Common Law Admission Test


Common Law Admission Test
Logo of Common Law Admission Test

Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a centralised test for admission to prominent National Law Universities in India. The test is taken after the 12th grade for admission to graduation (also known as Bachelor's) courses in Law. This exam was conducted for the first time on 11 May 2008.[1] A total number of 1037 seats [2] from seven law schools were offered to be filled by the test. The results of the first CLAT were announced on May 19, 2008.[3] The two-hour admission test consists of objective type covering questions on English, general knowledge, basic mathematics, besides legal and logical reasoning.[4] The second CLAT, for the academic year 2009-10, was supposed to be conducted on 17 May 2009.[5] This year,[when?] eleven law schools are participating in CLAT. The paper which was supposed to be held on 17 May 2009 was rescheduled and has taken place on 31 May 2009 due to paper tampering; CLAT 2010 was administered on May 9.

Contents

History

Before the introduction of the CLAT, the autonomous law schools in India conducted their own entrance examinations, requiring the candidate to prepare and appear separately for each of the examinations. The time of the administration of these tests sometimes conflicted with the other or with other major entrance tests such as the Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination and the All India Pre Medical Test. This caused students to miss tests and experience much stress.[6]

There are thirteen national law schools in India, the first of which was the National Law School of India University, which admitted its first batch of students in 1987. Out of the thirteen, the National Law University, Delhi and the National Law University, Orissa conduct their own separate entrance tests. The CLAT admits the students on the basis of the national entrance test conducted by it generally in the month of May each year.[7] With the emergence of other law schools, which also sought to conduct their admission tests at around the same time, students faced a hard time preparing for them. From time to time the issue was raised by different persons to conduct a common entrance exam to reduce the burden of the students to give multiple test, but given the autonomous status of each law school, there was no nodal agency to co-ordinate an action to this regard.[8]

The matter drew national attention when a Public Interest Litigation was filed by one Varun Bhagat against the Union of India and various National Law Universities in the Supreme Court of India in 2006. The Chief Justice of India directed the Union of India to consult with the National Law Universities to formulate a common test. The move was strongly supported by the Bar Council of India.[9][10]

Given the lack of a central nodal authority to bring forth a consensus on the issue, the Ministry of Human Resources Development, (Government of India) and the University Grants Commission of India organized a meeting of the Vice-Chancellors of seven National Law Universities along with the Chairman of the Bar Council of India. After a few such meetings, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Vice Chancellors of the seven National Law University on 23 November 2007 to conduct a common admission test. The Common Law Admission Test will be conducted each year by each of the law colleges and the responsibility of conducting the exam will be rotated and given on the basis of seniority. Nonetheless, the matter has not been resolved completely as there are other national law universities which are not taking part in CLAT.[11]

2008

The first entrance examination through CLAT took place to admit students for the academic year 2008-09. The examination was held on 11 May 2008.

The following law schools admitted the students on the basis of the scores obtained by the candidates in CLAT:[12]

  1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  2. National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (Nalsar) University of Law, Hyderabad
  3. National Law Institute University, Bhopal
  4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
  5. National Law University, Jodhpur
  6. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
  7. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
  8. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
  9. Chanakya National Law University, Patna
  10. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
  11. National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi.

2009

The second entrance examination through CLAT for admitting students for the academic year 2009-10 is scheduled for 31 May 2009. From seven last year, the list of participating law schools for this year has increased to eleven.

The following law schools admitted the students on the basis of the scores obtained by the candidates in CLAT:

  1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  2. National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (Nalsar) University of Law, Hyderabad
  3. National Law Institute University, Bhopal
  4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
  5. National Law University, Jodhpur
  6. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
  7. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
  8. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
  9. Chanakya National Law University, Patna
  10. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala

2010

As of December 2009 it was announced that the CLAT 2010 examination is scheduled on May 9, 2010.[13] The paper went of smoothly unlike the preceding year. The paper was very hard in the GK and legal aptitude sections and easy in maths

The following law schools admitted the students on the basis of the scores obtained by the candidates in CLAT 2010:

  1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  2. National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (Nalsar) University of Law, Hyderabad
  3. National Law Institute University, Bhopal
  4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
  5. National Law University, Jodhpur
  6. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
  7. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
  8. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
  9. Chanakya National Law University, Patna
  10. National University of Advanced Legal Studies, (Kochi)
  11. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala

2011

The CLAT 2011 was organised by The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. The candidates went disappointed with the standard of paper as 12 questions in the various sections had underlined answers due to the oversight of the organisers. Around 24,000 candidates have given the test including the post-graduate candidates.

2012

The fifth edition of CLAT will be organised by National Law University, Jodhpur. Also, National Law University, Orissa and National Law University, Assam announced officially that they would join the this edition of CLAT which would make the total number of Universities reach 13. However, National Law University, Delhi and National University for Study and Research in Law, Ranchi are yet to decide.

