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}

It was a huge ad in the newspaper, not just a page, but two; it showed pictures and prices of scores of items that were going at a discount. There were beard trimmers going at two hundred and forty nine bucks, vegetable cutting machines for less than five hundred, air-conditioners going dirt cheap, they said, T-shirts at one ninety nine, and cricket bats starting at two fifty!

Spectacular I thought to myself! It’s a real deal, said my greedy, bargaining mind.

“You’ve got every one of them!” whispered my common sense.

Yes, I had all of them, most in working condition, except the beard trimmer which needed a new set of batteries, and what I didn’t have I didn’t need!

I mean I don’t think I’d be able to do much more to my face with the face massager offered at two hundred and fifty, and how many more almonds would I be able to eat, even if they were from California, as the ad said, before I would hear my wife grumble I ate too much between meals, and that’s why I was so skinny!

Yet, I stared at the ad again and again, wondering why I shouldn’t take part in the lucrative deals, deals and deals offered.

The other day I’d seen a neighbor placing some sofas and dining chairs on his terrace. “They seem good!” I said. “The wife’s fed up with them!” he said. “Are they broken?” I asked. “They’re out of fashion!” he said.

I sank into one of the chairs, “Very comfortable!” I said. “Well she isn’t with them!” he said with a tone of finality, “And I got my bonus yesterday!”

I looked at the poor chairs as they stared back at me, “Thrown out because of a bonus!” they seemed to cry.

A few years ago, I was at an American museum where I read a document by Benjamin Franklin in which he called on the American people to build a nation, using hard work and thrift! Yes thrift; not the spending of money on objects which looked a little newer and fancier than what you had but by developing the quality of using money and other resources you had, carefully and not wastefully!

I remember walking into the house of an old couple, who’s son in the US was an eminent doctor, and who’d asked me to visit his parents in India. “You live a very spartan existence!” I said looking round their sitting room in surprise.

“We’re more than happy!” said the father, “And maybe the money we’ve saved on the unnecessary helped us fund our son’s studies! He or we, have no loans to repay!”

I turnaway from the beard trimmer and vegetable grinding machine seductively glancing at me; quite a bargain what? But I know will destroy my peace of mind, later!

Benjamin Franklin and the old couple nod approvingly..!

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Is it my imagination that tells me there was an urgent call from the Prime Minister to the actress in charge of the Information ministry, “Madam minister what are you doing to the press?”

“Nothing honorable prime minister, just helping them memorize their lines! We all go through it sir, we forget our script and start saying fake things which has nothing to do with the movie!”

“What script, what movie?” I imagine a harried PM must have asked.

“Our movie sir we are directing together, and like I said sir, as Tulsi even I used to sometimes say my own lines and the director would get very angry!”

“You are talking about the television serials you used to act in?”

“Yes sir, and which you were very impressed by my roles and made me a minister!”

“I liked the impact you had on the women of India! Very powerful lines!” I imaginethe prime minister must have admitted.

“Powerful lines written by a script writer sir!”

“Script writer?”

“Yes sir, which is why I feel these media fellows need to understand that we are the writers of their scripts!Their job sir is only to deliver our lines to the public like I did as an actress!”

“You are saying those powerful lines of yours in ‘KyunkiSaasBhiKabhi Bahu Thi,’ were not your lines?”

“Ofcourse not Mr Prime Minister, you think I am capable of making such lines?Next you will say the press are capable of writing their own stories! But did you like my lines sir, the ones I delivered in the serials?”

“Yes, but..”

“Good scriptwriting sir, which the scribes are missing today! These journalists need us to set them right! You and me, then we can have the plot totally in control. We cannot have fake lines which is what I told them. If you do not follow our script, off with your heads!”

“Off with your heads, my god!” a worried PM, I imagine, must have whispered.

“I mean off with their accreditations!”

“May I ask you a question madam minister?”

“YesMr Prime Minister, it is your right to do so!”

“Who wrote this script for you? This off with your heads script?”

“You did sir!”


“Yes sir, I have the script somewhere. Here it is! See these are your lines sir, about the press and fake news!”

“Oh no!” I imagine the prime minister sighing as he looks at the script the minister holds up to him, “My dear madam, you have mixed up the pages!”

“Mixed up sir?”

“Yes, these lines you’ve gone and read out come later in our play. It takes place after the Karnataka elections!”

“Oh I’m sorry sir!”

“No it’s okay, continue rehearsing them, meanwhile I’ll tell the press those lines are withdrawn!”

“Thank you sir, thank you, I think we nearly lost the plot..!”

