NLS Student Bar Association opposes Karnataka’s move to reserve seats
Karnataka’s Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy has contended that only eight students from Karnataka got admission at NLSIU last year.
“NLSIU must and will remain an institution whose doors are open to all young minds across the country,” the Association said in a statement on Wednesday, when the Karnataka Legislative Council passed an amendment to the National Law School of India Act, 1986. The amendment Bill was passed by the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
The government’s move comes a month after thousands of students from all over the country took the CLAT, whose rankings determine admissions to law courses at the law school. “The extraordinary measure of introducing 50% domicile reservations will surely strike a blow to the countless number of meritorious aspirants who wish to be a part of the university,” the Association said.
Karnataka’s Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy has contended that only eight students from Karnataka got admission at NLSIU last year. “This is unfair,” the minister has said. The government is working on a similar proposal to reserve 25% seats at the IIT Dharwad.
According to sources, not even the university’s vice-chancellor or other authorities were even aware of the government’s move to reserve 50% seats to domicile students. The Bill defines ‘domicile’ as a student whose either parent has resided in Karnataka for at least seven years.
“The Act very clearly envisions a national law school. Domicile reservations of at least 50 per cent for a University with only around 80 students in each undergraduate batch and 40-50 students in each PG batch makes this goal extremely difficult. We struggle to find similar cases where half the seats have been reserved for domiciles in any other premier institution,” the Association said. “The contributions of NLSIU to the nation are unquantifiable, and unique. The new amendment to the NLSIU Act puts this very national character of NLSIU into question.”
The Student Bar Association retorts that the amendment “goes against the ethos” of a university where Karnataka residents “continue to do well.”
The Association will pursue the matter with the NLSIU Chancellor, who is the Chief Justice of India, as well as the Bar Council of India and other authorities.