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Symbiosis Law School, Pune, a constituent of Symbiosis International University, successfully hosted the fourth Annual National Conference on 19th of September, 2015 in its campus at Viman Nagar, Pune. Organized on the backdrop of Symbiosis Law School Pune’s flagship Journal SCLJ and the student journal SSLR published with LexisNexis, the conference served as an inspiring platform to the budding law scholars and researchers to discus and share ideas.

The inaugural ceremony at 10:30 am was graced by Chief Guest Prof. Dr. Bhavani Prasad Panda, Vice Chancellor, National Law University, Mumbai,   Guests of Honour, Prof. Dr. V. Vijayakumar, National Law School, Bangalore, former Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai &  Prof. Dr. Dilip Ukey, Head, Law Dept., Savitribai Phule Pune University, former Pro Vice Chancellor, Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded and Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, Symbiosis Law School, Pune and Dean, Faculty of Law, Symbiosis International University also graced the occasion.

The event started with the auspicious lighting of lamp by the dignitaries on the dais. In her welcome address Dr. Gurpur spoke about the internationalization of research with its global scope & reach which sees no boundaries. She stressed on the importance of research as a part of learning and apprised the audience of the excellent research work done by the Faculty members of SLS, Pune. She explained the evolution of Conference theme from “the impact of legal research” to “the trans-national legal elements”. She concluded by stating the importance of research and its relevance in connecting human organizations.

Speaking on internationalization, Prof. (Dr.) V. Vijayakumar explained that research   today is not limited to any country, class or creed, the researcher goes to any extent truly adopting the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.” He stressed on reducing the gap between theory & practice and the need of having a basic understanding of core law subjects, excellent communication skills in speaking and writing and the importance of critical thinking. He highlighted the trans-disciplinary and trans-national element in legal education today. Comparing universities abroad,  he highlighted the  importance of research methodology and urged all law students to focus on and promote research.

Prof. (Dr.) Dilip Ukey spoke on the impact of technology on research and highlighted the change in research methodology, where students have now imbibed a ‘cut-copy-paste’ method in research. He stressed on how research is like a ‘Sadhana’ that involves hard work and dedication. He concluded by congratulating Director SLS, Pune & Management SIU for maintaining the  high stands of excellence, determination and perfection.  

Chief Guest, Prof. (Dr.) Bhavani Prasad Panda said that, for human minds, research is a passage and also that it leads to convergence of both, the mind and heart. He stated that there should be total emotional involvement in a research paper. He highlighted the need of having a very stable guide and an appropriate topic for research. He continued to state that research must be toxic and must engross one completely. He continued to state that it is research that enlightens young minds and that satisfies one in one’s own skill and understanding. He stated that research should be methodical, particular about laws and authentic.

Audience saw the release of two master pieces the abstract compilation of Conference and ‘Lex-Et’- the biannual Symbiosis newsletter at the hands of  Dr. V. Vijaykumar and Dr. Bhavani Prasad Panda

Thereafter, a plenary session on “Transnational Collaboration in Research: Significance & Opportunities” took place wherein resource persons in various areas of law and research spoke and shared their valuable insight. It really was an exemplary show of knowledge and research where experts shed light on their fields.

One of the major attractions of plenary sessions was video conferencing talk by Siobhan Mullally, Professor of Law, University College, Cork, Ireland, who spoke on transnational collaboration in research and human trafficking.

Prof. (Dr.) G. S. Bajpai, Professor & Registrar, NLU, Delhi, spoke about empirical research in law. Dr. Rameshwar Dubey, Associate Prof. Operations Management, SIU, spoke on “Methodological Issues in Transnational Research”.

Dr. Yogesh Patil, Head – Research & Publication, Symbiosis Centre for Research & Innovation, SIU spoke on “Citation Index & Impact Factor: International Perspectives”.  As a Resource Person on Comparative Law, Prof. (Dr.) V. Vijayakumar, said that it’s not the number of research publications but the number of citations to each publication that is important.

Quoting landmark judgments & views of certain judges such as Justice Mathew and Justice Beg in the case of Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain, Prof. (Dr.) Dilip Ukey,  Public Law expert, explained the nexus between jurisprudence & constitution.  He further discussed the status of fundamental rights in a state of emergency and the absence of much needed clarity with respect to the basic features of the constitution. Lastly, he concluded his speech by discussing the significance of constitutional amendments and its importance in altering the constitution beneficially. 

In her concluding remarks, Dr. Gurpur contemplated the scope of diplomatic immunity in relation to human trafficking in different nations. She upheld the importance of research work as a whole, in different fields of law, while also highlighting the importance of the constitution as the mother document. She thanked all the speakers for their valuable and enriching expertise and hoped for their partnership and collaboration, with both students and faculty alike in the future.

The conference witnessed paper presentations in four parallel tracks including International Law and Human Rights; Public Law and Governance; Business Laws; and IPR, Technology and Innovation Laws respectively.

