When I decided to pursue law as a career in class 8th, I came to know about CLAT and the “National” Law Universities. The name itself, “National Law University”, made me believe that as IITs for engineering, AIIMS for medicine, NLUs are for law. But that is not true.All the “National” Law Universities, except none, are established by the state legislatures, unlike IITs, AIIMs and IIMs.
For Instance, National Law School of India University – Bangalore is established by Karnataka legislature, and Gujarat National Law University is established by Gujarat legislature.All the law universities are autonomous, which means the state government has no role to play in its day to day functioning. As being state universities, these law universities do not get any funding from the central government.The “National” Law Universities administer as a private institute under the garb and goodwill of a government institution.Also Read: Why Law Makers Do Not Consider Top Law Universities Worth Funding?Assumption of being Nationalacadman.in did a survey in three National Law Universities, in which 516 students took part, came out with a result that 60 percent of the students who took admission in an NLU assumed that the “National Law” Universities are central government institutes.Domicile ReservationQuota; state who provide funds. as Jaipur, do not have any state domicile reservation quota.
it dilutes the “national” nature of the NLUs.Most of the “National” Law Universities also provide reservation to the students from the home state. 50% seats reservedThough NLSIU Bangalore – the archetype of the NLU model – has not benefited from much state government funding for a long time, the Karnataka legislative assembly have passed a bill which mandates 50 per cent reservation to the domicile students.Exorbitant FeeAs the university has no funding and is autonomous, it charges exorbitant fees and capable of changing fess by themselves.
Entrance FeeThe very first step to get admission in a “professional” institute is to write an entrance examination. In case of law, there is CLAT – a national level entrance examination – to get admission in NLUs. And the CLAT’s fees, i.e. INR 4000 is being used as the first deterrent for students from less privileged sections of society.
CLAT does not have a permanent body and has been subject to irregularities every year. It is organised by NLUs on a rotation basis.If we compare CLAT’s fee with other India’s top entrance exams -AIIMS MBBS entrance exam application fee is INR 1000IIMs entrance examination – CAT – fee is INR 1800IIT-JEE (Main) Paper 1 (B.E./B.Tech.
) or JEE (Main) Paper-2 (B.Arch./B.Planning) only – Pen and Paper Based Examination – costs INR 1000 and if given on computer would cost INR 500 only.Both IIT-JEE (Main) Paper-1 (B.E.
/B.Tech.) and JEE (Main) Paper-2 (B.Arch./B.Planning) – pen and paper based examination- costs INR 1800 and if given on computer would cost INR 1300 only.Admission Fee in NLUsThere is no uniformity in the admission fee among different NLUs and it is also very high.
Total Fees for the 5-year course at NLUsThe fees vary in different NLUs. NLU – Lucknow, which is the only NLU having Chief Minister of the state as Chancellor, have the lowest fees. But the lowest fees comes at a cost of 50 per cent reservation to the students from Uttar Pradesh.NLU Jodhpur – 12,000 (one time) + 1,85,500 * 5 = INR 9,39,500/-NLU Kolkata – 1,000 (one time) + 3,13,300 * 5 = INR 15,67,500/-NLU Hyderabad – 10,000 (one time) + 2,32,000 * 5 = INR 11,70,000/-NLU Punjab – 5,000 (one time) + 2,04,000 * 5 = INR 10,25,000/-NLU Lucknow – 11000 (one time) + 1,08,000 * 5 = INR 5,40,000/-NLU Gujarat – 17,000 (one time) + 219000 *5 = 10,95,000/-Refundable Deposits has not been included and the fees are subject to increase every year.
Central Universities have very Low FeesThe 5-Year B.A.LL.B course at Jamia Milia Islamia costs around INR 10,500 per year. The 3-year LL.B course at Faculty of Law, Delhi University also have a same amount of fee.
Also failed to provide jobsA legal website claims that the firs stats shows that they hire….Chain Reaction of High FeesThe charging of high fees causes a chain reaction, starting with students having to take loans for their five-year course; an education at an NLU can end up costing upwards of Rs. 10 lakh. This serves as a sword hanging over a student’s head, forcing the student to opt for employment that pays well, and hence they scramble for a corporate job and several vice chancellor and professors have stated that it is contrary to the object for which NLU model was established.
NLU Failed to attain its objective”The very purpose behind establishing them was to produce good lawyers, judges, teachers and researchers from different sections of society. But, by and large, this objective is getting frustrated because students are not willing to go for judicial services, teaching, or even litigation” said NLU Raipur VC, as reported by a law-news website.With the best talent opting for employment at firms, NLUs therefore, do little in the way of enriching the Bar. While it is a little premature to gauge their role in strengthening the judiciary, judging by present trends, one can safely assume that a law graduate from a National Law University has plenty of reasons not to opt to become a judge.No Socio-Political exposureUnlike IITs, which has a Senate having students as well as faculty as members, NLU has no such body. Few NLUs do have Students Councils but they are mere puppets with the faculty pulling the strings.
Every vice chancellor can be seen patronising Bhagat Singh – but they would not agree with Bhagat Singh’s ideology that student politics.Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University is considered to be one of the most politically active campuses in India, unlike all the NLUs. Some believe NLUs cannot afford to do that.You would have no idea about the socio-political development in those campuses if you dont make efforts on your own.Some professors believe that social and political activities are a distraction if you are pursuing a “professional” course and any attempt to incorporate socio-political activities in NLUs would adversely affect the “NLU culture”.