Non-participating schools

Despite the Supreme Court in the Public Interest Litigation and the efforts of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, not all law schools in the country could come to an agreement to be participants to CLAT. While the number of participating institutions has increased from seven to eleven from 2008 to 2009, there are still a number of law schools which choose to continue with their existing admission test system by conducting their own entrance examinations. Some of the main ones are;

  1. National Law University, Delhi,(New Delhi)
  2. NIRMA
  3. Army Institute of Law, (Mohali)
  4. Baroda School of Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat
  5. Symbiosis Law School, (Pune)
  6. ILS Law College, (Pune)
  7. Amity Law School, (Delhi)
  8. Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, (Chennai)
  9. Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, (Kharagpur
  10. KIIT Law School, (Bhubaneswar)
  11. Faculty of Law, Delhi University, (Delhi)
  12. Government Law College, (Mumbai)
  13. School of Law, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, (Dehradun)
  14. Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, (Varanasi)
  15. National Law University, Orissa

Institutions utilising CLAT 2011 scores

The following institutions have been permitted to utilise CLAT 2011 scores for the purposes of admissions to their undergraduate and postgraduate courses:

  1. Andhra Pradesh University of Law, Palace Layout, Pedawaltair, Viskhapatnam
  2. Jodhpur National University, Narandi, Jahnwar Road, Jodhpur
  3. Siddhartha Law College, Sahastradhara Road, Near IT Park, Dehradun
  4. SOA National Institute of Law, Faculty of Legal Studies, Siksha O Anusandhan University, Khandagiri Square, Bhubaneswar
  5. Institute of Law, Nirma University, Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway, Post Chandlodia, Via Gota, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

In addition to this, CLAT has also entered into a MOU with the Indian Oil Corporation, whereby IOC would be utilising CLAT scores as one of the selection criteria for recruitment of legal professionals to IOC.[14]

Method of allocation

The CLAT form provides the students with a preference list. Each student fills the preference list, according to the colleges he/she desires.On the basis of these preferences and ranks obtained, students are allocated colleges. CLAT 2011 has seen a dramatic change. The previous system of asking applicants preferences of institution at the time of filing the application form has been done away with. In an attempt to allow for more informed choice, CLAT 2011 applicants would be asked to make a selection of institutions after the declaration of results.

Formal structure

CLAT is administered by the eleven participating law schools each year turn by turn, on the basis of seniority. For the first year (2008) the National Law School, (Bangalore) was in charge of conducting CLAT. For the year 2009, the responsibility to conduct CLAT was upon NALSAR University of Law, (Hyderabad). As a formal structure, CLAT is administered through two committees which have been constituted by the participating law schools. These is a 'Core Committee', which consists of the Vice-Chancellors/Directors of the participating law schools and an 'Implementation Committee' which constitute of the Registrars of the participating law schools. The current members of the two committees (ex-officio) are as under:

Core Committee [15]

  1. Prof. Veer Singh, Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR University of Law, (Hyderabad),Convenor
  2. Prof. A. Jayagovind, Vice-Chancellor, National Law School, (Bangalore)
  3. Dr. S.S. Singh, Director, National Law Institute University, (Bhopal)
  4. Prof. M. P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, (Kolkata)
  5. Justice N.N. Mathur, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, (Jodhpur)
  6. Prof. M. K. Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor, Hidayatullah National Law University, (Raipur)
  7. Mr. Bimal N. Patel, Director, Gujarat National Law University, (Gandhinagar)
  8. Prof. Balraj Singh Chauhan, Director, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
  9. Prof. Gurjeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
  10. Prof. A. Lakshminath, Vice-Chancellor, Chanakya National Law University, Patna
  11. Dr. N.K. Jayakumar, Vice-Chancellor, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, (Kochi)

Implementation Committee [16]

  1. Prof. K.V.S. Sarma, Registrar, NALSAR University of Law, (Hyderabad), Convenor
  2. Prof. V. Vijayakumar, Professor of Law, National Law School, (Bangalore)
  3. Mr. C.M. Garg, Registrar, National Law Institute University, (Bhopal)
  4. Dr. Surajit C Mukhopadhyay, Registar, The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, (Kolkata)
  5. Mr. Ratan Lahoti, Registrar, National Law University, (Jodhpur)
  6. Mr. M.K. Thakre, Registrar, Hidayatullah National Law University, (Raipur)
  7. Mr. Rishikesh Dave, Registrar, Gujarat National Law University, (Gandhinagar)
  8. Mrs. Anita Mishra, Registrar, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
  9. Prof. G.I.S. Sandhu, Registrar, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
  10. Dr. S.P. Singh, Registrar, Chanakya National Law University, Patna
  11. Mr. V.Narayana Swamy, Registrar, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, (Kochi)
  12. Prof. Vijender Kumar, Professor of Law, NALSAR University of Law, (Hyderabad)

See also

References

External links


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