WHAT IS LAW?

The term law is a species of various things in different societies. Many authors, jurists, academicians, etc., have given different definitions to exemplify and explain the meaning of the law. It is erstwhile law that has been equated to the concept of Dharma under the Hindu system. Dharma means duty in different contexts according to Hindu jurisprudence. It derives from the Vedas and is inclined to moral values and a way of life.

In Roman law, the term law is ‘Jus’; in the Islamic system, it is ‘Hukum’; in German, it is ‘Richt’ and in French, it is ‘Droit’. The idea and meaning of these terms are not identical or the same, although similarities can’t be denied.

Law is considered a set of rules applicable to all actions without discrimination. It is a body of rules and regulations based on general principles like fair play, convenience and justice enforced by the State to regulate human activities to foster an organised society. In the widest sense, it involves uniformity of behaviour and actions for civilised society.

Even though there is no general definition of law, however, there are a few definitions given by notable jurists and law dictionaries. They are-
As per Austin, positive law has three main features: Command, Sovereign and Sanction. He states-
“Law is the command of Sovereign.” Rules laid down by political superiors to political inferiors. In other words, body of command by a sovereign member or members of an independent society wherein the author of law is supreme.

Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher, said-
It (perfect law) is inherent in the nature of man/woman and can be discovered through reason. It is immutable, universal and capable of growth.

A.V. Dicey gives a precise and compact definition-
“Law is the reflection of Public opinion.”

According to Webster’s New World Law Dictionary, law is-
“The complete body of statutes, rules, enforced customs and norms, and court decisions governing the relations of individuals and corporate entities to one another and to the state. The subset of such statutes and other rules and materials dealing with a particular subject matter. The system by which such statutes and rules are administered.”

Since the law is an elementary part of a civilised society and plays a quintessential role in the daily life of a particular society, many jurists, academicians and legal luminaries have attempted to define and exemplify the term law. This makes it necessary to understand what is the law and its various aspects.

 

References:
I. https://thelawexpress.com/the-concept-of-dharma-in-indian-jurisprudence
II. Webster’s New World Law Dictionary, Published by Wiley, Hoboken, NJ (2006).
III. https://nios.ac.in/media/documents/SrSec338New/338_Introduction_To_Law_Eng/338_Introduction_To_Law_Eng_L1.pdfhttps://books.google.co.in/books?id=r2uADwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=taxation+regime+of+ipr&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiRnpmq39v3AhX_TGwGHeocAlkQ6AF6BAgLEAI

Why Embracing Uncertainty is Critical to your Success: Try to Push Open the Envelope … bit by bit

Undoubtedly, we all live in uncertain times. Pandemic and its varied challenges made it amply clear that uncertainty is a constant companion of our life world. The newspaper headlines tell us about economic instability, climate change, political strife and its implications. Uncertainty has been and will continue to be a part of our life. We yearn for the good old times of pre-Covid. Ah! To be free to meet our friends, be out in the open gardens, hold our loved ones closely to us, and enjoy our freedom. In other words, the choice/s we have to manage and control our environment. Familiarity with our daily routine is essential for our health and well-being.

The previously set ways of thinking and behaving are known to us; hence, we find comfort in them. The continuity between the past and the future brings stability to our lives, but at the same time, as some might say, it sets a monotonous tone. On the other hand, while changes are scary in nature, they make us think differently, challenge our actions, and bring newness and adventure. In short, change and some amount of uncertainty makes us feel alive and kicking.

Hence, how do we plan and map our path through uncharted waters? For example, transitioning from school to college or, in other words, from being an adolescent to becoming a young adult may make you feel excited yet frightened and scared. The heady mixture of wanting to go forward towards the uncertainty that possibly invites and repels you too! So do you leave the confines of your comfort and the familiar? Or retreat into your shell and close your eyes and ear to the cacophony of noise hammering in your mind!

I, too, have been in such situations where I have had to submit to the guarantees of what I had and become accustomed to. I left home at the age of 5 to join a hostel in the hills and learned to not give in to tears when I left home for boarding. Who I am today is possibly because I had to give up the security of a mother’s lap, taking up the new opportunities that came my way. Each step required strength and resolve. Yes, I did waver often, felt tired, alone and lost. Yet, life taught me to accept the uncertainties that come up in life and attempt to turn some of them into personal growth, confidence and a transformation.

