Dr. Anila Bhatara: White Knight of Legal Education in India

When we generally think of the legal system, and its practitioners, a common vague visual of black robed individuals, a distantly placed dais, and the judge sitting on an elevated podium arises for us as laymen. But apart from these abstract visuals, most citizens in our country are unaware of the law and even fundamental rights granted by the constitution. This situation is termed legal illiteracy and could have an adverse effect on a democratic country like India.

Legal literacy or Legal awareness can be defined as apprehension regarding affairs in law, which is empowering for an individual. Legal awareness among citizens contributes an immense strength to the constitution. This is why permeating legal awareness and legal education is the need of the hour.

Advancements in legal education can meet many other challenges in the legal system. By propagating education and awareness in law, India can achieve easily accessible, profound legal aid and swift justice to its citizens.

Dr. Anila Bhatara, and her institute- AB Tutorials, have embarked on a laudable reputation for outstanding education in law and efforts to spread legal awareness. Dr. Anila Bhatara also works as a consultant counselor with various schools in India.

Birth and Rise

Dr. Anila Bhatara was born and raised in a family of educationists who highly respected and valued education. Having studied in public and missionary schools all over India, she was lucky and had ample opportunities in the field of education.

She opted for liberal arts at the St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai, where she completed under-graduation and post-graduation, securing the 1st position in the university. Specialization in education and psychology further gave her a platform to do B.Ed. and M.Ed. with doctoral dissertation and further an opportunity to do post-graduation in counseling from NCERT.

In 1992, Dr. Anila founded AB Tutorials for law exam training, which has touched more than 45,000 students’ lives, and ABERD for career guidance and counseling, which has successfully counseled over 1,00,000 students.

Alongside, she has also worked as a consultant in various organizations and schools to guide students through the process of psychometric assessments.

Source of inspiration

Her mother admiringly influenced Dr. Anila. While talking about her, she says, “My mother, being at the distinction of holding a double master’s during those times and giving utmost importance to education, has been my greatest source of inspiration.” After completing her post-graduation, Dr. Anila’s journey started with a turning point when she got married to her husband, Late Col. R.K Bhatara (VSM), who further inspired her and became her role model.

Values and viewpoints

Dr. Anila shares the vision, mission, and beliefs of her institute – AB Education, below:

Vision: To create values in lives through education, entailing, realizing inner potential, and transferring humanity from one generation to another.

Mission: Through Psychometric assessment tests and counseling and guidance, to help students realise their inner potential and make brilliant lawyers and good human beings.

The AB Education team believes that human resource is the most important resource, and developing them is an essential prerequisite to a developed, responsible, and prosperous country. Product solutions and models for applications for diverse industries are developed through extensive research and development, whether aviation, shipping, hospitality, engineering, infrastructure, power, petroleum, or other energy sectors.

AB Tutorial has won several awards for its excellent work in education. Some of the awards are listed below:

  • Coaching Institute of the year- Higher Education Review, 2018
  • National Quality Excellence Award- Praxis Media, 2019
  • Education Company of the Year – Silicon India Magazine, 2019
  • List of Top 10 promising courses and training providers- Knowledge Review, 2020

An Institute on a Mission

AB Tutorials is India’s only global law academy guiding and preparing students for various exams across India and overseas.

AB Tutorials’ course objectives include exam preparations for LNAT UK, LSAT International for aspirants intending to pursue law in the UK, US, Canada, and other European countries. Other thrust areas of the institute are psychometric assessments and evaluation, guidance and counseling, education technical and quality assurance mechanism and reviews, law graduate professional guidance and trajectory enhancements with pre-law guidance, and law university admissions at LLB, LLM, JD, and other specialized law degree international courses.

The institute provides Psychometric Aptitude testing services for Government and corporate sectors. Specific models are designed for educational institutes, corporate clients, and individuals.

The institute has also been contributing to providing legal awareness in various sections of the society, be it schools, colleges, women & child protection, to create awareness about the legal rights and enforcement mechanisms available to common people.

Challenges and Solutions

According to Dr. Anila, educators are struggling today, mainly due to an unavailability of a uniform policy and its implementation. She also thinks that there is a scarcity of the availability of good training programs.

During the pandemic, a great effort was made by AB Tutorials to provide productive learning through online mode and disseminate knowledge and information. Numerous talks and seminars were given on aspects of education. Particular emphasis was given to mental and emotional health to propagate strength and faith among the students.

