The Student Body of NLU-Delhi has released its official Charter of Aspirations ahead of appointment of new Vice-Chancellor to the University.
The process of appointment of the new VC was kicked off with the constitution of a three-member Selection Committee and the Student Body hopes that the Charter will influence the selection process in a positive manner.
The Charter listed out certain qualities the Student Body expected of its forthcoming VC:
Since the University has been active in the field of research, the Body sought that the new VC "foster a better environment for research".
"The Student Body wishes that the present standards and atmosphere with regard to the research centres on campus must only grow and not diminish. The autonomy that the research centres enjoy must not only be preserved, but enhanced in every manner. The Student Body hopes that the Vice Chancellor will encourage the existing research centres and aid the establishment of more such avenues," the Charter read.
NLU-D has over sixteen research centres and enjoys a leading position on the league of Indian law schools, as per the 2018 and 2019 NIRF rankings.
The Student Body said that the new VC should endeavour to "improve the quality of academics and initiate academic reforms". They also expressed the aspiration to be taught by world class faculty and to participate in international collaborations.
"The Vice Chancellor should take steps to hire motivated faculty and foster an atmosphere of academic freedom, where modern and progressive methods of teaching are employed. The comprehensive mandatory courses must be supplemented with visiting professors and a diverse range of seminar courses. To ensure that the goals of quality teaching are achieved, the Vice Chancellor should institute a system of student feedback on which academic policies could be based. We hope that the Vice Chancellor takes student concerns into account while reforming the curriculum," they said.
The students also seek creation of an all-inclusive space for students, to combat incidents of casteism, sexism, and homophobia in universities. They seek a VC who will make "special efforts for inclusion minority groups", so that they can also participate in "constructive discussions", without being subjected to "micro-aggression".
"There is also a need to emphasize that safe spaces and free speech are not mutually exclusive, and although the University is meant to encourage debate and critical thinking, it should not birth an environment of hostility and disharmony," they added.
The Student Body hoped that the Selection Committee will appoint a candidate, efficient enough to "properly manage the funds", and foster mutual trust and transparency.
"Prior allegations of discriminatory actions against minorities, academic irregularity or mismanagement of funds on a candidate are strongly disapproved of by the Student Body. It should warrant further scrutiny to ensure that the appointment is in consonance with the dignity and esteem which the post demands. Further, it is paramount to consider the nature of the relationship that the candidate shared with the Student Body at their previous institution."
In addition to the aforesaid, they sought the new VC should recognize the need for expansion of college infrastructure, in order to ensure that the "existing infrastructure is optimally utilised for academic and extra-curricular engagement". They added, the VC should promote the objective of "physical and mental well-being" by ensuring that students have access to space, time, and infrastructure for extracurricular activities such as mooting, debating, cultural pursuits, sports etc.
Seeking transparency in the selection process, the Student Body has requested "the details of the applied candidates".
"The Student Body wishes that the details of the applied candidates be informed to the Student Body at every necessary juncture to ensure adequate participation. Details shall include: Names of the applied candidates, Academic Performance Indicators (API) score and the Vision Statement for the university as provided in the point (13) of Application Form," the Charter read.
Lastly thanking the founding Vice Chancellor, Professor (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, for investing his best in the institution, the Student Body said,
"Almost ten years ago, National Law University, Delhi was just a nascent idea. It was Professor (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, who, not only agreed to become the founding Vice Chancellor, but also took the University to such heights that would not have been possible but for his vision. Professor Singh gave 11 valuable years to this institution and the Student Body expresses its wholehearted indebtedness to him for his every single contribution in raising the University to its current stature."
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