The human resource development ministry plans to dedicate one of the Prime Minister’s proposed 14 Innovation Universities to research and postgraduate studies in law, under a proposal mooted on Thursday by human resource development minister Kapil Sibal.
The Innovation Universities are a new set of varsities that were proposed by PM Manmohan Singh as a part of his vision to transform India into a global knowledge hub. These universities will focus on cutting-edge research instead of routine teaching responsibilities that burden most of the country’s present varsities.
The Innovation University on law will be set up through a public-private partnership, a panel consisting of academic experts and HRD ministry representatives, chaired by Sibal, decided today.
The panel also decided to ask the University Grants Commission to prepare a blueprint for a three-year undergraduate (B.A) course in law to create a cadre of “law officers” to assist government officers and private executives.
“At present, bureaucrats or executives often have to study the law on their own for their work if it involves any legal aspect,” an HRD ministry source said.
The UGC will also draft a blueprint for a two-year vocational course for paralegals – the men and women who assist lawyers prepare for cases. India is increasingly emerging as a cheap destination for legal work outsourced by law firms in the west, and a trained cadre of paralegals will help capture this market, a source said.