We can succeed in our work, relationships, career, and in life when we push the envelope bit by bit to open up new horizons. When we willingly attempt to hug the unknown and try to be open to the new experiences that come our way. Risk-taking, within limits, means pushing yourself to achieve new heights. From this perspective, the uncertainties are a vital part of exploring ourselves and the social environment in which we are embedded.

Rather than resisting the uncertainties, let us draw upon the following inputs to sustain ourselves.

Uncertainty is a part of our life. We cannot control everything. At times we have to just let go. Let us ease ourselves into slowly and gradually accepting that uncertainty is and will be a part of our life. If we panic all is likely to be lost. Let us take a deep breath. Accept that we will lose some battles and win others. Life need not be perfect.

Try to accept the overwhelming emotions of anger, frustration, disgust, fear, anxiety, grief, and loss. Each emotion, negative or positive, plays a vital role. Our feelings convey a message that all is not well! If emotions are acknowledged and felt, they will motivate us to take the necessary steps to accept the situation and the accompanying thoughts and feelings. Please take the message from your emotion and not shoot the messenger!

Take a reality check. Does the issue or situation call for alarm? Are you possibly overreacting? Or can you take a step back and objectively try to reassess the issue/situation? Perhaps something can be done and salvaged? If we let our feelings overtake us, then our thinking too gets disturbed. Fear and anxiety impact the way we think. Recall when you have been angry and you have been unable to express your thoughts. You are so angry that you may stammer or even say things you later regret.

Focus on what you can accomplish and succeed. Instead of overthinking about issues that you cannot manage or attain, recognise your limitations, particularly during times of stress and strain. Attempt new challenges, or push the envelope when you have identified and understood your strengths and limitations. Self-awareness is the key to success. Hence, tread softly and take firm steps towards self-knowledge.

Finally, uncertainty can bring disappointment. Students across the globe could not attend university and missed out on the experience of friends, excitement, and learning. Of having to stay at home, the inability to go abroad for further studies, your plans for the future were at a standstill. At such times give yourself the space to contemplate as to what this means to you. Talk to people you trust and who will help you unravel fear, anxiety and angst. The more you share and discuss your thoughts and feelings will untangle to provide a deeper understanding of your issue/situation.

Throughout our lives, we must reflect upon whether we are letting the fear of uncertainty grip us. Do not be afraid to fall, for we often judge ourselves for falling down, or are we allowing ourselves the bandwidth to grow and move forward ourselves a failure. Remember falling down and not getting up is more likely to be a failure. If you fall, get up, dust yourself and stand up, albeit a little shakily. This act will lead us toward the path of accomplishment and success.

POLYAMORY

Kamna Yadav

2nd June 2022/15 Minute Read

Movies, media, and storybooks have made us believe that “mere hero/heroin ayenge!” That ONE will be our whole world. We will spend our entire life with that LOVE of our LIFE. I would say our brains have been engrained with such thoughts where monogamy is the only form of love one can and should crave, which is also “our sweet little fairytale”. I am assuming that everyone will agree with me on this. If yes, let’s take a retake!

Do you think the idea of a soulmate is outdated or unrealistic? Do you believe that you may encounter many hero/heroines in your lifetime, or maybe an idea of having many others? Have you ever cherished numerous individuals at the same time? Maybe yes, maybe no, or maybe it is the morals that are speaking for us aloud “No, I can’t have multiple hero/heroines in my life”, “what will people think about me?”, “I can’t be a bad person to be in a relationship with many”.
Polyamorous relationships are a rejection of monogamous relationships. In other words, it is defined as a “liberal, genuine, capable, and moral way of thinking and practice of cherishing numerous individuals at the same time”. Is it getting confusing? Complicated? or in literal words, “Mere pairo tale zameen khisak gai?

This concept has been alive for many centuries. Don’t you believe me? Let’s check some facts: What does it indicate when a celebrity comes out and says we are in an open relationship, a web series named XYX on OTT platform displaying non-monogamous relationships? According to a study at Kinsey Institute for Match.com, 68% of singles approve of polyamory and 6% practice it. Another research study showed 1.2 to 2.4 million people practice polyamory (Psychology Today). An article titled “Polyamory is a reality in Kolkata” published by Times of India narrated a real-life story of a couple who are in a non-monogamous relationship wherein they are married for 15 years, wants to be in their marriage and are in relationships with many others and still respects and love each other. This shows how common it is. Let’s understand what exactly it is in next section.