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As I see America’s Trump and India’s Modi blundering their way through their terms, I wonder why, and a thought flits through my mind;they don’t understand,democracy has no kings!

The only ruler democracy has, is Democracy herself, and she wants no rivals to her throne!

“Look at me!” shouted Modi as he wore a pinstripe suit on one of his earlier occasions, and as his citizens enlarged him on their mobile phone cameras, they gasped to see that what they thought were pinstripes were not ordinary stripesbut his name gloriously racing across yards of his suit!

Democracy shuddered and the people did too!

And Trump, as he sits in yonder Oval Room and tweets to the rest of the world his thoughts and feelings suddenly sees that instead of his citizens gathering same tweets and thoughts together and bringing them out in a book, called ‘Trumpeter!” or, ‘Kingspeak!’ or ‘Donald’s Quacks’ finds they are regarded as a schoolboy’s daily tantrums!”  

Democracy brooks no rivals especially those who want to enhance their names!

The only one allowed on the throne of a democratic nation is Democracy herself! The rest including a prime minister or president or chancellor sit at her feet, along with the rest of their senate or parliaments and listen in awe to her voice, not to tweets and radio broadcasts froman elected representative!And that is only what they are; mere representatives of the people!

When the poor can afford only a loin cloth, oftimes no shoes, Democracy decries, their representative,like Gandhi did, bears the same simplicity.

He represents them, not himself.

When the people especially of the US are afraid of guns from schoolrooms and bombs from Korea, their representative doesn’t tweet derogatory words to the mad Kim Jong-un, like Trump did. He treads with caution.

“Come!” says Democracy to these two representatives, “Let me teach you how to behave!”

“No,” says Pinstripes, “You want me to ask Parliament whether demonetization is right or not? I won’t! I order it. I pass it!”

“No!” says Blondie from the US, “You want me to open my borders to everyone?My gates are closed to those I dislike!It’s an order!”

As I look at Pinstripes and Tweeter, I whisper, “Can you not see the throne in front of you?”

“What throne?” both shout.

“The throne on which Democracy sits!”

They look at me, and shout again, “It’s we who sit on the throne!”

Then, in the distance I hear the beginnings of Democracy’s roar. A roar of anger, and soon with a mighty voice proclaims, “There is only one ruler, Democracy has, and that is Democracy herself, and there is only one throne on which she sits; the throne of the Constitution of the Country!

Democracy has no kings, these two will soon realize..!

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Grown men don’t cry, right? And not cricketers; tough guys with wrists of steel and muscular arms! But this morning I looked at pictures of the Australian captain, vice-captain and also their coach, tears flowing from their eyes, ashamed at what they’d done! Sad, how they had humiliated their country, and weeping for a mistake they regretted.

They were broken and repentant.

And then I look at pics a few days back of our Lalu, sentenced for fourteen years for a fodder scam where he had stolen money meant for the public.But what was the look in his eyes?

Anger and dismay on getting caught!

The act of stealing, of cheating, of killing is not what many of us are repentant about but the fact that we hadn’t covered our tracks better, that we didn’t have a better alibi, a better cover up, or a better lawyer!

“Daddy!” cries the scamster as he is taken from courtroom to jail, “I regret not having forged the cheque better!”

“I feel sorry!” say the man to his friends as he is led off on a rape charge, “That I didn’t give the girl a few lakhs more to shut up!”

The list goes on. But as long as one is not repentant, there is no forgiveness from a God above!

On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, who died that anything we have done in our lives, any wicked deed, lie we’ve said, even murder we have committed is forgiven, but only if the one who has committed the deed feels sorry about it. And if you are sorry, then the punishment for that deed has been looked after by the death on the cross.

Just imagine a scene where a murderer is hanged and after death walks down to the fiery furnaces of hell, but as he nears those gates, he hears footsteps behind, and looks back to see an angel, “Where are you going?” asks the angel.

“To hell for what I have done on earth!” says the man sadly.

“You don’t belong to hell, but to heaven!” says the angel, turning him round and leading him to the celestial gates of heaven.

“Heaven!” whispers the shaken murderer, “There must be a mistake!”

“Didn’t you pray for forgiveness?” asks the angel.

“Yes I did!” says the man, “But what about my punishment for the crime I committed?”

“That punishment has been looked after by the man who died on the cross,” says the angel.

“Can I go to the cross and thank that man?” asks the happy murderer.

“That man paid for your crime with his death, then rose from death on the third day!” says the angel.

And that’s what Easter is all about, the rising from death of Christ who took the punishment for our lying, our cheating, even our killing, after we are repentant for what we have done..!

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