Stripped Law launches Project LIEN in collaboration with GLC- Calicut

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There is always room at the top they say. However, when it comes to legal education in India, this room does not seem to be well utilised. The state of legal education in India portrays two quite extreme sides, when it comes to the nature and quality of education being imparted. There are the elite national law schools and other first tier institutions and then there are the others. Law may remain the same, however, due to lack of opportunity and high standards of assimilation of knowledge, the ‘others’ clan often produces an army of educated unemployed devoid of practical application skills.

This is the reason behind the mythical perception of legal education beyond the ambit of the elite law institutions. Indirectly, it not only leads to a qualitative as well as quantitative decline in the number of professionals in the legal arena, but also affects the prospects of law as a vocational option. As such, it is the responsibility of the legal fraternity as a whole to pool in the available resources and improve the existing scenario for the sake of the students and channel out this improvement in the broader perspective. Project LIEN marks the introduction of one such initiative, which seeks to connect the high end resourceful branches of the legal fraternity to the lower end of the law students and thus develop an extensive knowledge assimilation program. It provides a platform for the expert academicians in various fields of law to interact with the students of the ‘other’ law colleges and instigate a cycle of sharing information and skills among the students.

Project LIEN on one hand provides a unique opportunity for the legal fraternity to contribute towards the grass root development of the legal education sphere, and on the other hand a chance for the students to develop practical skills. There have been several plans coming up regarding setting up a National Law School in every state in the country. However, LIEN operates on the line of thought of making every other law institution in India an equivalent hub of knowledge and skills as the top law institutions of the country.

The Project proposes a four staged process. Initially, the students are sensitized by various legal experts as to the various areas of law, for instance, mergers, acquisitions, intellectual property regulations, etc. This forms the First Stage and would facilitate insight into various legal dimensions, delivered by the experts themselves. The main objective of this stage would be to deliver an extra edge of practical application of law to the students, besides the basic theoretical concepts.

The second stage would include the formation of student groups. These groups will be formed by the students among themselves after the sensitization process is over. The groups will be formed according to the interests of the students in the various areas of law. For instance, there may be an IPR group constituted by students interested in the Intellectual Property Regulations. Each group shall also appoint a team leader. These student groups will then sensitize each other on the area chosen and will get updated to the maximum. Each student can pick up a specific sub-topic and update the other group members regarding the same. In this way, each student will be able to get a comprehensive insight of the particular area.

After the intra-group sensitization concludes, the groups begin an inter-group approach and assimilate the knowledge of their areas to students of other groups. This can be done by organising seminars, workshops and other such activities. This forms the Third Stage.

After the extensive exercise of information exchange, the process of institutionalisation will start, when the students will initiate the process of forming academic power houses among themselves. The students create a platform and then participate in the subsequent developments in their respective areas of interest by analysing and commenting on the advancements happening in the legal arena. This forms the fourth stage.

The project derives its origins from a program conceptualised by the batch of 2011 of National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi. Unfortunately, with the lack of proper monitoring and support, the desired results could not be achieved. As such, Stripped Law founder Raghul Sudheesh has now decided to reinforce the idea by compiling and collaborating available resources with adequate monitoring so as to take this to the next level. Project LIEN derives its basis from a system supported by the academic fraternity of the legal education sphere and the assistance of the students and teachers of the target institutions. It involves a collective effort to bring about success in achieving the objectives targeted by the project.

So far, eminent personalities like Prof. MP Singh, Prof. Shamnad Basheer, Apar Gupta and Advocate M.A. Rashid have joined the Board of Advisors for the project. Many academic experts have volunteered for the sensitization program.. The Pilot project has already been initiated in the Government Law College, Calicut.

In furtherance of advancing the collaboration between the different spheres of the legal regime, Project LIEN calls for volunteers from all levels of the legal fraternity to aid this initiative and contribute to their social responsibility.

Law Students can apply as volunteers for implementation of the program at the institutional level. Interested Student Volunteers can apply with a statement of purpose to the email id given below.

Further, partnerships and collaborations from all the people and institutions of the legal fraternity are invited to further strengthen this noble project.

Any inquiries in this regard can be made to

Mr. Raghul Sudheesh

Email: raghulsudheesh@gmail.com.

Mob: +91 87221 53555.

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Project LIEN Concept Note

Law School Money: Accounts of NUALS, Kochi Revealed

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Matching its steps with the current trend of information revolution, Stripped Law brings to you Law School Money, an exclusive feature offering insight into the accounts of law schools. Confidentiality just got a new cheat code! In the first link of this feature, we bring to you NUALS accounts information. 



Three RTIs were filed by Stripped Law founder Raghul Sudheesh regarding the accounts of the funds/grants/aids received by the National University of Advanced Studies for the past nine years, the expenditure on the travels of the Vice Chancellor and the expenditure on the fifth convocation.

The institution claimed to have received a grand total of Rs. 8,20,00,000 from the government agencies including the Kerala Government and the University Grants Commission. The grants received from other private agencies totalled to Rs. 63,28,751. While the list of the private funds received seems to be self explanatory, the utilization details of the grants received from the government agencies has been provided. 

The major chunk of these grants (approximately 7 crores) seems to have been spent towards infrastructure development. The Rs. 1,70,000 grant from the Kerala Government has been solely directed towards the development of the library.  (See Tables 1-6)

In addition, information was also sought regarding the expenses incurred by the University for all the Trips and travel of Vice-Chancellor of NUALS for the past two years, i.e. 2010-2012. Details of the expenses incurred on the fifth annual convocation of NUALS this year were also sought. Refer to tables 7-8 for details that were received in reply for the same

For further editions of this feature, we request the readers to send in their queries regarding any financial irregularities in Law Schools at raghulsudheesh@gmail.com. Leave the rest to us! 

