the first years and the first-semester classes shall continue till mid-February 2021.
GNLU Professor further said that two weeks break shall be provided before the commencement of the second semester.
Nalsar Academic Dean Professor Amita Dhanda informed that the most significant factor in the changing academic calendar would be flexibility as it is seen as the operative principle.
She said that if they drag the students who joined in October, until January, then the whole year would get disorganized.
She added that the alternative to this was to get ‘everyone to tighten their belt’. Getting the work done by utilizing weekends to teach and managing schedules was a better approach she added.
NALSAR Hyderabad is still in a better position as it already had a system of continuous assessment, rather than a massive final exam.
Nalsar has planned to get the first year back on the normal track along with the other batches by January 11, 2021. While the first years will be catching up with only 10 days break after December 31, the seniors will get the regular breaks in November and December.
Dhanda said that this practice will lead to increasing the workload on teachers, though only some were teaching both the first and the other senior batches together.
A similar plan of doing away with the semester break is adapted by the NLIU Bhopal and NUJS Kolkata. The classes at NJUS started off around November 2, which was done after the orientation around October 19 and 20.
On October 28, NLIU had its commencement lecture and the full classes began on October 29. Thereafter, a tight schedule was adapted to bring the students back on track. The full classes started from November 2 for 23 days, another 26 days in December, 25 days in January, and 6 days in February.
NLSIU Bangalore has opted for a different strategy in having a trimester system like others, and the classes for the first years started off from October 27 and ended on October 31, while the proper classes began on November 2.
NLS Registrar, Professor Sarasu Thomas explained that they had skipped the first semester and added one extra subject in each term. He further said that the students will get back on track by next year with reduced work limits on projects and by appointing two teachers for every subject.
Though the first years will have a higher workload, this practice will put them effectively back on track along with their seniors.
A new student welfare officer has also been appointed to work closely with the first year and other students and to guide them with any issues the new schedule would cause.
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