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Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Saturday laid the foundation stone for Dharmashastra National Law University (DNLU Jabalpur), the latest of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) law schools.
DNLU Jabalpur, the 22nd National Law University in operation in the country, will begin its first academic session this year. It has already been inducted into the CLAT fold, and this year’s CLAT scores will form the basis of admission to DNLU. Starting next year, admission will be made on merit-cum-preference basis, as is the rule for the other CLAT universities.
Vice-Chancellor of DNLU Jabalpur, Prof Balraj Chouhan confirmed to Bar & Bench that the admission process will begin on July 6.
A total of 120 seats are up for grabs at DNLU, 50% of which will be reserved for students domiciled in Madhya Pradesh.
The University, the second of its kind in the state of Madhya Pradesh after NLIU Bhopal, will operate from the campus of Bharat Ratna Bhim Rao Ambedkar Institute of Telecom Training at Jabalpur. Separate hostels for boys and girls are already in place, with air-conditioned accommodation being provided to the latter.
Prof Chouhan is a former Vice-Chancellor of RMLNLU Lucknow and NLIU Bhopal. He has also served as Director of Amity Law School, Lucknow. Speaking about his vision for DNLU, he said,
“I wish to make it the best institution in the country. I wish that students who pass out from this University should have a feeling that they got the best possible education in India. Fortunately, I am getting support from the state government and Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.”
Prof Chouhan also revealed that a total of fifteen faculty members will teach at the University, with plans to increase that number to forty-five in the coming years.
“This year, we are admitting 120 students for the BA.LLB. programme and 20 students for LL.M. Within the next five years, the strength will be around 700 students. For that, our requirement will be around 45 permanent faculty. As of now, there are 15 faculty members, including core faculty and visiting faculty.”
The University was set up pursuant to orders passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court earlier this year.
At least three more National Law Universities in different parts of the country are in the pipeline. The Uttarakhand High Court had directed the setting up of an NLU in the state within three months. NLUs in the states of Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir are also in the works.