Professor Dr. Rajni Malhotra Dhingra is the Dean of Vivekananda Law School, VIPS, New Delhi. She did her post-graduation in law from Guru Nanak Dev University and joined the same as Junior Research Fellow after clearing NET in 2000 and joined VIPS as an Assistant Professor in 2003. She was awarded the doctorate degree in 2004. Human Rights is the field of her specialization and in 2011, her book, ‘NGOs and Protection of Human Rights’ added to her credit which is placed in various libraries.
- Tell us about your schooling and the decision of opting for law.
I did my schooling from Arya Girls High School, Batala, Punjab. While my entire family was engaged in business, I had the zeal to do something different and unique which nobody in my family ever did. Hence, I opted for law as this was the best stream I could see myself pursuing because of the level of knowledge, status, power and respect attached to it. Law is very challenging and exciting. Moreover, the family too supported the decision happily.
- Tell us about your teaching experience. Did you face any challenge?
I have been teaching from 15 years. Teaching is altogether a class-apart experience and particularly teaching law is a highly dynamic process as it requires updates of latest cases and laws. Teachers do impart knowledge but the students too have an important role to play. It’s all about reciprocity! It is basically the willingness of the students to study which motivates me a lot. The major challenge was the shift from Punjab to Delhi as it meant a new environment and people. However, patience and perseverance helped me a lot.
- Tell us about your experience as the Dean of VLS.
The experience has been a brilliant one! Becoming the Dean has been a blessing. It is only through this post that I get to deal with a variety of people with different attitudes and aspirations including eminent judges and lawyers. Every post full of challenges and has its own responsibility. Different demands of teachers and students are required to be fulfilled and patience is the key. My learning experience is now not only restricted to students. Faculty members are a great support too. The post has taught me the art of identifying an individual’s strengths and weaknesses and to take the action accordingly.
- Any piece of advice you would like to give to the students of law throughout the country?
Read, read and read. Participation in various activities in all spheres should be prioritized along with good grades for a better tomorrow as this stream has struggle for newbies, in litigation particularly. Mooting is an integral part of graduation in law. Law is a promising stream. Embrace all the laws in order to deal with diverse problems. Acquiring knowledge apart from curriculum will help. Take chances and do your best.
-Interviewed by Roopali Mohan, Campus Associate at VIPS, New Delhi