WHAT IS POLYAMORY?

According to Cambridge dictionary, “it is the practice of having romantic relationships with two or more people at the same time”, polyamory educators argue that the consent part is missing which has been correctly mentioned in Oxford’s definition, “the practice of engaging in multiple romantic relationships with the agreement of all the people involved”- indicating that people are aware of and agree to the relationship’s needs, emotions, and dynamics.

Individuals who distinguish as polyamorous may have confidence in an open relationship and conscious administration of envy and reject the view that romantic and social restrictiveness is essential for profound, long-lasting intimate relationships.

These individuals like to restrict their romantic relationships to just people from the specified group, a closed-knit polyamorous relationship. It has been described as an ethical, consensual non-monogamous relationship. Many polyamorists characterize loyalty not as romantic selectiveness but rather as dependability to the guarantees and arrangements made about a relationship.

Does it have types?

Yes, it does have few types as seen from the image shared below:

Besides the above-mentioned types, there are a few other forms of polyamory relationships like solo polyamory, kitchen table polyamory, polycule.

Is it just a romantic relationship?

It depends on the individual and the sort of relationship they want with their partners. Two different people will have different experiences in polyamory relationships.

Romantic dependency isn’t a chief factor in polyamory, and individuals who seek polyamorous relationships don’t take part in the over-the-top romantic movement. Some individuals who seek polyamorous relationships set boundaries such as defining the details of the relationship, time they spent with their partner, and other things to avoid any complications that might arise. A person who is in a polyamorous relationship must come to terms with their feelings, especially jealousy, which is very common to surface. Also, the constraints of society promote monogamous or single partner relationships. In the end, it depends upon the individual what kind of relationship they want.

Does it involve emotional connection, or it is the same as an open relationship?

Polyamory relationships do involve love and emotional connection with multiple partners, which makes them stand apart from open relationships. An individual feels emotionally inclined toward someone outside marriage or committed relationships and looks out for connection, and I would say they fall in love with that significant other. In open relationships, one or both the partners have romantic relationships outside the committed relationship, including marriage. It might or might not involve an emotional connection.

LITTLE KNOW FACTS

For many of us, it’s wrong, and for many, it’s acceptable. Dr Chauntelle Tibbals, a sociologist said, “Just because polyamory is unfamiliar doesn’t mean it’s wrong”. It might work for some, let’s learn about few little know facts about polyamory.
· It is more common than you believe
It can be observed from as early as Mahabharat, wherein Draupadi married five brothers, it was observed in practices of Raja and Maharajas. It is prevalent in the Kinnaur region of Himachal, Nilgiri hills in South India, Kerala, Uttarakhand, and is followed and practised by many tribes in India. Approximately more than 1.2 to 2.4 million individuals follow polyamory.
· Polyamorous are Committed
Being polyamorous doesn’t mean no-commitment. As quoted by Dr Clarke “There are individuals who face challenges in committing in general as well as few polyamorous do face few issues but most people he knows are in multiple committed relationships”.
· Polyamorous have different dealbreakers
Poly individuals do work out their dynamics and parameters within the relationships. They can develop agreements in each relationship wherein all the parties agree and are comfortable. The meaning of cheating would differ in different relationships.
· Consent and Communication are important
As it is crucial in a monogamous relationship, so does in a polygamous relationship. It is rooted in affirmative consent, and they communicate their needs and desires to make it a healthy relationship.

AM, I JUDGING POLYAMORIES?

Polyamory is a genuine expression of love towards your hero/heroines. It sounds as confusing and complicated as monogamous relationships. Every relationship has its own perks and volcanoes.

Let’s be mindful of being who we are. Polygamous or Monogamous?? Who are we?? We are human beings who, at times or I would say most of the time judge ourselves and others. The majority of individuals imagine polyamories as bad or indifferent. Ask yourself right away the following questions: What do I think about them? Do they really exist in our society? Are they committing a crime?

