When I had begun with my preparation for CLAT, I had dreamt of getting NLSIU Bangalore, but it didn’t happen and I was heartbroken. I got MNLU Mumbai in the fourth list and trust me; I wasn’t really happy taking admission over here. MNLU is in its nascent stage right now and we are just the second batch. However, now as I am writing this piece, I realise that MNLU is one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me, because not everyone out there is as lucky as me to get a chance to be a part in the making of a great university from its initial stage.
The basic parameters on which a University is ranked are location, infrastructure, faculty, library and other resources, placement opportunities, etc. In order to rank a newly established university in comparison to an established one, one must shred his biases and established notions, and adapt to the pros of a nascent university which are unique and different than an established university.
The location of the MNLU, being in Mumbai, is beyond comparison. And we have exploited this advantage by getting to have guest lectures coming from the legal fraternity of Mumbai, as well as from legal luminaries across the country and abroad. The locational advantage definitely makes up for the problems we face on the infrastructural front. The lack of a permanent campus is substituted by our current campus at CETTM (Centre for Excellence in Telecom Technology and Management) in Hiranandani, powai which is a well-equipped with state of the art facilities. The administration has always made sure that we get the best within the limited resources we have. The University has an experienced and supportive faculty. The residing professors help us with research for Moot Court Competitions, ADR competitions, Debates, Research papers, conferences.
Less number of students in each batch is more like strength, than a weakness for us. The professors get involved with all the students, and they focus on each student, individually. Even the non- teaching staff treats us likewise, if one has a problem, it isn’t theirs alone; everyone unites to solve it, just like a family. Every student gets an opportunity to participate and learn from intra-college competitions, even the ones in their first year. The University has dedicated committees to organise moots, debates and ADR competitions. MNLU Mumbai has its annual fest ‘Abhikrama’ and the Foundation Day celebration ‘Zest’ along with many other events hosted throughout the year. We celebrate festivals from all the religions with the same enthusiasm.
The daily schedule is very student friendly. We begin our lectures for the day at 8 in the morning, we get a breakfast break at 10:30am, the second leg of our lectures begin at 11am, and end at 1:10pm, after which we head for lunch. Post lunch we are done for the day. We thus get ample time to pursue activities of our choice. Students go for internships, work on research papers, moot/ ADR competitions, or simply work on their academics.
The university has seen a lot of changes in recent times, Now the college and the the hostel buildings are right next to each other, Earlier the hostel was in Parsik hill, and the college in Chembur, took us 30 mins without traffic, and around 1 hour during peak traffic hours. Which obliviously is better for all the students as they dont have to waste their time, travelling in Mumbai traffic and that is supplemented by the support of the college and reduced timinigs. Earlier, we had college till 3:30 or 4 earlier, now it is till 1:30, and we are free post lunch, so there is time to do other things, like internships, court visits, writing papers etc. In collaboration with BSEL Germany, the university had sent 15 students for an exchange programme to Germany, and many such exchange programmes are scheduled to be conducted through the years that follow. Now, since the University has been relocated to a bigger campus, we are expecting an increase in the number and variety of activities and events.
I have had a lot of amazing experiences in MNLU. I have been a part of the Legal Services Clinic of the University in both my first as well as second year, being a part of which, I was made to do a lot of activities which were fun, as well as informative, a little effort on our part to give something in return to the societies we come from. In my first year, I was a part of the cultural society of the university, as the co-convener. The driving force behind applying for this committee was my passion for singing, and my happiness knew no bounds when I was selected by the interview panel. It really helped me learn a lot. From formulating policies, to organizing major events like the annual fest (Abhikrama) and the Foundation day cum Cultural fest (Zest) and various minor cultural events throughout the year, to actually performing in them, I have been a part of almost all the events of the university, since I have joined it, either as an organizer, or as the one singing all the opening songs. It has helped me grow as a person.
These frequent events along with all the academic work plus the co- curricular activities keep us busy and engaged throughout the year. In the end, we do end up feeling tired and drained out, but we can say that there is a lot that we have learnt here, and a plethora of things we are yet to learn and discover, in which this University is definitely going to be there for us, shaping all of us into who we are, and who we will eventually become.
We’d like to thank Ashmita Sharma (Batch of 2021, MNLU Mumbai) for taking out time from her busy schedule and sharing her experiences.
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