Heavens Won’t Fall in 15 Days: NLSIU Criticised for Dropping CLAT

NLSIU won’t accept CLAT 2020 scores this year and will hold its own National Law Aptitude Test.

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Education
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NLSIU won’t accept CLAT 2020 scores this year and will hold its own National Law Aptitude Test.
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The National Law School of India University, Bangalore, could lose its membership of the Consortium of National Law Universities, should it refuse to roll back the decision to conduct a separate entrance test, the Vice Chancellor of a leading National Law University told The Quint.

The Vice Chancellor, who wished to remain unnamed, claimed that the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU) had violated section 15 (3) (3) of the Consortium’s bye-laws by refusing to accept Common Law Admission Test scores for admissions to undergraduate and post-graduate courses at the law school.

“NLSIU had taken the decision without taking the president or the Consortium on board. They have decided to remain in the consortium and conduct their own test. They can go out of the consortium and conduct their own test. That is not prohibited.”
Vice Chancellor of an NLU

The said Vice Chancellor also mentioned that at a meeting of the governing body held on Friday, 4 September, NLSIU was “asked to reconsider its decision.”

Since the Vice Chancellor of NLSIU is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Consortium of NLUs, it was resolved at the governing body meeting that in case Bangalore remains firm on its decision, it cannot remain associated with the CLAT-2020 in any manner and all financial and administrative decisions will have to be taken by Prof. Balraj Chauhan, Vice Chancellor of Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur.

Further, the Vice Chancellor also said that the “Consortium may consider shifting the Secretariat out of NLSIU, Bangalore, if it refuses to reinstate CLAT 2020 this year.”

What is the Consortium?

The Consortium of National Law Universities is a body of NLUs, which also conducts the Common Law Admission Test. Admissions to undergraduate and post-graduate courses offered by 22 NLUs are carried out on the basis of scores obtained by students in CLAT.

The National Law School of India University, Bangalore has been conducting admissions on the basis of CLAT scores since 2008 and since it is a member of the consortium, the body has expressed ‘dismay’ at Bangalore having decided to not consider CLAT scores for admissions this year.

Why did National Law School of India University, Bangalore drop CLAT this year?

  • NLSIU says repeated postponement of CLAT 2020 has led to uncertainty among students, parents and universities.
  • Since NLSIU follows a trimester pattern in which one academic year is divided into three semesters of 90 days each, failing to hold admissions beyond September could lead to a zero year.
  • It has therefore come up with its own MCQ-based entrance test named the National Law Aptitude Test, which students can take online from their homes on 12 September.

What is the Consortium’s response?

The Vice Chancellor mentioned above said that apart from Dropping CLAT, NLSIU’s decision is problematic as it would force students to write two entrance exams instead of just one.

He also said that since CLAT is now scheduled on 28 September and since the exams have already been pushed back several times, a difference of 15 days will not cost NLSIU an entire academic year.

“When conducting one test is a problem, you want them to appear for two tests? In 15 days time, heavens are not going to fall. You can always conduct classes during semester breaks. In a trimester, they can reduce syllabus by conducting three out of four papers and compensate for the paper in next year.”
Vice Chancellor of an NLU

When asked about CLAT 2020 being postponed five times, the Vice Chancellor said that NLSIU itself was a party to discussions on postponement and never recorded any dissent.

“We are living in extraordinary times. This is an exceptional year,” he said referring to record-high coronavirus cases in the country.

What are aspirants saying?

Five Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) aspirants have moved the Jharkhand High Court challenging the decision of National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, to conduct a separate entrance test for admissions to undergraduate and post-graduate courses at the leading law university.

The petitioners contend that NLSIU’s decision to withdraw from CLAT is unconstitutional and arbitrary as the leading law school is a permanent member of the NLU Consortium.

They also argue that bringing about a new exam pattern just days ahead of exams is inimical to principles of a “fair and just examination.”

What is the chatter on Twitter?

Heavens Won’t Fall in 15 Days: NLSIU Criticised for Dropping CLAT
Heavens Won’t Fall in 15 Days: NLSIU Criticised for Dropping CLAT
Heavens Won’t Fall in 15 Days: NLSIU Criticised for Dropping CLAT

The Quint has reached out to Dr Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Vice-Chancellor of National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, but did not hear back. This article will be updated as and when a response is received.

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