Over here, I would like to ask you whether we are projecting our feelings, understanding of love, and relationships on them? If yes, I would suggest you kindly do not end up projecting your understanding and feelings onto them. Is it fair enough if someone else does the same with you? What if they judge you for who you are? I suppose that we would feel bad and would not like it at all. Therefore, I request every one to be mindful of your thoughts regarding others. Accept them the way they are MONOGAMOUS or POLYGAMOUS. It doesn’t matter who we are, what matters is LOVE and CONNECTION with significant others.

Feel free and connect on kamna.yadav@iilm.edu

“Bouncing Back: Swim but don’t Sink, Bend but don’t Break”

Ms. Megha Kochhar and Dr. Kriti Vyas

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychology

29th March 2022     10 mins Read

Resilience has often been referred to as “ordinary magic” while it looks like an extraordinary act. It is more than once thought. It’s a human trait inhibited by all, but only used by some.

Research by Dan Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist, suggests that no matter how extreme the difficulty may seem, people will bounce back to their happiness baseline in what seems like a short time. Rather, it surprises us how fast a huge majority of people who experience any kind of tragedy or trauma get back to their daily routine, as Gilbert notes “We don’t recognize that we are as resilient a species as we turn out to be.”

I don’t remember someone teaching me to be resilient nor telling me that trouble and turmoil would be an inevitable part of my life. That, someday I would face really tough times with disappointment, fear, and the occasional carpet pull (when life pulls the ground beneath your feet.) I always grew up thinking life was a fairy tale, all rosy and that staying safe and secure was the best strategy to survive. Over the years I have realized I have become much more resilient by challenging my own limits, facing my fears and enduring through my perceived limitations. After surviving near to death situations in my life, I started to face more challenges in life.

The secret to resilience is not stopping, it is to keep trying hard, then falling, getting up then recovering, again trying, then falling, then getting up again and keep trying again. It’s more like climbing a mountain without a route map. Yes, it undoubtedly requires time, effort, and support. One may face setbacks and roadblocks along the way. However, you will eventually reach the top and will feel proud of your journey. It’s all about becoming aware of and then building the endurance levels residing within you.

You are stronger than your beliefs, this is the affirmation you need to give yourself every moment. Build your stamina. It’s all about your self-belief, hope and optimism. Stress is an internal process and our emotional reaction that we add meaning to based on external events in our life.

Dr. Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology writes “Talk to yourself. Give yourself a cognitive intervention and counter defeatist thinking with an optimistic attitude. Challenge your downbeat thinking. And replace it with positive outlook.”

The bestseller author of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goldman also opines that changing our self-talk makes us more resilient. This is the key to resilience, and we overcome from our self-induced stress. Positive conversations with our self, give our lives a perspective that opens new windows of hope and belief. We have heard of the flight-or-flight response. So, the way we fight back and regain our control over our self helps us to talk to our inner self in a compassionate and gentle way. Being mindful of your internal states helps us to become generative, positive and more pragmatic.

So, step one is to take care of physical body, love yourself, and eat healthy, foods that have all colors of the rainbow. Get quality sleep. Install a habit tracking app. Make self-care your second nature. Finally, rather than blaming yourself about what all that’s happening in you life world treat yourself, with love, compassion, and empathy.

Practice accepting life’s impermanence, nothing stays forever not even your pains. This shall also pass. Ask yourself “How can I mould myself to life’s changes.”

Get curious to deal with uncomfortable emotions like embarrassment, disappointment, failure, comparisons as they arise. Our ability to be comfortable in uncomfortable emotions builds our resilience. There are various forms of meditation like sound, water, light self-guided meditation, practice what resonates best with you.

Build a supportive network of friends, family, health care professionals whom you can reach out to, not all challenges in life re meant to be faced alone.

How about creating a set of Calm Cards, pick a card in the morning that will help you reflect on the intention of the day. Pick a card on Sunday to set an intention for the week. Pick a card when you are struggling with another person, explore his good qualities and ease your relationship. Send a card to someone who needs some inspiration in life.

Adopt a Furry friend, don’t know about you but, my dog Raja was one of my strengths during my tough times, fostering him and getting greeted by him with those extra cuddles was so therapeutic.

