Saturday, December 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
IDIA Jharkhand Chapter kick started its first sensitisation programme on 25th of October, 2010 in Ranchi. Our team comprising of Nikhil Kaman and Srishti Aishwarya, firstly went to Oxford Public School. The school authorities appreciated our “IDIA” and were more than welcoming. We were allowed to give presentations in 11th standard which consisted of Science and Commerce sections.
We first gave presentation in Commerce sections. We started on with asking students about what idea do they possess about law as a career option and what do they expect from their career. Their idea about law seemed to be limited to the traditional notion of three year course and most of them showed a preference towards the field of Management, BBA, BCA, C.S., etc.
We began with telling them that what law as a career offers them. The thought of getting empowered and financial stability and security that the profession can offer, started catching their attention and interest. We went on to explain them about 5 year law course and about the National Law Schools and other law colleges that has five years integrated law course and the job prospects after that and the alluring packages offered by law firms. Special emphasis was laid on the fact that law offers them with myriad career opportunities ranging from jobs in law firms, International Organisations, NGOs, PRS, or getting into Judiciary Services and last but not the least, going for Litigation. We further explained them about CLAT and how to prepare for it, few students even noted down the question pattern as we discussed about it.
Our purpose of going there was elucidated to them and the whole concept of Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access project and the fact that we select students from under privileged background via an aptitude test and provide them with free of cost training for CLAT in IMS. We provided them with our contact details and requested them to go to CLAT website and IDIA blog and also to Clathacker.ning for getting a detailed idea about everything.
After our presentation was over, we asked them if they had any query or question. It was wonderful to see students posing their question and showing interest, questions were raised about how to prepare for CLAT and when does the CLAT exam takes place. We gave replies to these questions to the satisfaction of students and took their leave then, thanking them for their patience and interest.
Thereafter, we waited during the recess break after which we had to give presentation in Science Sections. What was most encouraging was that during the break, two Science students of Standard 12th came to us, asking us about CLAT and IDIA after hearing about our presentation from their peers. The interest showed by them was amusing and confirmed that our effort to sensitize is not going in vein. They went contended after getting answers to their questions about IDIA, CLAT and how to prepare for it.
After recess break we went to Science sections where all the students were either interested in Medicines or Engineering. When we talked about law as a career option, the first response was that they don’t want to get into the field in which people fight in Courtrooms!! We tried to break their stereotype views and gave them a broad idea about what law as a career is and the job prospects and opportunities. We then told them about CLAT and IDIA. The presentation went well and students were responsive, though it was hard to make them think out of the box.
After giving our presentation we thanked the school administration and Mr. Hazra who is a teacher out there and who arranged everything, for their co-operation and whole hearted support.
After Oxford Public School, our next destination was St. John High School where we went on 26th of October, 2010. The principal was cordial enough to allow us to give presentation. We addressed the mass of around 120 students of 11th standard, Science stream. We began with posing some question about what idea do they have about law as a career. All they knew about was the local law college out in Ranchi and seemed disinterested. Nevertheless when we began our presentation, telling them about the job prospects and other opportunities, followed by details about National Law School and other colleges like Government Law College, Symbiosis, they started evincing interest. In fact before we could move on to tell them about CLAT, question started pouring in about how to get into National Law Schools. We then told them about CLAT exam and the fields from which questions are asked in it. The major concern of the students was how to prepare for it. We suggested them to read Wren and Martin for Grammar and magazines like Competition Success Review, Pratiyogita Darpan for General Knowledge. We went on to tell them about Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access project and that we select students from economically weak background via an aptitude test and provide them with free training for CLAT in IMS.
After our presentation was over, we asked students if they had any query. Apart from question about how to prepare for CLAT, an interesting question was raised by a student who asked that how can we help people and work for their rights after becoming a lawyer. We then elaborated on the fact that they can work with NGO’S, International Organisations like UN, Amnesty International and other Human Rights Organisation. We further gave our contact details and address of CLAT website, IDIA blog so that they can make an informed choice about their career.
