Interview: Assistant Professor, Aligarh Muslim University, Murshidabad

Interviewer: Hamza Khan, Campus Ambassador, LexQuest.

Name: Dr Mohd Arif

Designation: Ex-Course Coordinator and Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Aligarh Muslim University, Murshidabad Centre.

Q.1- How long have you been engaged in this profession?

I took admission in law course in the year 1999 and from the very beginning; it was in my mind to embrace the academics only. It is also evident from this fact that I never joined litigation. After completing my Masters in Law in the year 2005 from Aligarh Muslim University, I joined the Meerut University in August, 2005 as a lecturer in Law. In the year 2007 I switched to faculty of Law, Subharti University, Meerut and again in 2013 to the Department of Law Aligarh Muslim University, Murshidabad Centre.

Q.2- Why did you choose law as a career? What areas fascinated you the most?

I will not be hyperbolic in giving the answer of this question. I was from the Science background and when I completed graduation in Science stream, I intended to join Masters in Science. But due to the advice of my elder brother Dr. Mohd Farooq (one of the architects of my life), I joined the law course. This was the turning point of my life and I started to work hard in this direction and achieved the desired without wasting a single day. Law is thought-provoking, because it is within law that we can ascertain the discovered truths about what our society values. This is the area which gives the knowledge, having of which is essential, and evident from this maxim “Ignorantia juris non excusat”.

Q.3- What got you interested in academics?

As I told earlier, it was from the very beginning of my law course, clear in my mind to join the academics. In my opinion academics is not only a noble profession in India but also a profession which requires high talent, sober personality and ability to transmit the intended knowledge. Truly speaking, it is only a teacher in the world other than the parents who always wants to give whatever he/she has and will always be happy with the progress of the students.  

Q.4- What are the best and worst things about the teaching profession?

Teaching profession is the noblest one. This is the profession which provides an opportunity to learn throughout life. As teaching particularly at the higher education level requires discussion among the teachers and the taught, at certain points in time teachers also get to learn some new/latest things.

Though teachers are the strong pillars that build up the civil society of a nation, unfortunately they do not get due return as far as the reputation in the society is concerned. They are measured less reputable in the society compared to other professionals. This is the worst part of the teaching profession.

Q.5- How does a student go about improving his research and writing skills?

Research and writing is a way by which one can express one’s ideas in a systematic manner. First of all ascertain your area of interest and proceed in that direction. Do not run behind the burning issues if not related to your area of interest. Just after the selection of the topic, you should ask yourself some questions. Start by listing what you know about your topic to ascertain your current expertise. Then, ask yourself what you expect to establish through your research. A student should access materials from the library as for a student library is a rich source of material. Incorporate various case laws to make the research more purposeful. Moreover, today’s college students are more web-focused and large amount of library materials are also available online.

Q.6- Are you satisfied with the way students are taught today?

Apart from the traditional lecture method, nowadays various interesting and workable methods of teaching are in practice especially at higher education level. One thing which I have observed at present is that the teacher is not a sage on the stage, as current students’ community is also well informed since they are techno-friendly.They’re also multidimensional in their approach.  

Q.7- What message would you like to convey to the students?

Only one thing I would like to convey to all my dear students that the teacher will always remain a teacher and his/her value in an educational institution can never be lowered. How much techno-friendly the present students are, how much latest material they are having either online or offline mode, how much sources of information are available with them but this kind of thing can never replace the knowledge and experience of a teacher. Hence always respect your teacher and make your good image in the estimation of your teachers.

I wish you good days ahead.