Prof. (Dr.) Surendra Kumar Singh is Ex Dean, Faculty of Law, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University, Faizabad (U.P.). Prof. Singh has been teaching since three decades and he brings to the learning table a sense of self, growth, and the never ending commitment. He is energetic and an innovative faculty, he teaches criminal law, Law of Contract and IPR as a subject of specialization.
Prof. Singh is the author various books related to consumer protection, sale of goods and Intellectual Property Rights etc. He has also authored more than two dozens articles dealing with Indian courts, judges, criminal law and judicial policy-making. He has been awarded by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs for his book.
He completed his graduation from S.G.R.Post-Graduate College, Dobhi, Jaunpur (UP). Then he pursued his M.A. in (English Lit.) from B.H.U., Varanasi (UP). After that he completed his LL.B. and LL.M. from B.H.U., Varanasi (UP). His record of scoring 78% in criminology in 1980 is still intact in B.H.U.
Legal Bites: How has been your experience as Research Scholar and Assistant Professor so far?
Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Singh : I have always loved taking up challenges in terms of research. When it comes to teaching, I have been doing that since three decades now. Honestly speaking, the different capacities do not mean anything different for me! All I know is that when I take up the responsibility of teaching a subject to my students, I owe it to each and every one of them to give my hundred percent on a 24/7 basis. If there is a shred of doubt left in any of their minds about any aspect of the course after it has been over, then that is my failure as a teacher. The duties of a teacher cannot remain confined within the classroom walls, they will rightly spill over into the students’ lives outside the classes too.
I have been taught by some brilliant teachers and I am lucky to have their footsteps to follow. Discipline without the imposition of irrational rigour, creating an environment wherein different questions and perspectives and free exchange of ideas are positively encouraged, exhorting the students to bring out their best in what they do –these are all that a teacher ought to strive for.
My students are my life and I would give up everything else over and over again to teach them and learn from them in turn both inside and outside classroom. I strive to be a teacher who makes himself progressively unnecessary and hopefully, one who gives the student something to take home to think about besides homework!
Legal Bites: Now-a-days we find students, young advocates researching more from software based journals rather than reference books / manuals for primary research. Would you agree that reference books have now come of age and their use will eventually be lost and forgotten to electronic research? How do you evaluate these changes?
Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Singh : As far as the society is concerned it is dynamic in nature. There have been changes in students. In the age of digital technology students have started relying on technology rather than books. A tendency of cut and paste has developed, which needs to be curtailed. Students need to be more responsible. Teachers needs to help students make a balance.
Apart from that I would like to mention that in most of the Indian universities and colleges we find many teachers who are unwilling. A teacher by force can never be a good teacher. Every teacher has its own ethical responsibilities towards society and they need to serve properly.
Legal Bites: What is the biggest problem plaguing Indian judiciary? Is there corruption in judiciary in India according to you? And what is your take on corruption and ban of notes as a measure?
Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Singh : Everybody talks about the arrears. I wonder if there is another court in the world with so many cases pending. To be very honest their are neither good judicial officers nor good lawyers. Everywhere there is inadequacy of sensitivity in the legal profession.
The step taken to curtail black money – is a great step towards eradication of corruption and I am very happy for the steps taken by the Prime Minister.
Legal Bites: Sir, Your message to law students across the Country?
Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Singh : I consider law students to be (at least for the most part) grown-up individuals, fully capable of making their own decisions in life. The key point is making informed decisions. In other words, if you are good in what you do, then irrespective of everything else, success will always hunt you down; you can’t possibly escape from it! Finally, when it comes to what a law student should aim to do during these five years and beyond, I can’t resist concluding with the last line from one of my favorite poems – “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. ”