With this, our presentation for the day witnessed an end. We tried going to some other schools as well, while principals of few schools exuded hostility and did not allow us at all. Some other schools like Kendriya Vidyalayas were having their Mid- Term exams and so we were asked to come in the month of December. We plan to select students in the month of December and start training them.
Apart from going to the schools to carry out sensitization programme, we used the medium of Radio to reach out to the masses. A programme on “Vidhi Shiksha ka Mahatva aur Disha Nirdesh”, talking about law as a career option and IDIA was given by me on Aakashvani, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand that was broadcasted on 28th of October, 2010. A very good response was evoked by the programme as told by the Programme- Coordinator at Aakashvani, Hazaribagh.
In the ending note, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all the IDIA Jharkhand chapter members and would like to extend special thanks to Kumar Rahul for his sincere support and Nikhil Kaman for his help in carrying out the sensitization programme.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
While most students would cherish the process of teaching in itself, the IDIA experience is that much more of a process of self-discovery in that it deals with children who have managed to devise incredibly ingenuous ways of learning for them-selves. This workshop presented us the opportunity of being part of something extraordinary, something that might change the face of legal education in the country, but will definitely change our paradigm of learning.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
The general perception among this group was that law is restricted to court-room advocacy and drawing up of wills and deeds. They were initially not responsive to the discussion, which may be attributed to their lack of awareness about the wide reach of law as a profession. However once they were informed about the scope of work available to advocates in law firms or as inhouse counsels in corporate bodies, it managed to catch their imagination and made the briefing more interactive.
The students were comparatively more familiar with other fields of study such as engineering and medical, and could identify with the concept of entrance examinations for law schools only after parallels were drawn with IITJEE and AIEEE. This volunteer found that most students were not clear about the eligibility criteria for giving CLAT, and some had not even heard of such an entrance examination for law schools before. A concise overview of CLAT was given and doubts were cleared about the manner in which application forms for this examination are distributed. The students expressed their reservation about taking additional coaching classes for law school entrance examinations. They were encouraged not to view such coaching classes as an unconditional pre-requisite for cracking such entrance examinations, and to resort to coaching only if they felt the need for it.
Apprehensions were expressed by some students about the high fees charged by such law schools, which were sought to be allayed by giving practical examples of educational loans and scholarship schemes of certain institutions. Queries were also raised about when NLU Jodhpur would start a scholarship scheme for funding the studies of meritorious students from economically weak backgrounds. While wrapping up the discussion, it was heartening to find quite a few students whose interest in law had been kindled by the briefing. Contact details of the coordinators heading the Rajasthan chapter of IDIA along with the official website of CLAT was provided to the students to ensure that any further doubts that they might have can be addressed. Report by team 2 Our experience has been highly enriching and we assess the session as highly fruitful.
We began by asking the students as per their future plans. 80% of the crowd showed interest in pursuing engineering while some 5-6 showed interest in business management. Interestingly there was only one boy who showed interest in doing law and writing CLAT. The session then moved forward with their notions of law, justice and advocates and as per their assessment of law as a career option and existence of legal education imparting institutions, it proved to be too narrow. We started discussing about the varying options that would be available to graduating law students in terms of monetary gains, job experience and exposure. Thereafter the life in a law school was described to attract their interest and making them visualize of a life which provides ample individual space and capacity to progress living in an extremely different environment which teaches one immensely. In the end, the students were described about the modality of CLAT and how the role of IDIA will shape up if they show interest in pursuing law after 12th Standard.
The session was interactive and the students were inquisitive to know about the prospects of 3 year Law degree and how one can pursue it after B Tech. Further the interested student in law raised an honest query as to how difficult is it to crack CLAT considering English can be a trouble. However the team assured him by proving mathematically that command over all other sections is adequate to get a decent rank in CLAT which assures entry in a good university.
