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Symbiosis to offer one-year post graduate law course

Source : Times of India

PUNE: The Symbiosis International University (SIU) announced here on Monday that it would replace its two-year postgraduate (PG) law course with a one-year full time LLM course from academic year 2013-14. The new course will offer specialisation in six different areas of legal studies.

"We have restructured our PG courses and research programmes to suit the new one-year LLM study pattern, which is being promoted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) primarily to check the migration of Indian law graduates to foreign universities for their PG law studies," SIU principal director Vidya Yeravdekar told TOI. "Law graduates from our own institution were migrating in large numbers to foreign universities," she said.

Unlike in India, where LLM is a two-year course, universities in the US and Europe offer one-year PG law courses, which is an attractive option for students in terms of saving time and money. This has prompted the UGC to approve a one-year LLM course based on certain guidelines related to offering such a course in a two-semester or trimester pattern. The course will be offered only at universities and institutions which have PG law study centres. Credit system and focus on specialisation will be the other key features of the new course.

While the UGC has left it up to the universities whether or not to retain the two-year LLM course along with the new one, the SIU has decided to scrap its two-year course. "From 2013-14 onwards, we will offer only the one-year course through the Symbiosis Law School, which is a key constituent of the SIU," Yeravdekar said.

In February, the SIU extended a formal shape to its PG law centre known as the Symbiosis Centre for Advance Law Studies and Research and has now brought all its PG and research programmes under this centre, she said.

Yeravdekar said, "The one-year LLM course will be interdisciplinary in approach, with an orientation for advanced studies and research of law. Students will have options in terms of specialisation, cross specialisation courses that combine innovation, legal acumen and theoretical insights. The course will have a total 26 credits. Of this, four credits will be for the compulsory component, six for optional courses and 10 for total courses. The total marks for the entire course will be 1,300."

The specialisation studies will cover business and corporate law, constitutional and administrative law, innovation, science and technology law, legal pedagogy and research, criminal and security law and human rights. The student intake for the one-year course will be 60 seats and admissions will be based on a national entrance examination and assessment in the form of group exercises, personal interactions and writing samples, she said.