Self-Reflection works the best –

  • Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. When you are facing tough time just ask yourself “What can I learn here” or “How can I add meaning to this situation of my life?”
  • Which part of me is tender and needs special attention?
  • Journaling really helps to get your stream of consciousness going.
  • Ask yourself “Am I taking anything for granted”
  • Am I letting matters that are out of control, stress me out?
  • Make a list of 21 things that make you smile. When was the last you followed them?

We all are aware that setbacks are a part of our lives. What matters is how quickly we learn to bounce back from adversity and negative events. In the words of Angela Duckworth that has inspired me “As much as talent counts, efforts count twice.”

Let us take a step forward and make our time worth it.

Share your experiences with us on megha.kochhar@iilm.edu / kriti.vyas@iilm.edu

 

Managing the New Student Cadre in a Post-Pandemic Era

After a long hiatus, students are back to the campus. These are a new cadre of young students, just out from the confines of their homes, after spending nearly two years ‘studying’ in their comfort zones. These are the students who have got used to their phones, laptops and I-pads to attend classes, read e-books, and their gadget addiction is so massive that their concentration levels are almost zilch now.

They have forgotten time management, have learned to procrastinate and get immensely restless in the physical classroom. The library is an alien concept, and the labs are entered without the earlier enthusiasm. Right now, all their attention is directed towards the campus crowd and getting to know their batchmates better. They are even fine with attending online classes on the lawns of the campus!! Selfie time is back in full swing; Instagram reels and stories are doing the rounds, announcing their grand arrival on their campus. Most of them are seen hanging around in the cafeteria and the sports facilities. On top of it, the warm weather makes it difficult for the students to wear masks all day through.

The pyjama parties are finally over, and it is time for upping the wardrobes and donning attires they had hanging in their closets for two years. Their animated conversations go on unending throughout the day, and the whole campus is abuzz with their chit-chats. The students who could not do much antics earlier in Zoom and Teams are back in action, and as a result, the studious ones are complaining that they were better off in the virtual classrooms, where the disturbances were lesser, and they could concentrate a lot more! The same teacher with whom they had ‘anonymously’ chatted in the virtual classroom – anonymous because they refused to switch on their videos most of the time – is unable to recognize them, and their ego does not accept this rejection!

On their part, University campuses like IILM are going out of their way to restore the pre-pandemic campus life, ambience and environment, whether it is by way of creating highly engaging classrooms, or organizing events and celebrating festivals. The involvement of students in these efforts is being given impetus.  The otherwise dormant Clubs and Societies are suddenly enthused with life, and the campus is slowly limping back to the ‘old’ normal. Industry experts and alumni are being invited to physically interact with the students, an aspect which the latter missed a lot in the pandemic.

These times are also physically exhausting for the faculty, as they had got used to comfortably sitting while conducting the online classes. They are also trying their best to adjust to the old routines. With a majority of the students distracted and not focusing on the learning in the class, it is difficult for the faculty to hold their attention for a long time.

As of now, the experience of both the students and the faculty in the physical classroom is mixed – both as trying to adapt themselves and change themselves back to the earlier times. Hoping for the earlier ‘normalcy’ to return soon!!

 

 

BARRIERS IN THE ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN INDIA

Access to Justice means approach or admittance to justice. It means existence of an effective system where rights are provided and remedied in case of breach. The preamble of the Constitution of India begins with “We the People” signifying the source of power lies in the hands of common people. Access to justice to everyone is a vital responsibility mandated upon the State. Justice encompasses recognition of rule of law and resolution of conflicts.The Supreme Court has always tried to interpret the fundamental rights along with directive principles to make access to justice easier for the poor and underprivileged. However the real experiences show that access to justice has become cumbersome and discouraging. The cases pending before the courts, high costs, complicated procedure, paucity of awareness etc. have decelerated the legal system.

We can classify the reasons for the barriers in the following ways.

  1. Societal & cultural barriers –including literacy, education, Poverty & discrimination.
  2. Institutional barriers such as insufficient governmental resources to guarantee or facilitate access to justice, inadequate organizational structure of justice institutions, limited legal assistance & lack of enforcement of decisions.
  3. Intersectional barriers-. This includes lack of trust in lawyers & judges. Most importantly it leads to corruption.

