IIULER university in Goa: SC judge urges Bar to rethink on foreign faculty, asks if there’s dearth of talent in India?

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Supreme Court Justice B R Gavai Thursday suggested the Bar Council of India revisit its decision to rope in foreign faculty for its upcoming legal university in Goa, asking if India had a dearth of talent.

The transit campus of India-International University of Legal Education and Research (IIULER) at Sancoale, South Goa, was inaugurated Thursday by Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

Speaking at the ceremony, Justice Gavai said while he endorses having a university of global standard “as the Honourable Prime Minister always says ‘think globally, act locally’”, he has “some disagreement with the fetish for foreign faculties”.

“Is there a dearth of talent in India?” Justice Gavai asked.

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“We have had Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi , Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel who were all from the law faculty…they gave up their lucrative practices and contributed to the nation.”

Justice Gavai’s comments came a day after Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said the varsity’s 11 faculty members will comprise “five from leading universities such as Harvard and Oxford”.

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Announcing the inauguration of the transit campus on Wednesday, Mishra had also said search for the “best ever” vice-chancellor for the university was underway “across countries”.

Justice Gavai said, “I agree that we must have an international law university to compete with global universities but that part of Mr Mishra’s concept that we must have foreign faculty and foreign Vice Chancellor, I think the Bar Council may have a relook at it.”

With an allocation of 2 lakh sq m of land, the university’s permanent campus in Dharbandora in South Goa is expected to start in three years.

Thursday’s inauguration ceremony was also attended by Supreme Court Justices Suryakant and M M Sundaresh.

Apart from urging a rethink on hiring foreign faculty, Justice Gavai also voiced his dismay at the trend of citing “foreign judgments” even after 75 years of the country’s Independence.

“I don’t understand this concept,” he said. “We have completed 72 years since the Constitution was established and given to us in 1950. Still we are citing judgments of the Privy Council, all England and US reports. The law has substantially developed in the country… and there are a sufficient number of Indian judgments which will hold the field and there is no necessity to refer to the foreign judgments,” he said.

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