In conversation with Director-Professor Sangeeta Bhalla, UILS, Panjab University

The changing times is a thought we all ponder upon once in a frequent while. In our daily routine, over chai with friends, in between lectures, in our free time, enroute college or home, somewhere in the middle of all this our past calls us back. our mind wanders to the uniforms of our schools to the colorful lunch boxes and the fun in making fun of the teachers.

We wonder how tremendously life has changed.From teachers to professors, from classes to lectures, from canteens to messes, from home work to notes, somewhere down the memory lane, somewhere in between all this when we think about our boons and banes we reminisce the bond we had with our teachers since the times yet well remembered.

Never did we put any effort in knowing them inside out. It just came to us naturally. However, this is one of the most important aspects which we miss the most.

Therefore, this young lady has resolved to shorten the distance and strengthen the professor student relationship of UILS.

Well, you must be wondering who is this young lady I’m referring to? And what has she taken up to do?

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the writer itself, Ms. Simran Syal and the founder of A Colorful Riot, Mrinaal Datt, who shall interview the eminent faculty of the University Institute Of Legal Studies so that the students get to know their professors from a different angle than the usual.

The ribbon has been cut by our dear Prof.Sangeeta Bhalla, Director, UILS. The experience has been put into the following words.

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Q1. Ma’am the students of the department have recently chosen their representatives. Their expectations from them are transparent. However, as a director, what are you looking forward to? (what are your expectations?)

She hoped that the chosen representatives will try to understand the functioning of the department, its administration and will help in every way possible by cutting across political lines.

She gave the previous year’s representatives seven on a scale of ten, and individually gave them six and also appreciated the efforts of one of the department representative’s who was always available during the holidays. However, she claimed she has worked with better team of DRs before.

Q2. Ma’am whats your take on the High Court’s judgement which provides for compulsory retirement for professors of Panjab University above 60 years of age?

The humble director replied that she seconds the fact that professors above 60 should retire because, at her time too, she was also eagerly waiting for her seniors to retire. She feels that this will be a good way in encouraging the new talents. Youngsters should be given an opportunity.

Q3.  Well ma’am talking of your personal goals and aspirations what made you take up this field?

“When I was very young, my grandfather had prophesied that I’ll be an advocate someday. So I guess, it was from the very beginning built in me. I did not practice, however, I am still glad.”

When asked that if not this field, where would she had been? She replied that,”if not in the field of law, you would have seen me in the sphere of public welfare working as a social activist.”

Q4. In your journey from college to university, which professor inspired you the most? Can you tell us something about him/her?

She recalls Professor Veer Singh, her idol, her mentor, a guiding light in her life. She still is in touch with him and discussed with us the profound influence he has in her life. Describing him as an ocean of knowledge she states that she feels like she still has to learn a lot whenever she meets him. You can discuss anything with him, politics, science, law, anything and you’ll surely learn something new every time.

Q5. What according to you has been your life’s highest achievement?

Being a mother.

Q6. When have you or when do you feel the lowest?

She said that she disliked and hated being dragged into unnecessary politics.

Q7. Which family member had the highest influence in your life? Mom or dad?

She recollects her dad as a very hardworking man from whom she learned a lot. However, her mother is the only family member who holds the greatest influence in her life.

Q8. Your favourite dish at the student centre? How often do you visit it?

Dosas. I feel the dosas at stuc are really nice and light. You can have them whenever you feel like it.At our time there used to be so many cafes in Chandigarh. The only one left is now in sector 17, the Indian coffee house.We used to love going to the cafes.

Q9. Name any one adventure sport you’d love to try but at the same time you are scared too.

Paragliding.

Q10. A movie you have watched for more than five times.

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…describing it as light hearted.

“Jab bachche chote the tab dekh lete the because of so many dances in it..ab toh time hi nhi milta.”

Enlisting Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum at number two.!

Q11. A song/poem which sums you up or which is totally relatable with your life.

“Abhi aise toh koi gana yaad nhi aa rha…par kaafi time hogya gane sunne. Puraane gaane achche lagte hain.”

Q12. Your philosophy of life in a few words.

Help people as much as you can.

Q13. If you had to credit all your achievements to one person, who would it be?

My mother.

Q14. Describe yourself using three adjectives.

Content and happy but, I get irritated very soon when things don’t go the way i want or planned.

Q15. Any messages for your students?

Work hard because their is no substitute for it.

We wrapped up the session on an inspiring note.

This was a slight sneak into the life, likes and dislikes of our respected Director.

Your opinions and feedback regarding the interview are more than welcome and in case you want to contribute any of your questions to the list please let me know. I will surely do the same!

Simran Syal

Edited by Mrinaal Datt

Read more about them here

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