Saptarshi Das is an alumnus of National Law University and Judicial Academy Assam, he further did his post-graduation from NLSIU Bangalore. He was awarded gold medals both in NLUJAA and NLSIU for his excellence in academics. He has an AIR 9 in CLAT 2017 and Rank 2 in Assam Judicial Services. He has been interviewed by EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador Stuti Dwivedi who is currently pursuing law from NLUJAA
“Each Individual Is Extraordinary And If One Puts Meticulous And Assiduous Effort, Then No Mountain Is Too Steep To Climb Or No Ocean Is Too Deep To Navigate”
- First of all congratulations for your posting in Hojai as judicial magistrate 1st class and please accept heartiest felicitations on the behalf of team EBC- SCC Online, so can you please introduce yourself and tell our readers about your law school life.
My name is Saptarshi Das. I pursued my B.A.LL.B from National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam and graduated in the year 2016. I then pursued my LL.M. from National Law School of India University, Bangalore in Human Rights and post – graduated in the year 2017. I was a gold medallist in LL.B as well as LL.M. After post-graduation, I worked at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited as Assistant Legal Adviser for one year from 2017-2018 and in the month of November 2018, I joined Assam Judicial Service.
My law school journey was very pleasant. I hasten to admit that when I was pursuing my higher secondary, I could not foresee even in my wildest imagination that I would be studying law but eventually it turned out to be serendipity. When I joined NLUJAA, I was ambivalent as to whether I made the right decision or not. But gradually over the course of the first few months, all the apprehensions that I had harboured in my heart culminated in a realisation that notwithstanding any profession we envisage to pursue, if we put assiduous and meticulous effort, we can achieve our lofty goals. From the very inception of my law school life, I was certain that I want to pursue judiciary as my career. Nonetheless, I tried to acquire a holistic experience through various internships and also participated in moot court competitions and published research papers to hone my articulation, research and drafting skills. The faculty were always very supportive and left no stone unturned to assist the students in their academic pursuit.
My time at NLSIU, albeit was a sojourn but in 1 year, the experience that I could imbibe was nothing short of extraordinary. If I say that my time at NLSIU was an enriching experience, it would only be an understatement because the knowledge that I could acquire was nothing short of exhilarating.
- So what led you to pursue judiciary as your career?
As already mentioned, from the very inception of my law school life, I had this goal etched in my heart and mind that I want to pursue judiciary as my career. Perhaps the compelling drive behind the same was that I wanted to make a palpable contribution to the society and I felt that my attributes and skill sets would be best streamlined if I pursue judiciary.
- Do you feel that the course structure at law schools are designed well keeping in mind the students have to appear for multiple competitive exams by the end of their law school journey?
NLUs were created to cater to the needs of Bar and Bench. But having studied at NLUJAA for 5 years, I do not subscribe to that view and beg to differ because the course structure adopted is not at all suited for someone who is an aspiring candidate for any competitive examination. The course structure and grooming is more inclined to nurture the students to pursue their goals in the corporate field. The success in a competitive examination like judicial services hinges on how adept one is in procedural laws but our course structure did not lay much emphasis on the same. Nevertheless, the mooting and debating culture is something that our University always encouraged and it has started to pay rich dividends as the students are faring exceedingly well in moot court competitions considering the fledgling existence of NLUJAA.
4.So can you tell our readers when did you start your preparation and what should be an ideal time for aspirants to devote themselves totally into preparations?
I believe that one should chalk out his priorities at the very inception of his law school life. I started my preparation only after the notification for Assam Judicial Service was released and that time I was working at ONGC. But ever since I was a student, I was very sure that I would be pursuing judiciary as my career, I had checked the syllabus and as and when the subjects were taught in my University, I used to put extra effort in that particular subject. The manifest benefit was a good grade and the latent benefit was that I did not have to start from scratch when I finally commenced my preparation for judicial service.
5.How did you strategize your preparations keeping in mind that you were currently working in a PSU back then?
It was very hard to prepare whilst working. Time was a luxury as I used to get only the evenings and weekends to prepare. I diverted my primary attention to bare texts and prioritised to master thoroughly the bare provisions. After appearing in judicial service examination and CLAT where I secured AIR 9, I can assert with conviction that if a person thoroughly reads and masters the bare texts, then the probability of him/her being successful is very high. Cursory overseeing of bare texts has always resulted in disastrous outcomes.
6.What were the study materials you referred in all the stages of preparation?
I had followed the guide of Ashok Kumar Jain for the law subjects and it was very helpful and relevant. Also as mentioned earlier, one needs to peruse the bare texts with undivided attention. For English, I did not study from any book. For general knowledge, I studied from Lucent for static general knowledge and online PDFs for current affairs. I also studied some local books for general knowledge pertaining to the state of Assam.Also, another thing which has to be borne in mind with an indelible ink is that we should solve question papers of the last few years because that helps us to get acquainted with the pattern and familiarise ourselves with the kind of questions that might be asked and how we should go about answering the same. I would say that checking the previous years’question papers gives us more than a vague idea as to what to expect in the examination.
- All of us battle the troubles of distraction and demotivation while we are studying or preparing for an entrance, so what was the key to your motivation and success, also can you please share some tips and strategies with our readers to stay focussed at such difficult times?
From our very birth, our parents invest a lot of time, money, energy and effort to ensure that we are not impeded with any sort of inconvenience and to shower our lives with happiness galore. My compelling drive was that I wanted to achieve something in life so that I can be worthy of the time, energy, money and effort that my parents have invested in me and to make them proud. That was the compelling drive that I was always cognizant of. Trust me, when we do something good in life, the happiness that our parents will be immersed in is not amenable to any words and we should push our limits to materialise that into reality.
- At times of preparation there are instances when the candidate is surrounded by negative thoughts, low levels of confidence and self-doubts because of the intense competition around him/her especially if it’s their second or third attempt. What do you feel they should do to battle negativity and to gain confidence in such circumstances?
We should always have cent percent faith in our potential and should not have even an iota of doubt on our abilities. We should always believe that we are capable of reaching the zenith of success. If one can demarcate the thin line of difference between confidence and overconfidence, then sky is the limit. All I would suggest our young readers is that never have any self-doubt because each individual is extraordinary and if one puts meticulous and assiduous effort, then no mountain is too steep to climb or no ocean is too deep to navigate.
9.At the time of your preparations did you have any hobbies or were you involved in any non-academic activities to refresh your mind?
I am an ardent supporter of football. Every weekend, I used to watch football matches and occasionally play football as well. It is incumbent that we pursue our hobbies while preparing for any competitive examination because hobbies are stress busters and unrelenting effort and perseverance towards studies without any sort of leisure activity will be detrimental to physical as well as mental faculties.
- Lastly is there anything that you would like to share with our readers, some recommendations or a set of does and don’ts for the potential judicial aspirants?
One thing which I would like to exhort our young readers is to never give up on your goal notwithstanding how arduous the task might seem. One should be unwavering towards his/her perseverance and unrelenting in his/her efforts. It is incumbent that we do not let petty issues stifle our preparation. A sound strategy buttressed by wholehearted reverence towards studies will culminate in success. Chalk out from your daily routine the number of hours which you intend to study and study with sheer dedication and honesty.