      The measures that can help people overcome these barriers can  be classified as following:

  • ADR is an alternative solution for geographically inaccessible formal court services. As with literacy, education, & awareness, barriers stand in the way of solutions.
  • To be able to access justice, parties must be provided with the opportunity to present their case effectively, procedures ought to be fair & parties ought to know the case against them, submit relevant evidence & pursue judicial inquiries within judicial time limits to eliminate the gap of irregularities in access to justice.
  • Under the Legal Service Authority Act of 1987, India has a non-adversarial “lok Adalat” or people’s court. In these cases, retired judges & government officials facilitate mediation & try to reach a compromise between the parties. The procedure is much faster than the formal process, parties present their cases themselves & no fees are charged.
  • The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) offers legal aid programs as those for the rescue & rehabilitation of child laborers, seasonal workers outside of the organized sector.
  • A gender desk at police stations will enable more sensitive & timely treatment of complaints by women.

India does not lack laws to ensure justice; it only lacks the dedication to enforce and implement laws. A country cannot be adjudged developed until it secures justice for everyone. There is a need to widen the ambit of Judiciary and focus on developing infrastructure of judicial institutions, filling vacancies, awareness and empowerment of legal aid, initiating reforms in the police and the prison systems. We must educate people and make them aware of their basic legal rights. We must encourage literacy camps and advertisements in villages, adopt legal aid as chapter in educational institutes, and engage paralegals to ensure the efficiency of affordable legal aid. Legislature must enact new laws to ensure timely disposal of case. Accountability must be ascertained of police and prison systems so that they do not infringe the rights of victims, undertrials and accused.

Moving towards Inclusivity in the classroom

 

 

 

For the effectiveness of successful learning of the students, a faculty needs to ensure that the student feel accepted, motivated , & continuously guided & supported by their teachers & classmates. In a class room you will always find a very diverse group coming from various cultural backgrounds with high disparity in the class. It becomes crucially important as a mentor & guide to bring to class, equality, inclusion, belongingness and most importantly purpose to learning. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the classroom are more important than ever as students return to their campuses; it’s imperative that educators show they are committed to helping every student feel valued, represented, and heard.

From my experience , would like to share some personal observations on how to ensure that you’re creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all your students—on the first day and every day.

Make students feel accepted & inclusive

How much are you prepared as an educator to approach students and ready to discuss topics, that might make them uncomfortable. If faculties are on edge talking about social or economic disparity, it’s going to ensure, students don’t feel to drag away from there is the first encounters with the professors and would feel positive that the semester will go successful.

Talking about differences is important, acceptance is important

Its important for the educator to share an understanding and comfort about subjects that require open conversations. Practical exposure is the best way for an educator to feel comfortable about conversations about diversity & inclusion. For example, if educators find themselves strongly opinionated about subjects like “Black and brown people” or “LGBTQ+”, then they need to do the work outside of the classroom to normalise it for themselves.
Try joining a book club, debate club, talking with colleagues about these topics, and attending workshops devoted to building cultural competence and cultural responsiveness. It’s important to expose ourselves to difference in order to be comfortable with that difference.

Don’t let biases built in your module

To achieve true inclusivity, educators need to identify with our own biases and be aware of what they are. It’s important to carefully reflect on self, as yourself about the barriers that pervert you form being fully engaged with your students and accept the biases to be able to deliver the content is class that gives student the freedom to make a choice, make their own opinion, speak out your mind and be able to question, once’s beliefs and biases. Knowing the answers to these questions and realising what may cause some difficulty for students is a big part of fixing the problem.

Disparity in Online & hybrid teaching needs to be accepted & acknowledged

The disparity of access of technology among students has really hit home during this pandemic. Students going to their local internet café , shops to learn from your class is true and has to be accepted by the educators.
Educators teaching online should take a moment to acknowledge the challenges faced by your students in online learning and let them know that you have made sure such issues are incorporated in your module teachings these challenges and connectivity issues. The technical resources to be shared and challenges accepted in these learning environments. Let students know you understand there will be connectivity problems or times when students have to share technical resources with others. This will show students that you’re aware of the trials and tribulations students are facing and that you’re concerned about students and their well-being


Prof. Nidhi Gupta
Design Department

IILM University

Digital Transformation in Design Education

The current scenario we are in, change has become the only constant. Designers have always been known as early adaptors and change makers. The sudden paradigm shift in the way lifestyle, health and economic scenarios are building, designers require to evaluate the current health situation is bringing to light problems, changes and opportunities for the industries that make us wonder what is truly important and what is needed to readjust to the new normal. The need to have more designers in the industry to bring out the change has made many educational institutions put more emphasis on design integrated thinking. Management uses fields of design with tools like critical & design thinking, whereas technology is ready to embed and explore design experiences which incorporate the new normal.

