The postgraduate law course (LLM) offered at the University Law College in the City will get a new look this year.
As part of an initiative to bring legal education in the country on a par with global standards, Bangalore University will switch over to one-year LLM programme from 2014-15. Students can expect structural changes in curriculum and exam system of the postgraduate law programme offered by the university.
According to University Law College Dean and Principal Prof K M Hanumantharayappa, the present two-year LLM course will be discontinued. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had directed all universities to switch to the one-year LLM course from 2013-14 onwards, on par with programmes offered across the world.
While several other institutions have already adopted the new module, the University Law College will introduce it from 2014-15. The UGC directions are based on a recommendation by the National Knowledge Commission, which had suggested several measures to revamp legal education and research in the country.
Following these recommendations, the Ministry of Human Resources Development constituted a round table on legal education. Based on its instructions, in 2010, the UGC set up an expert committee that proposed the one-year module.
Prof Hanumantharayappa said the details of the programme will be finalised at the Syndicate meeting on Tuesday.
At present, the law college offers five specialisations at the postgraduate level, which include: Criminal Law, Labour Law, Environmental Law, Constitutional Law and Business Law.
The principal said there might be a few changes in the classification of these specialisations. As per the UGC’s 'Guidelines for introduction of One Year LLM Degree Programme, 2012', the PG programme should comprise specialiations in legal pedagogy and research, international and comparative law, and family and social security law.
The guidelines emphasise dissertation work and practical knowledge, asking institutions to evaluate students based on grades and divide the course into trimesters. The guidelines also stipulate a 5:1 student-teacher ratio, based on the advanced nature of the PG programme.
While the UGC has asked universities to adopt an All India Admission Test for the course, Bangalore University is yet to take a stand on conducting an entrance test, as seats at present are allotted based on merit.
BU Vice-Chancellor Prof B Thimme Gowda said earlier attempts to introduce an entrance test received cold response and several people expressed concern that students from rural areas would be at a disadvantage.
“We will consider such a test in the future. This academic year the admissions will continue as usual since it is already too late to tweak it now. We will design the admission system based on the needs of our university.”