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#CLAT2016 Update: Changes in intake, PSUs using PG CLAT score & more

Aditya AK

As the deadline for submission of applications for the Common Law Admission Test 2016 approaches, we take a look at some of the changes in this year’s exam.

Description of syllabus

The syllabus for each of the five subjects has clearly been laid out on the CLAT website. Over the years, candidates have especially found the Legal Aptitude section quite difficult, which is completely understandable, since nobody should expect a 12th standard student to be well-versed with concepts of law.

This year, the candidates will have a better idea of what to expect. The CLAT website says,

“Questions may include legal propositions (described in the paper), and a set of facts to which the said proposition has to be applied. Some propositions may not be “true” in the real sense, candidates will have to assume the “truth” of these propositions and answer the questions accordingly.”

It is safe to assume that the candidates will not be expected to have prior knowledge of legal concepts; however, they have been thrown googlies in the past.

Changes in intake

Last year, a total of 2,220 seats were up for grabs at 16 national law universities. With the inclusion of Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU) into the fold, that number has increased to 2,252.

All-India categoryState categorySpecial categoryTotal
No. of seats14425662442252

A number of NLUs have shuffled their intake, the most drastic of which is seen at Tamil Nadu National Law School (TNNLS). From 200 seats on offer last year, their intake has almost halved to 110.

National Law University, Odisha (NLUO), on the other hand, has seen an increase in intake; a total of 180 seats are now on offer, as opposed to the 120 seats last year.

NUALS has also increased its intake by 16 seats; 9 of these are for the all-India category, whereas 7 are for the state category. NALSAR, Hyderabad has also made a minor change to their intake of foreign nationals. This year, 15 seats are reserved for non-Indians – 7 for students from SAARC countries and 8 for students from non-SAARC countries.

If news reports are to be believed, then DSNLU Visakhapatnam may also see a change in its intake. According to this report, the state government has decided to adhere to the AP Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admissions) Order, 1974, which prescribes that 40% of seats should be offered on an all-India basis, while 10% should be reserved for foreign nationals/NRIs.

As of now, a mere 12 seats out of 132 are available under the all-India category, and there are no seats reserved for foreign nationals.

Other law colleges using CLAT score

A number of other law colleges will grant admission to candidates on the basis of their CLAT score. This list includes Maharashtra’s second national law university, MNLU, Nagpur.

The others are Galgotias University, Greater Noida, U.P., IMS Unison University, Dehradun, Indore Institute of Law, Indore, Lloyd Law College, Greater Noida, U.P., Manipal University, Jaipur, Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad, RNB Global University, Bikaner, Shri Vaishnav Institute of Law, Indore and SRM University, Delhi-NCR, Sonipat.

According to the CLAT website, this list is not exhaustive, as MoUs with other colleges are in the pipeline.

PSUs using CLAT score

In a significant change for the candidates of the PG CLAT exam, four PSUs will now use CLAT scores for recruitment. They are Indian Oil Corporation Limited, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, and the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.

This move offers PG candidates an additional choice, as opposed to doing an LLM. It will also offer an additional employment route for law graduates.

Despite these changes, there is still no mention of a Permanent CLAT body to oversee the conduct of the exam, which means the burden will have to be borne solely by Rajiv Gandhi National Law University, Patiala and its Vice-Chancellor Dr. Paramjit Jaswal.

On that front, there is a petition filed by Shamnad Basheer pending in the Supreme Court. Whether or not the apex court will take it up for hearing before the closure of the admission process is anybody’s guess. On last hearing, Chief Justice Thakur had refused early hearing of the petition.