The month of August, as the name suggests was really a celebrated time of the year for SVKM’S NMIMS, School of Law Navi Mumbai headed by the Associate Dean of School of Law, Dr. Saurabh Chaturvedi. Rachna: First National Negotiation-Mediation Competition (RNNMC), organized and hosted by the Dispute Resolution Committee under the leadership of Mr. Kartikeya Awasthi as the president, Ms. Gul Zehra as the vice president and Ms. Shuchita Ray as the Secretary, the said Law School successfully concluded its three-day long competition on 29thAugust 2021. RACHNA in the ancient language of Sanskrit stands for ‘CREATION’. It is associated with the idea of expressing one’s opinion and giving birth to a cumulation of profound ideas to surge into evolved thinking. Such erudite thinking and progression of thoughts is always encouraged at the NMIMS School of Law in the vicinity of Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.


Keeping pace with the ever-evolving education scenario and to meet international standards, NMIMS has taken major initiatives in terms of programs, curriculum development, international linkages, placements and students’ development. It has transformed into a globalized centre of learning, providing its students a balanced exposure to research, academics and practical aspects of the industry. To further such intuitive learning the university, in collaboration with the Dispute Regulation Committee gave birth to the first ever flagship event ‘Rachna’, a multi-fold alternate dispute resolution competition.


The event took place taking cognizance of the laudable speech given by the newly appointed chief justice of India, N. V. Ramana. He stated how “Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms, particularly mediation and conciliation, can reduce pendency, save resources and time, and allow litigants a degree of control over the process and outcome of their dispute resolution process,”. He recognised the contemporary changes happening globally and said that with the changing focus of the world economy, particularly during the pandemic, these alternate mechanisms for dispute resolution would and have become even more important. The competition further comprised of exciting and scintillating preliminary rounds followed by quarter, semi and final rounds.


The competition witnessed an overwhelming 72 number of participants comprising of 24 teams representing 24 prominent Universities from all over the country. To make the 72-hour long event technically glitch free, 42 volunteers contributed their tireless efforts. Quintessential young law students became the spirit of the event that turned into a myriad of intelligence quotient. The competition commenced with the Inaugural ceremony hosted by the Vice President of Dispute Resolution Committee Ms. Gul Zehra, which was addressed by eminent personalities.


Personalities like Senior Adv. Pradeep Rai, Vice President at Supreme Court Bar Association, Adv. Deepak Kumar Thakur, Partner of L&L Partners, Adv. Arjun Krishnan, Partner of Samvād Partners and Adv. Veena Ralli, Organising Secretary of Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre. The inauguration took place on 27th of august 2021 and was attended by more than two hundred participants. A total of 23 distinguished judges assessed the 5 different rounds of the competition (first two of which were negotiation and the last three of mediation). At the end of each session, the participants were given valuable feedback that helped them foster their skills.


24 teams competed each other in first two preliminary rounds and winning 8 teams qualified for the quarter finals from which top 4 teams made it to the semi-finals. Top two teams competed each other on the 3rd day of the event. The competition culminated with a valedictorian ceremony was hosted by the Secretary of Dispute Resolution Committee Ms. Shuchita Ray, where notable guest speakers like Mr. Jagmeet Singh Makkar, Chairman Maritime & Logistic Arbitration, Hong Kong and Mr. Punit Oza, Executive Director & Registrar at Singapore Chambers of Maritime Arbitration gave proficient advice on the subject matter. Adv. Deepak Kumar Thakur, Partner at L&L Partners Law Offices announced the winners and runner up as:


Mr. Abhishek Ginodh Kurian and Mr. Rishab Rajiv Raj from NLU, Odisha were the winner team, Mr. Vishal Pathak, NALSAR Hyderabad as winner mediator and Mr. Huzaifa Salim and Mr. Nagesh Pal Singh from Jamia Milia Islamia as the Runner up team whereas Ms. Shweta Raj Lakshmi from Symbiosis Law School, Pune as the Runner up mediator.


The event received overall positive response not only in terms of participation but also was appreciated for its flawless organization and glitch free conduct.  Dedicated efforts of the each and every member & volunteer of Dispute Resolution Committee for past 4 months, everlasting support by our respected Associate Dean of School of Law Dr Saurabh Chaturvedi, the competitive spirit of the participants and valuable feedback by Judges made the competition a virtual success. With this event we veritably hope that the entire participating body gained knowledgeable insight into the innate workings of alternate dispute resolution, and comprehended how ADR has the power to influence society’s concepts of ‘justice’ from adversarial zero sum outcomes to more effective relational outcomes, because of methods such as mediation, arbitration, and conciliation there is a  horizon to prevent further deterioration and fractures in relationships due to the conventional technicalities of law, we yearn to supplement the current legal system to ensure and promote alternate dispute resolution mechanisms.

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