Today’s ‘New Normal’ reality is set in motion by the age of global consumption, data mapping and artificial intelligence. As a result, designers needed with updated toolkits to respond to these new conditions. IILM University sees education as a responsibility to equip students with set of tools to understand the contemporary condition and allow for the emergence of new types of multidisciplinary design practices. Speculative design understanding is not supplemental to the serious work of remaking the society, but essential to its responsibilities in a moment of change and uncertainty.

The impact on global wellness and the economy has forced organizations in every industry to flex and evolve, both in real-time and in the long-term. The curriculum we design is a  collection of ideas, thoughts, and strategies, to explore how design can play a role in making the world a healthier place, a successful and forward looking careers that are purposeful and immune to the changing world.

Image Credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Let’s talk about how design education can build an optimistic & equitable Future.

Crisis give birth to creative problem solving. Education has reacted in real-time to the pandemic, addressing tactical challenges of shifting entire campuses online overnight, with innovation and sonic speed. In the process, however, systemic challenges and disparities have been exacerbated. By its nature, learning from home depends on access to technology and Wi-Fi, but on home environment, family situations, and emotional stability for learning.

Keeping in view, Design education at IILM focus on creating learning spaces, whether physical or virtual, that empower every student & faculty equally to create new ventures to exchange the power of knowledge and know-how. National Education Policy is navigating the strategy of varying degrees, exit points developing an infinite number of scenarios that students can design through, resources, socio-economic landscape, infrastructure, and purpose.

How can we take what we have learned during this time to impart positive change on our future to ultimately shape healthier, wiser, and more equitable communities?

Pandemic is not a change agent, but an accelerant for addressing some fundamental issues for education.

Image: Photo by Gaberiel Benois on Unsplash

A vision for a adaptable & equitable future

The core to the future of learning is learner-centred design, which implies a major repositioning of the learner, the role of the educator, and the environments we design.

Blended Learning is the key

We have been slow at adoption of alternative technologies and pedagogies as human resistance to change. The immediate shift to virtual learning that schools and universities across the world had to make, nearly overnight, has granted us an enlightened perspective. Educational Institutions need to find new ways to address the needs of every student. The demand for more engaged learning will accelerate new digital platforms, better equipping students to craft their own learning map and future.

Our each program combines hybrid and remote instruction using real world and social emotional learning. The program combines hybrid learning, real world learning, and social-emotional learning to “learning with a purpose.”

Gensler reports that Scott Galloway predicts that online learning and digital platforms will only continue to expand as universities navigate the indirect financial impacts of the pandemic. A focus on the student experience will double-down on the interplay between virtual and physical space. But it’s also critical to address inequities in remote learning, such as disparate access to technology, in order to ensure that digital and physical classroom environments are accessible for all learners.

Learning with a purpose, community & place development

During this pandemic big question has raised on online learning, called into question the need for a physical campus and generated much speculation as to whether the campus would cease to exist. While transitioning to virtual learning has proven successful for some students and for some types of course material, hands-on learning, soft skills, and connection to classmates and course material have been more difficult to translate to learning  online. Many schools and institutions saw the pandemic actually elevate the importance of human interaction, further underscoring place and community as a core value proposition.

Essential to campus experience, the value-add of space and community will evolve in near future. Just as creative environments will employ hybrid solutions for learning, so will student life, dining, housing, and recreation as they seek to engender culture and community. The campus here derives student experience increasingly combining digital platforms with physical space, also reprioritize on-campus activities for “highest and best” use of social and interactive space.

Encourage interdisciplinary approaches.

For nearly a decade, culture of innovation has held its place of importance — both inside and outside of the classroom. This urgency to transcend silos has changed the way departments solve problems both academically and administratively, and the pandemic has only heightened that trajectory.

Now campus assembles core planning teams, championed by senior leadership, that cut across disciplines to produce comprehensive solutions for immediate and near-term plans. The ability to solve challenges that have emerged from the pandemic will foster a lasting interdisciplinary mindset.

