INTERVIEW WITH PAWAN KUMAR MISHRA PROFESSOR & HEAD, DEPT. OF LAW, CENTRAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH BIHAR
Request you to introduce yourself to our readers?
I am Pawan Kumar Mishra Professor & Head, Department of Law & Governance, Dean, School of Law and Governance, Central University of South Bihar. I obtained my B.A. LL.B. (integrated), LL.M. and Ph.D. (Law) from University of North Bengal, Siliguri, Darjeeling in 1996 and 2000 respectively. Awarded Ph.D. on the topic “Constitutional Contours of Right to Education and Educational System in India” in 2009. Started teaching as a guest faculty, Dept. of Law, University of North Bengal in 2000. Served as Lecturer at Sikkim Government Law College, Gangtok for more than two and half years.
Also appointed as Lecturer and subsequently Sr. Lecturer at Vivekananda Law School (VIPS) under GGS Indraprastha University, Delhi and served there from 2003 to 2009 and was instrumental in establishing the Law School at Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies. I was appointed as Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Patna University in 2009 and served the University till December 2015. Appointed as faculty members at various Law Schools and Universities in India including various National Law Universities. My areas of interest are Criminal Law,
Women Sensitizations and Laws, Constitutional Law and Human Rights. I have attended, actively participated and presented papers at various seminars, conferences and workshops. I have participated in various law teachers training programs. I have delivered series of lectures at Delhi Police Academy on Indian Penal Code meant for Probationary Police Officers at Delhi. I have also delivered various lectures as Resource Person at different law programs for police, law students and teachers. I have also co-chaired various technical sessions of UGC sponsored national seminars. I have been reviewing research articles of various Peer reviewed referred journals.
I have more than 28 research paper publications in different national and international UGC listed/Peer reviewed referred journals, more than 30 seminar and conference papers and is and been members of various Statutory, Professionals and Academic Bodies including in editorial boards. I have received and completed UGC minor research project on Domestic Child Labourers funded by UGC. I am a member of Expert Committees of many examinations of the Universities, Academic Bodies and Public Service Commissions. I served as the Chief Warden of campus hostels. I have more than 19 years of UG, PG and Ph.D. teaching, research and other related works experience. I have been guided and awarded 5 Ph.D. award and still guiding research work to many Ph.D. scholars on law subjects. I have joined as associate professor of law at the school of law and governance, central university of south Bihar in December 2015 and since December 2018 and till date serving as professor of law and also head and dean.
What interested you in taking up Law as a profession?
Traditionally there has been a sense of pride attached to the law as profession and those who pursue it are looked up with high esteem in the society. Law as a profession is in great demand these days. Besides being financially lucrative, law is an adventurous and exciting career option. Legal professionals including those are in teaching law and there remains the faith that when everything else fails, one can still take the path of legal system.
How was your law school life?
It was quite exciting and adventurous. Apart from campus discipline, it was quite relaxing but at the same time undeniably educative. Teachers were available on 24x7 and their focus remains introducing law not only in class but also beyond the class.
What were the activities and internships you pursued in college?
My University had switched over integrated law programme in as back as in 1986 after NLU Bengaluru and during my law school days moot court exercise was not popular but other activities like internship with the legal professionals, regular debate on the law topics, class seminars, judgement writing, legal aid approach etc. were the part of my course curriculum which has help me to develop my confidence and communications.
Please walk us through your professional life after graduation.
One of the main benefits of law programme is that they provide you a real-world view of what each job entails. After graduation enrolled in master programme and during the periods completed all the requirements of UGC to join as a teacher and immediately after my LL.M.I joined teaching profession without a day of job frustration because teaching has been my passion since I joined law programme and knowing my interest my Professor advised me not to become judge but to become a judge maker and in last 20 years of my teaching career I am happy to see all those in the position of judges and other successful legal professionals to whom I nurtured.
Do you agree that NLU students are given more preference for Jobs and internships?
To some extent the question is right because they have a backup of good infrastructures which they provide to their students and for that they charged huge fees but even for non NLUs students it remains equal opportunities if they have taken their law programme seriously and their course curricular is at par with. For instance like Central University of South Bihar where the students perform better at the national level far ahead with the NLUs.
How much importance does attendance hold for a law student, because practical knowledge holds more significance than the theoretical knowledge?
Attendance really matter and that’s why BCI, NLUs and other such expert bodies has highlighted 75% minimum attendance for Students progression. Theoretical and practical knowledge are both complement and supplement to each other. Through regular classroom teaching students not only learn law but also how to apply law in our system including professional etiquette etc. and that’s why now a days law has taken beyond the classroom by way of moot court exercise, internship etc to equip students both in theory and practice.
How has the current pandemic situation affected the studies, internship, and placement of students?
It has affected a lot in all aspects but it’s not in our control. We all are trying our best to minimize the academic losses to some extents.
What makes your college different from others?
We at Central University of South Bihar the whole teaching and administrations are techno friendly and on just one click one can have everything in hand. We have already adopted CBCS in law programme. CAT/CIA is another important aspect which makes students busy and connected with their course teachers. Our Law School looks favorably upon activities that demonstrate the qualities those are necessary to succeed as legal professional. These include knowledge of law, leadership abilities, motivation, self-discipline, advocacy and writing ability.
What are your views on career choices after Law?
There are multiple options to choose from after completing law degree. The career in law comes with impressive salary as well as there are immense choices to pick from. They can venture many sectors for their professional debut. Some of the most popular sectors in which candidates seek jobs after completing graduation in law are Govt. job, private sectors, corporate, higher education etc.
Parting advice for the law aspirants?
A law aspirant needs to work hard. It’s not all about memorizing laws and related materials but to understand and practice those to imply in future. It is important to be prudent and try to think out of box.
Ved Prakash Amrit
Central University of South Bihar