Life from womb to tomb is not merely for aimlessly galloping in the dark and thereafter terminating into a worthless journey. It must be viewed as an opportunity to attain certain meaningful goals such as to fully realize our potential and positively utilize the same for our own ultimate good as well as for the welfare of the humanity as a whole. This will help us develop a worldview full of pious feelings for each other throughout the globe, as well as a life view based on balance between materiality and spirituality thereby making the mother earth a worthy place to live in where humanity and humility are valued the most. But this can become a reality through such an education only which is capable enough to ensure all round development – physical, mental and spiritual – of the students at all levels.
In ancient times, the obligation to provide such education was owned and solemnly fulfilled by the ‘gurukuls’. Now-a-days, it is the schools, colleges and universities which perform this noble task as they are truly termed as temples of learning. The word learning coupled with temple inevitably reminds us of value-based learning. And learning, in order to be value based, has necessarily to pass through four stages, viz. learning to know and appreciate the distinction between right and wrong; learning to do the right thing in the right manner and discard the wrong straightaway; learning to live together as family members; and finally learning to be, i.e. to develop inner/spiritual power so as to fully realize our-self. Thus, the function of educational institutions is not only to act as centres of academic excellence to develop the brainpower of their students and turning them out as good professionals, but they need to act also as temples of learning ensuring the development of students’ heart power and transforming them into men of high character, responsible citizens and good human beings so that their worldview and life view do not remain confined only to their individual self and personal career advancement leading to selfishness and exploitation of society for personal gains. This also helps develop in students a sense of their moral responsibility towards these larger wholes. With this orientation, the students would definitely be able to engage more positively and actively with their academic pursuits without forgetting the importance of their ethical part. For this purpose, it is important that we develop a general course on ethics and human values for the students which will provide them with a conceptual framework. This in turn would enable them to develop scientific temper and appreciate the practical value of Indian culture and civilization so that they may adopt and enjoy the benefits of the benign mix of the old and the new, east and the west and discard their malign mix.
The teachers are also to contribute their best in this endeavour. Since the value temper of teachers as reflected through their scholarship, attitude and behaviour highly affects the formation of values in the students, therefore, it is of utmost importance that the value temper of teachers is of high order. They need to act as exemplary role models simultaneously assuming the role of a teacher, preacher and a guardian for the academic and personal development of the students. In order to develop value temper, the teachers need to be encouraged to take up issues of ethical, cultural and human values of contemporary relevance as part of their academic research.
The University administration is essentially meant to create an enabling and conducive environment necessary to facilitate the teaching-learning process for the utmost benefit of its students and teachers. Rather than being rigidly guided by various stumbling blocks of regulatory mechanisms, the administration must view its role as an agency to facilitate the teaching-learning process to the maximum possible extent so as to make it smooth and hassle free in true sense. This underlines the need for developing a value-based and goal-specific work culture which could be ensured by adopting an appropriate code of conduct for all concerned i.e. the students, the teachers and the administrative staff as well.
Besides above, a child consciously or unconsciously starts learning its primary lessons of life through the overall conduct of its parents. The greatest responsibility to shape the future of our children, therefore, lies with the parents who by their modest behaviour, proper training and guidance can endow the children with such values as are essential to enable them to learn the art of living and capacity to understand the value of good, doing good and being good. Through such art and understanding, our children will become assets to themselves, to their families, to the nation, and ultimately to the humanity as a whole. Heredity, training and association do play important roles in the formation of our personality, therefore, all of us individually and collectively as well, are under an unavoidable obligation to continuously evaluate the pros and cons of the way of life and the values which we choose to adopt to lead our lives.
