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The “rankings” become more farcical by the year. If the fact that a number of law colleges were missing from the top last year raised a few questions, this year’s India Today rankings certainly warrant a full-blown inquisition.
It comes as no surprise that NLSIU, Bangalore is once again at the top; what is surprising is most of the other names on that list. Aligarh Muslim University’s Faculty of Law is in second place, followed by, less bewilderingly, WBNUJS, Kolkata. Quite astoundingly, Amity Law School, Noida and Christ University’s School of Law complete the top five.
Bharati Vidyapeeth’s New Law College in Pune is in sixth, whereas Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University is in seventh. Two more Pune colleges find mention in the top ten; Symbiosis Law School in eighth, and ILS is in tenth. Faculty of Law, ICFAI University, Dehradun is in ninth.
Apart from NLSIU and NUJS, only one other national law university features in the list of top fifteen law schools: GNLU, Gandhinagar, at eleventh. Though it is mentioned that NALSAR, Hyderabad and NLIU Bhopal were left out of the “study” as they did not submit information on time, there is absolutely no mention of other NLUs like NLU Jodhpur and NLU Delhi, widely regarded as top law universities. Faculty of Law, Delhi University also failed to make the cut, paying a price for tardiness.
The parameters for the rankings are ‘Reputation of College’, ‘Quality of Academic Output’, ‘Student Care’, ‘Infrastructure’, ‘Job Placement’, ‘Perceptual Rank’ (whose perception is this?) and ‘Factual Rank’, an ironically named criterion, given that the rankings are based on no facts whatsoever.
Take, for example, the ‘Job Placement’ section. Faculty of Law, BHU has a rank of 2 in this field, while GNLU has a rank of 12. We had earlier reported that GNLU had recently placed around 30 students of its 2018 batch in the top law firms in the country. In contrast, not one student from BHU was similarly placed. This assumes significance, given the fact that a lucrative law firm option is the most sought-after job after law school.
There are several other flaws in India Today’s ranking system that to elucidate upon would be, much like its article, utterly pointless.
So how, one might wonder, are these rankings arrived at? There is no answer to that question, just as there is no answer to the fact that School of Law, Christ University has a “factual rank” of 1.
Perhaps a more pertinent question is this: Is it time for respected and widely read magazines to stop attempting to conduct these fruitless, misleading (ahem…paid?…cough) exercises?