Way back in 2015, the then Law Minister mooted the idea of establishing Law University in the State and said that students of the State evinced interest in studying and researching in the subject of law, which he thought was a dynamic subject, and in absence of a Law University they had to seek admission in law institutions outside the State.
In the beginning and on the behest of the Minister, good deal of interest was shown in furthering the proposition. Even a delegation of the State led by the then Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Syed Basharat Bukhari visited Bangalore and Hyderabad where two law institutions, namely National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) are located. The visit was focused on obtaining details for establishing the contemplated Law University, the space, accommodation, faculty, courses, administrative staff and the process of obtaining recognition by the University Grants Commission of India. The Minister desired to bring J&K at par with other states in regard to having its own Law University that would churn out law graduates besides inducting many of them into research activity.
This was not a bad idea, and in fact, an idea of expanding education horizontally or vertically is usually appreciated and even supported by the Government both State and the Centre. However, the idea somehow did not find smooth sailing. It got stuck up in a controversy over funding. Three departments were involved and these are the Departments of Law, Finance and Planning. Unfortunately, these departments could not forge consensus of opinion on broad issues involved. Essentially, the problem is of funding because the Central Government has not committed anything by way of financial support to the proposal. It means that the State has to depend on its own resources if at all the university sees the light of the day. There was also a suggestion that funding may be sought from the Prime Minister’s Package. But the Planning Department turned down the proposal arguing that there was no provision in the package of diverting any amount to any head of expenditure other than those already specified.
The question is that why does our Government live in a world of imagination? Why do the Ministers take airs and think that everything moves according to the way they plan? Even we would raise finger to bureaucrats as well. It is the duty of the bureaucrats and administrative superior to argue with the Minister about the funding of any new project especially which was a consumer project. They should have advised the Minister at the very outset that going into the nitty-gritty of the issue depends on availability of funds. Since there appears no source for raising funds and our State is a financially weak State, we don’t know when the Law University will be established. We would suggest that the State Government should ask the Finance Department to examine the ways and means of raising funds for this coveted project. There is no harm in inviting the UGC and the Ministry of Human Resource (MHR) for a discussion on the subject.