Law at Alliance University, Bangalore, India - Smooth Sailing?
Alliance University is private university in Bangalore recognised by University Grants Commission and approved by the Bar Council of India. It was created by an Act of the State Legislature (Karnataka State Act 34 of 2010) in 2010 with a campus area of over 40 acres. AU offers undergrad and postgrad courses in law. For the undergrad course (integrated five year B.B.A. or B.A. LL.B.), the applicant must have secured the requisite score in CLAT/LSAT or in the exam conducted by the University (ACLAT), followed by an interview.
The subjects covered by the course are well laid out, covering essential concepts that are important for a student of law. Also, the structure and manner in which subjects are taught ensure steady progress into areas requiring a good foothold in law. The array of Honours subjects is expansive, allowing students to study what seems best in their interests.
The infrastructure is truly outstanding. The University has devoted a considerable amount of time and effort into architecture and placement of buildings. The hostels, food court and classes are very close to each other, making it easy to head to class directly or even picking up a bite on the way.
The faculty has constantly been changing over time, and now, there might be lesser than 4-5 professors employed who taught me in my first or second year. There are a few professors who are engaging and highly competent; but sadly, the vast majority of the professors are not skilled in teaching. It is evident that they possess the requisite knowledge in their field, however, to translate the same into teaching students is a skill many of them lack. However, the expansive collection in the library helps remedy this situation as the students have access to authoritative books. The collection of online databases is also really helpful, whether for academics or co-curricular activities such as moots or MUNs.
The University is aggressively addicted to formalism. It is evident that they are constantly trying to project an image to outsiders. This often leads to discomfort for the students due to excessive formalities. For example, students are not allowed to enter the library in shorts – this is patently foolish, if a student feels comfortable in shorts while studying, too bad, as the library is no place to feel comfortable as per the University.
The hostel facilities are extremely poor. Students pay over ₹80,000 every six months if they opt for a single room. Not only is the hostel fees high, the problem is exacerbated when you are told that you cannot use an iron-box, kettle or induction stoves. There is no canteen available within the hostels, so once the doors to the hostel shut at 11p.m. and you find yourself feeling hungry, tough luck.
As I mentioned above, majority of the faculty is highly inept. I am not lying when I say that over 65% of the coursework was done by me alone. I was simply not taught anything by the teachers, and whatever they managed to teach, you can find it on the first page of a textbook on that subject. Not all is grim though, the current Associate Dean is an authority in international humanitarian law (Dr. Benarji Chakka) and has raised the bar for his fellow professors.
I enrolled under the B.B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) program at Alliance University (AU) in 2014, being only the 3rd batch. In all honesty, this was a terrible move; my 17 year old self was so hell-bent on getting out of home I decided to join the first college out of the city that I was able to. Do not commit the same mistake as I did. It’s better to forego a couple of months or even a year, than to be locked into an unwholesome experience of being in a bad college for five years. Being at the peak of cognitive development, these five years truly shape your character to a certain extent. You should make your decision after much deliberation, and not employ arbitrary parameters such as infrastructure, placements or what I did, wanting to get out of home.
It might be that my cynicism has gotten the best of me, but I would label AU as a cash-cow of a siren that lures gullible students. However, since last year, the law school has seen an infusion of capable faculties who are motivated to teach and help students. Hopefully, the same continues and the institution transforms for the better.
Views expressed are personal and not those of Polemics and Pedantics. Queries to the author may be directed through our email here.
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