Dr. Anila adds, “Online education is a great blessing and has a lot to offer to students, teachers, and working professionals as people in general with technology and changing times. It is time to positively accept the advancement and know that one can achieve a lot. With online teaching, teachers in the present times are required to upgrade themselves with technology; it can work wonders if applied in the right way.”

Dr. Anila believes that with the internet, a platform is provided which exposes a vast arena of knowledge for the students. “It has its positives and negatives; there is one way of communication. To conclude, there is a great impact on social-emotional development, whereby at times, students find that they are at a juncture where a lot of help is required by the right people to gain confidence and have clarity of thought. It has led the students to realize the importance of a “guru” or a mentor in their life, also the importance of offline teaching. A great deal of teaching and learning process was taken for granted,” Dr. Anila added.

Education, a Tool of Empowerment

Dr. Anila Bhatara admits that the knowledge about one’s health, hygiene, basic work is essential which implies enhancing oneself in all the areas.

She believes that “education is not merely a job; it’s an involvement, commitment, and a way of life. It gets embedded in your system, and there is no bouncing back. Education entails realizing inner potential and transferring humanity from one generation to another. In terms of change, I feel we must redefine ‘Education’ to include the development of specific areas that have been neglected so far. Efforts are being made, but I feel it should begin early in growing years of one’s life.”

“These can be broader areas of education, a model whereby this has to be balanced along with practical knowledge and skills so that it allows people to move on in life. To inculcate values that provide a base to build up holistic personality viz. National Social Service Scheme working for some NGOs, opportunities, and framework of this should be a part of the curriculum,” Dr. Anila Bhatara added.

Dr. Anila believes that knowing oneself and their world of work and relating yourself to the world of work, Correlating with one’s capacity, interest, and aptitude, should also be a part of the curriculum.

She also thinks that it should be used as a tool of empowerment to understand students’ capacity, potential, and interest in the fields they opt for.

Awards and accreditations

Dr. Anila Bhatara has been recognized for her excellent work and contribution to education in India. Following are some awards and achievements of her:

  • Under graduation and Post-graduation from St. Xavier’s college, Mumbai topped the university in 1967-68.
  • The Fr. Bochum Scholarship- 1968-69, awarded by the University of Mumbai.
  • The Khan Bahadur H.K Bhabha Scholarship- 1968-69, awarded by the University of Mumbai.
  • Lord Minto Scholarship Topping in graduation-1968-69, awarded by University of Mumbai.
  • Topped in Masters Education and gold medalist from Punjab University, Chandigarh- 1981.
  • Post-graduation in counseling from NCERT-1988-89.
  • Full-time Member of the International council of psychologists.
  • Affiliate member of American psychological association-1995.
  • Media coverage related to guiding confused teenagers, cases of kidnapping, etc.-1994, 1995.

Following are Dr. Anila Bhatara’s contributions to her field of education:

  • Resource-person with NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) conducting training programs for counselors, selecting and training programs, writing modules.
  • She was associated as a resource person conducting programs for International Diploma for SAARC countries.
  • Preparing resource material for IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University).
  • Conducting programs, talks, and training programs for NIPCCD (National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development).
  • Working on an honorary basis for organizations like Urvi Vikram trust (NGO), VIMHANS, Navodya School, women’s organization, etc.

Golden Words of Advice

Given the backdrop of sudden technological indulgence in education, Dr. Anila thinks more efforts have to be put into skill development programs, increasing productivity and a change of attitude towards specific work-related careers that will bring them into the mainstream of education. While talking about the same, she explains, “Education is a life-long process, and to achieve one’s goals and be successful, one has to be committed, focused, dedicated and have the zeal from within to reach out to the masses.” She believes that it is also crucial for educators to understand that every child is unique and must be treated as per their requirements.

Outlook for coming years

While sharing insights about her outlook for future endeavors, Dr. Anila says, “The students must opt for a career which is best suited for them, so that they can achieve heights in the related fields with respect to the aptitude and interest they possess. Along with this, we look forward to enlightening students’ lives by imparting them formal education along with life skills which makes them a responsible citizen and bring laurels to the country, adding to the pride of India.” She also notifies that the AB Tutorials is expanding pan India to be able to reach out to students to all the parts of the country and reach out to maximum students for career guidance and counseling and developing a good human resource base in the country.

Dr. Anila Bhatara anticipates guiding and mentoring future law aspirants across the country and the world to create the best quality law graduates at the forefront of things on an international platform.

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