Our Campus develops enhanced infrastructures of technology and services Additionally, new career paths continue to emerge out of this need to collaborate in uncharted ways. To support the integrated thinking process and spur intrinsically-driven motivation in students, the spaces we design continue to provide a level of diversity, multimodality, and flexibility.

Turning campus into synergy spaces to build new processes

Connections made beyond the campus through partnerships with local business, government, and community makes learning resonant. With the pandemic, such connections are identified as essential for operations survival. As public and civic entities form new alliances between industry, technology, and education as a way of plotting the course to reopening, imagine what could happen if these alliances stayed together to solve problems going forward.

COLLEGE FEES, NO LONGER A BURDEN DURING PANDEMIC

Living in the age of competition makes everyone choose the best. While choosing the best, we also need to protect our financial pockets, especially during the pandemic when it is in the most vulnerable situation. During this time getting admission, for a professional course like Law in a good college will scar the pockets a little more. A college that caters to this need of the people is the need of the hour. To fulfil this need, IILM takes a step forward and offers numerous scholarships. It offers specific scholarships to meritorious students who have obtained good results in CLAT or LSAT. A scholarship of 20% is awarded if a student scores 100 and above in CLAT, and a scholarship of 30% is awarded if a score of 455 and above is obtained in LSAT. In addition to this IILM, understands payment of fees in one go will be difficult during this time, therefore relaxes the payment of fees for the Law programmes, including BA LLB and BBA LLB. The Registration fees, which most candidates see as a huge burden on their pockets, is relaxed from Rs. 90000 to Rs. 25000, and the fee payment of the first year is divided into three instalments. These steps are taken to ensure that higher education is not compromised during the pandemic.

Experiential Learning Through Summer Internships

Summer Internships are an admirable way to start building a sturdy foundation for a successful career path. IILM University provides students with numerous such opportunities to work with NGOs and Corporates in order to enhance their experiential learning experience. Students get a chance to have an incredible experience by working directly with the companies.

Below mentioned is one of such experiences felt by our undergraduate student named Harshit Sultania, BBA 2019 Batch, when he got an opportunity to work with an NGO called Seva Bharti Foundation to fulfill his role as a responsible citizen. We all think of doing something good for society and hope for that little opportunity that would create a little difference in someone’s life.

That opportunity was given to the students by IILM University through an internship initiative to work with the Seva Bharti Foundation. This program gave students a chance to help the unprivileged group of students. The program was for six weeks and every week they used to spend at least two hours with our buddy via telephonic or video calls.

In Harshit’s words – “I was very much excited about the concept of helping and guiding students. Because obviously! it’s the student who knows best about the student. They know what and how to talk and what exactly to work on. All of us were allocated one student each from Seva Bharti Foundation with whom we talked about their career and other concerns as their buddy mentors.

I was lucky to get the opportunity to be the student coordinator for the program where my job was to ensure the smooth coordination between the students and their buddies. And similarly, a few other students were also made student coordinators and each coordinator got ten students to supervise and help in the smooth functioning of the program. With much enthusiasm, I started with week one by getting connected with my students. I explained every detail about the whole program to everyone individually. Initially, it was difficult to motivate the underprivileged students to continue the program, but with little more effort, I started getting the result.

As from week two, things finally started to move in the right direction and students started talking about their career goals, living conditions, and other areas of interest. I tried my best to mentor and guide them in the right direction making them aware of the kind of additional online courses they can do to enhance their learning. I managed to listen to their concerns patiently and help them in whatever way I could.

Students also were coordinating well with their buddies and started to share their awesome experiences with us. And at the end of every week, I had to send a weekly report covering all the aspects discussed. Time flies really quickly just like those six weeks. But yes, I have to accept that I learned a lot from the student coordinator job. I learned how to talk to people and motivate them to come forward with their concerns in a professional way. I learned how to solve issues in a proficient manner and most importantly I learned how to manage things in an efficient way”.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness to the IILM University, without them this whole journey would not have existed in the first place. It helped me in knowing more about the lives of underprivileged students and gave me a platform to help them in whatever little way I was able to manage. I am pleased to share that it certainly added value to my learnings and my journey with Seva Bharti Foundation concluded with a happy ending” – Harshit Sultania.


Dr. Rachna Madaan