There were other queries raised and it was indicative that their knowledge about law and its prospects did get widen. The best part of the session was that the teacher present during the lecture was also thoroughly impressed and he reiterated and seconded our opinion on planning law as a career option instead of just following a ‘crowd mentality’. We requested the students to further advertise and spread awareness about the multifold options as reflected by us which will help us in a long way in targeting the parents, teachers and other influencers of students.
I had the opportunity of addressing a group of around 40 students from the 12th grade. Initially, was under the impression that I would be talking to a quiet audience but to my pleasant surprise, the students turned out to be quiet enthusiastic about whatever I had to tell them. They were all Commerce students and on conducting a straw poll, I found that mostly wanted to be Chartered Accountants, with little or no inclination towards law. It was my endeavor then, to tell them the merits of interdisciplinary studies to draw their attention towards law. Hence, I started with the merits of a dual degree and how their interests could be streamlined even if they take up law as a career. The discussion was then focused on telling the audience about the various Law schools in India and the requirements in CLAT. A lot of questions were posted on the feasibility as well as possible incentives. The students were interested to know about the difficulty level of the CLAT question paper as well as the syllabus for the same. Also, many were interested in knowing about the fee structure as well as the scope for scholarships. I was also asked about my interest in Law as well scope of further studies. I ended with a few snippets from life in Law school, although, the interest had been shifted to the prospectus of NLU, Jodhpur that had been passed around for the students’ reference. In furtherance of IDIA’s objective to reach out to students of all social strata and sensitise them about law as a career option, the second orientation program was conducted at St. Patricks school, Jodhpur on 17.10.2010. An assembly of around 70 students studying in 12thStandard (Science stream, Humanities and Commerce) were briefed by 5 IDIA volunteers including Geetanjali Sharma (B.A LL.B), Azal Khan, Vijaya Sharma, Geetanjali Sharma (B.Sc LL.B) and Mukul Agarwal.(Coordinator).The session started by volunteers asking questions on law and assessing the general perception of students about law. It was surprising that in a group of 70 (all girls students) around 15 of them seemed interested in pursuing law as a career option. This was indeed a greater number in comparison to the first orientation program. However their knowledge and perception about legal profession were very faulty or juvenile. So although we found a crowd that was relatively more open to pursue different carrier options [maybe because students from humanities were also there] but they were very less aware about the practical realities of any profession. It is vital to note some of the perceptions that the students had which was reflected through the nature of questions they posed.A student pointed out that a student in IIT even if cannot prove himself to be at the top would get a decent salary of 1 lakhs per month. However in a law school one had to work like very hard and then also they would get not more than 15 thousand. [the same was answered by providing them statistics about pay packages of Microsoft, Google, Infosys, HCL etc and the top tier law firms]. It was also pointed out by another student that law as a career option might not be conducive for a woman as it is to a man. Another girl was surprised to know how lawyers can perform social work and how the nature of contribution they make in the society, can actually affect the society positively. One of the girls also raised a doubt that the discussion would be fruitless unless their parents are convinced as they still perceive law to be a third grade career option. [we extended all our willingness to discuss with the concerned parents by medium of providing our contact details and also requesting the school administration to follow on any such request made by students] Most importantly students pointed out that law is associated with corruption and parents would not want them to get into such a field. [we went into explaining different facets of law like corporate law, IPR, income tax etc so as to show that a lawyer is not just what they have seen in Hindi movies] Hence the session was highly interactive and there were instances of mindboggling exercises to convince them on certain aspects. The teachers however seemed to be convinced and promised us to involve students in similar discussions whereby they can make an informed choice to chose a particular career as they option.
I sincerely acknowledge the IDIA Members and all those involved who conducted the senistisation Programee. I have a special word of appreciation for my Joint Coordinator Mukul Aggarwal. I laud the effort of Piyush Singh, Geetanjali Sharma ,Jai Sahai who worked relentlessly in order to conduct the orientation programme and gave final touch in the report.Finally,
I sincerely thank Ankita Singh, for her effort in preparing the report.
IDIA Coordinator,Rajasthan Chapter
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
What is IDIA?
Images from here and here.