As regards the Hidayatullah National Law University, it is a fully residential University and is sixth in the series of the National Law Universities established in India. The campus of the University is built over 65 acres of land abutting a beautiful lake and is located in a serene and pollution free environment. The campus is fully equipped with a very good infrastructure, modern teaching aids and unparallel facilities. The entire campus is Wi-Fi enabled. The circular academic and administrative building of HNLU has been built on the design of the Parliament of India. The Academic and Administrative Building has a unique amphitheatre in its centre with four entrance gates. This beautiful amphitheatre is similar to the amphitheatre of Athens, Greece. The amphitheatre can accommodate more than 1000 persons at a time and is tastefully used for cultural activities/common gatherings. HNLU has a huge, beautiful three-storied library with air conditioned reading halls and a seating capacity of 200 persons at a time. The structure of HNLU library is similar to the library of the London School of Economics. The library has numerous modern book stacks with varied and rich collection of text books, journals, reference books and periodicals. The academic block also houses the State-of-the-art Moot Court Halls. The teachers’ chambers are air-conditioned with modern teaching gadgets. The class rooms are also air-conditioned with modern teaching aids such as DLP projectors, interactive boards, etc. which create quality academic environment. The air-conditioned Conference Hall is having acoustic treatment and quality auditorium chairs. There are separate Halls of Residences for girls and boys with more than 800 individual rooms. Single room accommodation and modern hostel furniture is provided to each student. There are separate mess and gymnasium in the hostels. Indoor and outdoor games facilities are also available on the campus. Medical facilities including visiting doctors and ambulance are available. The University is also having tie-ups with nearby hospitals and clinics for consultation, check-ups and emergency medical services.
Apart from the huge infrastructure, the University’s vision is to develop its Six Schools of Excellence to promote advanced learning and research in various specialized areas of law. The Schools of Excellence are: the School of Juridical and Social Sciences; the School of Constitutional & Administrative Governance; the School of International Legal Studies; the School of Science, Technology, Environment & Sustainable Development; the School of Business & Global Trade Laws Development and the School of Administration of Justice, Continuing & Clinical Legal Education.
HNLU has a team of competent, dedicated and internationally trained faculty members to advance professional knowledge to the students. The student-teacher ratio is one of the best in the country. International standards are maintained in designing and teaching the courses and the student is shaped completely into a professional during his stay in the University. HNLU has created a record by placing its students through the campus recruitment programme.
For creating high quality academic ambience and enable its students towards perfection in their academic endeavour, the University offers exhaustive, diverse and cross-functional curriculum as well as optional/honours courses at graduate and postgraduate levels. Rigorous coursework helps in equipping the students with basic knowledge of law, requisite skills and a thorough understanding of the legal system operating in specific social, economic and political contexts to meet the demands of emerging market and society. To help achieve these objectives, the University regularly organizes national and international seminars, conferences, moot court competitions and special guest lectures by eminent academicians and professionals from within India and abroad. The students of HNLU have brought laurels to the University by winning prizes, trophies and awards in national & international academic meets and getting good placements in various reputed companies, firms and organizations. The interested students have further opted for higher educational advancements in the legal profession and law practice at the Bar and the Bench.
The University is in the process of setting up a Child Rights Centre in collaboration with the UNICEF in addition to the process for collaborative arrangements with various reputed National and International Universities and educational institutions.
HNLU is firmly committed to reach the zenith of success by consciously planning and carefully pursuing the path of value based quality education. The University is making continuous efforts to transform itself into a world class institution. I, therefore, call upon the members of the HNLU family, i.e. the students, their parents, faculty and staff-members in particular, and the public at large in general, to come forward and contribute their best for overall development of the University.
While concluding, I would like to share my feelings by quoting below certain great personalities:
“Education is not limited to the imparting of information or training of skills. It has to give the educated a proper sense of values”- Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan
“The end of all education, all training should be man-making” – Swami Vivekanand
“Way to freedom passes through jail” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Renunciation of impure thoughts is the real worship and greatest contribution to the welfare of the Society” – Sri Ram Chandraji Maharaj
Prof. (Dr.) Sukh Pal Singh