An Interview with Prof.(Dr.) Vijay Pratap Tiwari, Associate Professor of Law MNLU, Nagpur

1. Sir, please introduce yourself to our readers?

I am Dr Vijay Pratap Tiwari.  I did my LL M from Nagpur University and Ph D from National Law University, Jodhpur.  I started my teaching career from NLU, Jodhpur and had the opportunity of teaching at several places prominent among them are as Principal of Integrated School of Law, Ghaziabad;  Associate Professor of Law at Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies and National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam before moving to my present assignment at Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur.  I had also worked in Indian Air Force and Department of Atomic Energy.

2. Why did you choose law as your career?

Law is exciting and empowering besides it gives an opportunity to hone your own interest.  Probably this is the only career, where we have so many options to excel –  for example – you can chose any one or more areas according to your interest from amongst –  marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, tort, crime, contract, consumer, intellectual property rights, cyber laws, international laws, property laws, corporate law,  public laws and so many.   Also its dynamic- keeps changing with time and hence gives an opportunity for us to keep reading and innovating.  Probably, no other field has so electrifying.  It also brings 3 Ps, which are dearest to all human beings– Power, prestige, and prosperity.

3. What areas of law fascinated you the most?

Public Law

4. Say something about your law school experience?

It’s awesome. The students are so very talented that we get the opportunity to learn a lot from them.  We forget our pain after seeing their sweet smiling faces in the classroom.  I always say ‘students are my teachers’ for the fact that their inquisitive nature and questioning in the classroom, compels us to remain a student for life.

5. Have you ever had a courtroom experience, if yes, then how was it?

Oh yes, very exciting – Courtroom exercise was compulsory for all law papers at NLU, Jodhpur (I hope it is the same even now?).  I was teaching constitutional law in 2005 at NLU, Jodhpur and had to conduct two courtroom exercise for all the 90 students.  That means I had to prepare at least 18 moot court preposition because maximum of six students could moot on one preposition. This was for the first time for me to make a problem and I had no clue at all. But then, I consulted some senior students, who had won national and international moots, took their help and started making some problems.   Shri SL Chhajerh, retired judicial officer and my dean was also very kind and taught me the skills of judging.   I still remember the first student, who mooted before me – roll no 240 Ms. Priyanka Sant – a very fair and tall girl with US accent.  She was speaking very fast, reading from the memorial and not giving me an opportunity to ask any question. But ultimately I could say – Miss Counsel – do not read, do not rush and address the court!!!! I must have judged more than 200 moots by now – but I still remember the first one very vividly.

6. How important does research paper and article writing is in a law student’s life?

Indeed, this is the most important.  This helps students in self-learning, researching, building arguments and putting them in a logical manner.  Every student must try to convert their project into a research paper and get it published.

7. Describe your teaching style. How do u define good teaching?

Teaching is an art and a teacher has to perform in each class to make it interesting, engaging and informative.   He needs to be very well prepared for each class.  A teacher should ensure that the class does not overdose and does not become boring.   It is the duty of the teacher to make student active learner, take part in the class, discuss and ask the questions.   I found pure lecture method, how so good it may be, inspires sound sleep and complete silence in the classroom.  I found the Socratic method of teaching to be very effective for the students of this age.  It keeps them alert and compels them to come to the class with some preparation.  However, new teaching methods like moots and experiential learning are also very fascinating to the students.

8. Anything you want to say to enlighten and encourage our readers?

You are born at the most opportunist time.   India is again going to be ‘golden bird’ and ‘world guru’.  Be proud to be Indian that too from legal fraternity.  God bless you, Good luck!!!

Law Corner

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