The conference hosted presenters ranging from under graduates and Post graduates to Ph.D. Research Scholars coming together from various Law schools around the country.  

This time the conference witnessed the participation of an international student, Ms. Chathurika Sisimali Gunasekera, third year LLB from General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka.  Sharing her experience in the conference here she said, “It’s a privilege and honour to be part of fourth Annual national conference on contemporary legal scholarship. It’s my first visit to India and had heard about Indian hospitality lot but today I could witness it. As professionally it’s my fourth paper presentation and I learnt lot and also the expert talks here enlighten me a lot.  I must put on records the flawless organization of the conference by SLS, Pune. The rich experience here will help me a lot in my future research endeavors. ''

She presented her paper on   ''Striking the right balance: re-interpreting the assessors powers in Sri Lanka in light of Administrative Law Principles- A Comparative analysis with India''. Her paper won second prize worth Rs. 3000/- and a certificate.

Track I of the conference dealt with International Law and Human Rights, where Prof. (Dr.) V. Vijayakumar, was the Chair, along with (Dr.) Sairam Bhat, Associate Prof., NLSIU, Bangalore and Prof. (Dr.) K. Parameswaran, Professor of Law, SLS Pune, as Co- Chairs. 8 papers were presented covering a number of topics of tremendous relevance given the ever-changing climate of international law and the constant evolution of the international Human Rights regime. The papers raised questions on burning issues such as the Iran Nuclear Deal and the need for Third Gender Recognition in wake of legal discrimination against sexual minorities in India.

Track II of the conference dealt with Public Law and Governance where Prof. (Dr.) G. S. Bajpai, Registrar & Prof., NLU Delhi was the Chair and (Dr.) Shashikant Hajare, Associate Professor, SLS Pune was present as the Co-Chair. While some tend to discount the area of Pulbic Law and Governance as being one that is mired in procedural analysis and a mere recounting of history, each of the 9 papers presented covered exceptionally pertinent topics that kept the audience engaged throughout with papers like “Why India Needs Witness Protection Law?” and “Black Money Act: 2015”, bringing to the forefront the changing scenario of Public Law in the Nation.

Track III of the conference dealt with Business Laws with (Dr.) Rameshwar Dubey, Associate Prof., Operations Mngt, SIU as the Chair and Dr. Sunder Ram Korivi, Dean, NISM, Mumbai & Dr. Surya Rashmi Rawat, Associate Professor, SLS Pune as the Co- Chairs. Given the infatuation that a large portion of the student population has with the corporate world and the laws that govern it, expectations were high for the six papers that were to be presented as a part of this track and suffice to say that they delivered in spades with topics such as Crowd Funding and Competition Law in India being brought to the forefront for discussion.  

Track IV of the conference dealt with IPR, Technology and Innovation Laws with Dr. Yogesh Patil, Head, Research and Publication, SIU, Pune, as the Chair and Mr. Sampath Bulusu, Gen. Manager, Legal, Hazira LNG, Ahmedabad, & Dr. Rupal Rautdesai, Associate Professor, SLS Pune, as the Co- Chairs. The seven papers under the track dealt with ideas and lacunae in laws with respect to advancement of technology and brought innovative structures of law to the forefront that need to be developed.

Speaking on Valedictory ceremony, Dr. Rameshwar Dubey, emphasized upon the  importance of imbibing research methodology into the teaching process for enhanced understanding of any field of law.

Dr. Yogesh Patil, apprised the audience of  the statistics with regards to publications affiliated with SIU. He marveled at the exponential growth rate of the researches undertaken by SIU both which excels in depth analysis to their respective themes.

Adv. Sampat Bulusu, commented on the need for researchers to understand, that technology is but an aid to research. He further stated the importance of lawyers in maintaining sound knowledge of diverse subjects and to be able to link the same with their field of law.

Dr. Sunder Ram Korivi, expressed his profound admiration at the various fields of law that participants had undertaken for their research and analysis in the fourth national annual conference.

After much deliberation, the results were announced. Two research papers titled,  “The Validity of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 2014 – A Constitutional Analysis “ & “Comparative analysis of mergers & acquisitions in banking sector: a scrutiny from the competition law perspective”  authored by   Shourya Bari from O. P. Jindal Global University and Shayan Ghosh, SREI BNP PARIBAS, Head Office, Kolkata, bagged third prize worth Rs.2,000 each along with a certificate.  

With second prize going to international participant from Sri Lanka, the First prize was awarded to Prof. Swapnil Bangali, for his research paper titled, “Challenges relating to Adjudication of Contravention under Section 43 of the Information Technology Act, 2000”,  with a cash prize of Rs.5,000 along with a certificate.

The fourth edition of Annual national conference came to an end with the vote of thanks by Dr. Bindu Ronald.  

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