By Dr. S. Ganesan, Regional Director, IGNOU

 ‘Show me the person, I will show you the rule’. This statement shows the importance of awareness of rules and regulations of our systems. The interpretation of an ‘Order ‘ can be positive or negative, and varies from person to person. To protect one-self, it is highly necessary to have basic knowledge of provisions given in the rules. Hiding the special facilities, exemption schemes, concession methods, etc., are quite common in our day-to-day life. The moment you show your knowledge of law, the scene changes. Ignorance of common man has been taken as advantage by many money making persons. For instance, a simple mistake in an application form, will force you to get a sorry face. To correct the same, you will undergo long process, without knowing right and proper legal approach.

Law Related Courses in IGNOU

Post-Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights (PGDIPR)

Post Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice (PGDCJ)

Post Graduate Certificate in Cyber Law (PGCCL)

Post-Graduate Certificate in Patent Practice (PGCPP)

Diploma in Paralegal Practice (DIPP)

Certificate in Human Rights (CHR)

Certificate in Consumer Protection (CCP)

Certificate in International Humanitarian Law (CIHL)

Certificate in Anti Human Trafficking  (CAHT)

Certificate in Co-operation, Co-operative Law (CCLBL)

Certificate in Social Work and Criminal Justice System  (CSWCJS)

Human Rights: To rescue ourselves from becoming a victim, we need to have legal education of various activities. One such simple example is Human Rights education. It sensitizes and educates professionals and social workers who, as a part of their routine duty, interact with masses daily. Besides common man, the specific target groups from law enforcement personnel, police, army, paramilitary forces, lower judiciary and administrative officers, school teachers, and NGO functionaries require the detailed education on Human Rights.

Consumer Protection: Escaping from the risk of getting cheated in a purchase, you need to know ‘consumer protection laws’. The awareness among consumers has been steadily increasing due to mass media, websites, whatsapp, SMS etc,. The consumer protection programme creates overall awareness and training on consumer affairs with special emphasis on consumer protection. It is educating the consumer activists, NGOs, persons working in govt. departments on consumer affairs. It empowers them to file and plead their own cases in consumer redressal forums created under Consumer Protect Act, 1986.

Intellectual Property Rights: The patents, trademarks, domain names, copy right, trade secrets, competition law etc., are part of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). To acquaint with basic concepts of Intellectual Property Rights, and to develop expertise in IPR related issues, one needs IPR education (Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights).

Criminal Justice:  To specialize in criminal law related to women, children and other vulnerable groups etc., the Post Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice (PGDCJ) educates the common man. Through this course any graduate will become well-informed citizen and keep pace with emerging developments in criminal justice. It educates about Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the challenges to criminal justice system.

Paralegal Practice: Para-legal practice education develops understanding of laws that offers individuals in their everyday life. Thus, there is a need to develop elementary skills in accessing legal and judicial institutions and processes, so as to use public advocacy by individuals. Basic understanding of Indian Legal System is necessary to protect vulnerable groups.

Information Security: Youth population should experiment and learn the skills and techniques needed for providing protection & security to our information available in the virtual environment. They must be responsible and smart net users. Today, user’s security awareness is emphasized for the following:

               Security one’s own desktop/laptop

               Security one’s own data

               Security one’s connectivity

               Secure browsing /internet transaction/web services etc.

For all these activities, we should have basic knowledge of government rules in Information Technology security and cyber forensics. The Information Security educates on all the above items.

Cyber Law: Now-a-days, the frauds, deception (confidence tricks, scams), child pornography etc., are taking place via internet. Thus, one need to understand, explore, acquire a critical understanding of Cyber Law. The relationship between commerce and cyber space is to be understood to regulate cyber space. Every citizen must know the Information Technology Act, and legal franchises of Right to privacy data security and data protection.

Patent Practice: Patent is the most significant form of Intellectual Property to encourage creativity in science & technology; and protect invention and developments for the creation of new technology/business expansion throughout the world. The knowledge of Indian Patent law is necessary to write patent application. There is also international framework for patents protection.

Social Work and Criminal Justice System: People working in the correctional settings such as jails, family courts, beggars home, special schools for boys/girls, observation home/rescue home etc, need a training - cum - education to link social work and criminal justice system. Especially for the NGO professionals, who are working in the correctional settings, that is, the  social work intervention in correctional settings.

Co-operation, Co-operation Law & Business Laws:  To understand the functioning of the small economic and business enterprise within cooperative framework, one needs knowledge of cooperative law & business laws. It helps to work in cooperative legal framework within which the institutions have to function; and to apply various business laws governing the functioning of economic and business enterprises (Business law as applicable to cooperatives).

Anti Human Trafficking: Every one of us needs to have the awareness about various stake holders/agencies associated with the process of Human Trafficking directly or indirectly. To engage in the process of rehabilitation, prevention and re-integration of Human Trafficking, one needs to have the knowledge on relevant laws and policies. Many professionals are working in government agencies, civil society organizations and cooperative sectors for prevention and reintegration. Qualified persons in this area get job opportunities in international and national NGOs, legal firms related to Human Trafficking, legal aid, juvenile justice, etc.

International Humanitarian Law: The international committee of Red Cross, New Delhi has supported IGNOU to develop an academic programme on International Humanitarian Law. To understand the contemporary issues in South Asian regions with regard to International Humanitarian Law, such type of specialization education is required for professionals already working in the area of International Humanitarian Law.

The legal studies have been increasing its significance and impact on everyday life of common man. The areas mentioned here are some of the areas where each one of us encounters directly or indirectly.  Studying special purpose law related courses make the common man to handle the situations legally. Every one of us may not undergo the Bachelor Degree or Master Degree in law; but, to manage our own issues, the support of law related courses facilities us. Let us empower ourselves through legal studies.

(The author is Regional Director of IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (M-8900936718}