Vice-Chancellors of the NLU Consortium
Vice-Chancellors of the NLU Consortium

[Breaking] NLAT v. CLAT: NLU Consortium asks NLSIU to reconsider move to hold separate entrance exam

The Consortium has also warned that in case NLSIU does not reconsider its decision, it cannot remain associated with CLAT.

Aditya AK

In a meeting held today, the Consortium of National Law Universities has unanimously asked National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Bangalore to reconsider its decision to hold a separate entrance exam this year.

During the meeting held under the Chairmanship of NLIU Bhopal Vice-Chancellor Prof V Vijayakumar, it was resolved that NLSIU was in violation of Rule 15.3.3 of the Consortium’s by-laws. As per this Rule, all members of the Consortium (the 22 National Law Universities) are bound to admit students only through CLAT.

The Consortium - responsible for conducting the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) - has also warned that in case NLSIU does not reconsider its decision, it cannot remain associated with CLAT. A statement issued by the Consortium reads,

"The Governing Body further resolved that in case NLSIU sticks to its decision, NLSIU cannot remain associated with the CLAT-2020 in any manner and all financial and administrative decisions will have to be taken by Prof. Balraj Chauham, CLAT-2020 Convener and the Secretariat of Consortium may be shifted out of NLSIU.”

It now remains to be seen whether NLSIU will stick to its decision to hold the NLAT. In an interview published today, Vice-Chancellor Prof Sudhir Krishnaswamy explained the rationale behind taking such a step. He said,

“…We realised we were facing a crisis when we could not finish our admissions even by September. And that could mean that the academic year itself was under threat, because we are the only trimester-based national law university. It came down to a choice between not admitting students this year at all or going ahead in some useful, meaningful way and conducting a separate exam. We chose the latter…

… Frankly, we might have been the first to stick our heads out, but there are other universities which are hard-placed. We are not the only university that feels this way. We will engage with the Consortium in a very robust and constructive way. We think that many of these things can be resolved quite easily.”

NLSIU’s announcement of its move to hold a separate National Law Admission Test (NLAT) for admissions this year sparked quite the furore, with students expressing reservations about having to write an additional exam amid the pandemic, at such short notice.

The NLU Consortium has not taken too kindly to the development either. The members of the body’s Executive Council (sans Prof Krishnaswamy) convened a meeting last night to discuss the situation. As per a release issued by CLAT 2020 Convenor Prof Balraj Chauhan, the Council is the opinion that NLSIU’s decision contravenes the by-laws of the Consortium. Last night's release states,

“The Council noted with dismay that while the NLSIU wishes to continue in the consortium yet conduct its own admission test which is not permissible under the Bye laws of the Consortium. Moreover this new admission test will put thousands of students during the extra ordinary Covid–19 health emergency to a lot of inconvenience who will now have to appear in two tests instead of one.”

[Read the release]

Press release by NLU Consortium
Press release by NLU Consortium
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