Prof. Yogendra Srivastava is a nationally recognised legal education academician. Many accolades have been bestowed upon him as a result of his extensive experience in academia and the government sector. Prof. Srivastava was awarded a Bachelor of Science Gold Medal.
International law, insurance law, environmental law, labour law, and human rights are some of his areas of expertise. His academic career brought him to a variety of prestigious universities, including the National Law Institute University in Bhopal, among others. He has extensive experience working for the government as a Court Officer in the Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), Department of Revenue, Ministry of
Finance, Government of India, in addition to a distinguished academic career. Legal Bites took this opportunity to interview him and get some light on his rick academic experience.
Legal Bites: Before joining as an educator, you were a part of the Ministry of Finance. What motivated you to take academics as a career option?
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: After I qualified for the UGC-NET examination, I decided to try my hand at teaching. I entered the world of academics and I was fortunate enough to start my career at the prestigious National Law Institute University, Bhopal. During my tenure at NLIU, I got the opportunity to learn from eminent academicians which played a crucial role in my growth as an educator.
I dedicated myself to improving my teaching and class-management techniques. I have been working in a key role at the Faculty of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, which has been a thoroughly satisfying endeavour. Taking initiatives and executing plans for the betterment of young budding lawyers gives me immense satisfaction and a sense of pride.
Legal Bites: You have great expertise in subjects like International Law, Environmental Law, Labour Law etc. Which subject interested you the most as a law student?
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: I used to be a very curious and eager-to-learn student. It is true that in the advanced stages of my career I chose International Law and Environmental Law as my fields of study but during my undergraduate days subjects like Jurisprudence and Interpretation of Statutes fascinated me.
Understanding the nature, scope and relevance of law and learning the methods of interpreting really excited me as a student. Even as a teacher, I enjoy discussing jurisprudence with my students. According to me, without studying jurisprudence deeply, one can’t fully comprehend the ambit of a law or a precedent.
Legal Bites: What were the different challenges you faced as a law student as compared to the struggles students face today?
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: During my graduation days, it was quite a difficult task to conduct effective legal research as we had to go through a plethora of books to find relevant content. Nowadays, students have online legal databases, journals, magazines, digests, etc., which has made things relatively easier. Another aspect was good internships and guidance pertaining to the same.
Students today have ample opportunities to intern with famous corporate houses, lawyers, NGOs, Government organizations. In short, the internship component has become impressively organized. During our days, due to lack of guidance and resources, we struggled to find good internships and training opportunities.
Legal Bites: Today we see a significant number of options in law as a career. What according to you are the subjects, every law student should be thorough with no matter what field of law?
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: As I pointed above, every law student must keenly study Jurisprudence and Interpretation of Statutes. Apart from those, a law student must have a comprehensive understanding of the procedural law which include the Criminal Procedure Code and the Civil Procedure Code. I am also of the strong opinion that every law student must develop a basic understanding of the Indian Constitution and its character. After all this, students may choose their own field of specialization. There are many emerging avenues which are both interesting and lucrative.
Legal Bites: Tell us about your contributions and approach at Jagran Lakecity University in ensuring excellence in education and making students ready for the challenges ahead.
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: I have always tried to align myself with the goal of the University. In the capacity of Dean – Faculty of Law, I have taken various steps to elevate the level of legal education in order to meet global standards. As part of the Tuning India Project, we are committed to providing an outcome-based curriculum to our students. I have tried to build a strong professional network both at the national and international level so that our students and faculty can get global exposure.
Providing opportunities to learn and grow is the major goal with a strong focus on the internationalization of legal education. We have a state-of-the-art moot court, functional legal aid clinic, fully equipped library and computer labs with access to renowned legal databases, dedicated Centres for research in booming sectors of law, a training curriculum to prepare students for recruitment interviews and competitive examinations, etc.
Legal Bites: What is your goal and vision for the Faculty of Law, Jagran Lakecity University as a responsible Dean?
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: As stated above, the success of any law school depends on the output it produces. The quality of our alumni tells the story of our success. My goal is to foster an atmosphere that motivates the holistic development of students. In addition to academics, students must also involve themselves in literary, cultural and sports activities.
Through national and international collaborations, I have ensured that our students don’t miss the opportunity to expose themselves to the current developments in the law. Regular interactions with experienced and brilliant minds of the country and abroad are aimed at providing an opportunity to the students to open up their minds.
Legal Bites: According to you, what are the challenges India should take alarmingly, concerning Justice Administration?
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: According to me, there are some glaring challenges facing our Justice Administration:
- Excessive caseload on courts that takes years to get disposed
- Inability to fill vacancies in lower courts and High Courts
- Lacunae in the grass-root level governance i.e. Panchayats, talukas, etc.
- Systematic reforms required in the criminal justice system
- Building an efficient E-filing and online delivery system
- Access to justice is expensive which poor people can’t afford
Legal Bites: Academicians have the power to bring change by educating an entire generation. What significant change do you wish to bring into legal education today?
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: There are a number of changes that must be brought to enhance the level of legal education throughout the country:
- Law schools should act as incubators to train young minds to take up litigation or a career in judicial services rather than becoming corporate slaves
- The domain of Mediation law should be developed
- Law schools should integrate inter-disciplinary modules such as Law and Economics, Law and Literature, Law and Philosophy, etc.
- Making the emerging sectors of law an integral part of the curriculum such as space law, sports law, health and medicine law, infrastructural law, etc.
- Introduce innovative teaching pedagogy to make conventional law subjects more interesting and interactive.
Legal Bites: Today we can see a significant number of options in taking up law as a career, what according to you are the emerging non-traditional legal careers of today?
Prof. (Dr.) Yogendra Srivastava: In one of my earlier pieces for Legal Bites, I had discussed some emerging fields of law, which law students can explore in order to build a successful career. Domains like competition law, ADR, mergers and acquisitions, GST Law, etc., provide a wonderful opportunity for law graduates to expand their horizon and equip themselves with modern techniques and skills. Demand for lawyers is increasing exponentially across all sectors such as energy, infrastructure, international commercial transactions, labour and industrial disputes, etc.