Table 1: The Grants Received from the Government Agencies
Period
Agency
Amount Received
2010-11
Government of Kerala: Plant Grant
1,00,00,000
2010-11
Government of Kerala: Plant Grant (Modernization of the Library received on 31/03/2011)
1,70,00,000
2011-12
Government of Kerala Plant Grant
3,00,00,000
2011-12
University Grants Commission
2,50,00,000


GRAND TOTAL
8,20,00,000












Table 2: The Grants Received from the Government Agencies
Period
Agency
Amount Received
2006-07
Endowments- CK Sivasankara Panicker Endowment
1,00,000
2006-07
Legal Aid Program: Funds from NALSA
1,00,000
2007-08
Share of expenses received from Surana & Surana, Chennai for the conduct of National Trial Advocacy Competition
50,000
2007-08
Stetson Moot Court Competition- Financial Assistance for team members to participate in the finals
50,000
2007-08
Endowments- VR Krishna Iyer National Foundation for Law and Social Justice Endowment
1,00,000
2007-08
Legal Aid Program- Funds from KELSA
2,000
2008-09
Share of expenses received from Surana & Surana, Chennai for the conduct of National Trial Advocacy Competition
99,326
2009-10
Share of expenses received from Surana & Surana, Chennai for the conduct of National Trial Advocacy Competition
75,928
2009-10
Financial assistance from BPRD, Delhi for Police Training Programme
1,20,000
2010-11
Share of expenses received from Surana & Surana, Chennai for the conduct of National Trial Advocacy Competition
75,651
2010-11
Stetson Moot Court Competition- Contributions received from the Bar Council of Kerala to meet travel expenses of the team members
22,500
2010-11
Financial assistance received from Kerala State Planning Board for conducting seminar for Emigration Act (Balance Amount of Rs. 59,347 has been refunded after settling the expenditures)
1,00,000
2010-11
Financial assistance from BPRD, Delhi for Police Training Programme
45,702
2010-11
Endowments –NUALS – TR Raman Pillai Memorial Endowment
1,00,000
2011-12
 Share of expenses received from Surana & Surana, Chennai for the conduct of National Trial Advocacy Competition
77,644
2011-12
Share of expenses received from Surana & Surana, Chennai for the conduct of Philip C Jessup Moot Court Competition
1,00,000
2011-12
Endowments – NUALS- MK Nambiar Endowment
50,00,000
2011-12
Grants under Erudite Scholar Scheme received from the Kerala State Higher Education Council
2,00,000

GRAND TOTAL
63,28,751

































.


Table 3: Utilization- Plan Grant from Government of Kerala
Particulars
Amount
Campus Development
89,00,000
Riso Digital Copier
1,78,488
Audio Visual Equipments for Seminar Hall (Payment Made during the financial year 2011-12)
98,000
LCD & DLP Projectors
2,35,248
Desktop Computers
1,12,124
Books including Halsbury’s Laws of India (Complete Set)
3,21,520
Library furniture and accessories
1,56,894
GRAND TOTAL
1, 00,02,274


Table 4: Utilization: Plan Grant from the Government of Kerala
Particulars
Received during  FY 2011-12
Amount Granted
(in Rs.)
Amount Spent Under Planned Schemes (in Rs.)
Expenditure incurred in excess (in Rs.)
Buildings and Furniture
2,25,00,000
2,25,00,206
-206
Moot Court Hall
10,00,000
10,03,761
-3,761
Seminar Hall
25,00,000
25,01,037
-1,037
Centres
40,00,000
40,05,522
-5,522
GRAND TOTAL
3,00,00,000
3,00,10,526
-10,526


Table 5: Utilization: Plan Grant from the Government of Kerala for upgradation of Library
Particulars
Received during the FY 2010-11 and Utilised during the FY 2011-12
Amount Granted
(In Rs.)
Amount Spent
(In Rs.)
Balance to be spent
(In Rs.)
Library Buildings
1,35,00,000
1,35,00,000
0
Library Books, Journals and Racks
30,00,000
30,02,314
-2,314
Automation
5,00,000
5,02,392
-2,392
GRAND TOTAL
1,70,00,000
1,70,04,706
-4,706


Table 6: Utilization: Grant from the UGC
Particulars
Amount Granted
Amount Spent
Balance to be spent
Building
2,50,00,000
2,50,00,000
0








Table 7: Expenses of the Vice Chancellor of NUALS for his trips and travels
Period
Expenses for Travel including Air, Rail and Road
Expenses for Room Rent
Expenses for food and beverages
Expenses for Alcoholic Beverages
Expenses for diesel/ petrol for official vehicle
2010-2011
Taxi charges
New Delhi on
21/02/ 11
Rs. 2,246.00/-

Flight charges
Rs. 17,795.00/-
Nil
Nil
Nil
Rs. 84,229.00/-
2011-2012
Nil
Nil
Nil
Nil
Rs. 99,270/-


Table 8: Expenses of the fifth Convocation of NUALS in 2012
Particulars
Amount
Panthal  (Agency: M/s. Bharatha Trading Company, Paliimukku)
Rs. 60,000
Food Expenses
Rs. 18,909
Printing of Invitation Cards
Rs. 6,000
Incidental Expenses
Rs. 87,766
Grand Total
Rs. 1,72,675

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