The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences was established under the WBNUJS Act, 1999 (West Bengal Act IX of 1999) adopted by the West Bengal Legislature in July, 1999. The University was notified under Clause (f) of Section 2 of the UGC Act, 1956 in August 2004 and has been granted permanent affiliation by the Bar Council of India in July 2005.
Initially, classes, which started in 2000, were held at Aranya Bhavan, where the Environment Ministry of the Government of West Bengal is located, and the first batches of students started living in government flats. On 28 October 2002, the university’s present-day permanent campus was inaugurated by the then Chief Justice of India, B. N. Kirpal.
The NUJS, Kolkata, along with the GNLU and NLSIU, Bengaluru, remain the only three national law schools which have the honourable Chief Justice of India as the Chancellor. This set-up provides an aura of exclusivity and rare stature to these National Law Schools in India. It may be noted that all other National Law Schools have the Chief Justice of the respective state High Courts as their Chancellors.
NUJS is considered one of the best amongst the elite national law schools in India built on the five-year law degree model proposed and implemented by the Bar Council of India. The university offers a five-year integrated B.A./BSc. LLB (Hons.) degree programme at the undergraduate level and a Master of Laws (LLM) programme at the postgraduate level. Admission to the former programme is through the Common Law Admission Test, a highly competitive, nationwide common entrance examination, held jointly by fourteen of the seventeen national law schools. NUJS also offers MPhil, PhD and diploma in business laws and other programs. It also offers a number of online courses that attract students from 17 countries across the world so far.
The Chief Justice of India is the Chancellor of NUJS and is also the Chairman of the General Council, the supreme policy-making body of the University. Prof. (Dr.) Nirmal Kanti Chakrabarti is the Vice Chancellor of the University.
The objectives of the University, inter alia, are to:
a. advance and disseminate learning and knowledge of law and legal processes and their role in national development.
b. promote legal knowledge and to make law and the legal process efficient instruments of social development.
c. develop in the student and research scholar a sense of responsibility to serve society in the field of law by developing skills with regard to advocacy, legal service, legislation, law reforms and the like.
d. promote inter-disciplinary study of law in relation to management, technology, international cooperation and development.
Objectives and Vision
The National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata is an academic community committed to the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, discovery, and creativity. Its mission is to provide student-centric education and foster personal and intellectual growth to prepare students for productive careers, meaningful lives, and responsible citizenship in a global society.
The founding statute of the University, The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences Act 1999 (Act IX of 1999), states that the objects of the University shall be “to advance and disseminate learning and knowledge of law and legal processes and their role in national development, to develop in the student and research scholar a sense of responsibility to serve society in the field of law by developing skills in regard to advocacy, legal service, legislation, law reforms”. In addition, the statute enjoins the University “to make law and legal processes efficient instruments of social development” and “to promote inter-disciplinary study of law.”
In furtherance of this mission, the University seeks to incubate innovative approaches to legal education and profession and prepare students for leadership roles not only in legal profession but also in a wide range of social institutions, including government, politics and business so as to further the University’s many roles in contributing to decision-making in national and international institutions.
These mission objectives are served through an academic programmme, charactersied by academic rigour and interdisciplinary teaching and research. The curriculum content and design encourage students and faculty to transcend disciplinary boundaries by tackling complex and vexing problems facing the legal community in their social and political, local, national, and global, context and view law as a social institution.
More specifically, the University tries to combine teaching and research in an integrated manner so as to further its variegated statutory objectives. On the teaching side, the University offers a combination of undergraduate and post-graduate degree programmes in order to advance and disseminate learning and knowledge of law and legal processes. Along with its degree programmes, the University offers several diploma programmes, certificate courses and a host of specialised training programmes to impart legal education to professionals, entrepreneurs and advanced students seeking to develop specialisation in niche areas. These courses are also combined with community-based programmes like legal aid, awareness programmes and workshops in order toinstill in the scholars a sense of responsibility to serve society in the field of law and contribute to use of law as tool for social transformation and empowerment.
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