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NUJS_Kolkata_thAn LLB student has mounted a successful legal challenge after an unexpected doubling of tuition fees at NUJS Kolkata, which has provoked widespread complaints from the student body.


First-year students were told several weeks before the start of term that tuition fees at NUJS (National University of Juridicial Sciences) would increase by 100 per cent to around Rs 1.8 lakhs per year for the five year duration of the course.

Namrata Amarnath was due to join NUJS for her first term in early July but after the fee-hike she petitioned the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Hyderabad to allow her to transfer to National Law University, Jodhpur.

Part of her claim was accepted by the High Court on 9 July and Amarnath is understood to have now started her first term at Jodhpur. However, no order has yet been made with respect to a refund of her NUJS tuition fee deposit.

The first respondent in the case was NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, where the core CLAT-2009 committee sits that can authorise transfers between applicant's preferred law schools and permit changes between the general and non-resident Indian (NRI) student categories. NUJS was not a party to the claim.

Amarnath was represented by advocate Mamata Choudary and NALSAR by advocate B Mayur Reddy.

Another student had filed a court case against NUJS along similar grounds but it is understood that this case has been dropped.

The unexpectedly large increase in tuition fees has attracted criticism from current NUJS students, as second to fifth year students' fees had also increased by almost 50 per cent. The standard fee rose by around Rs 45,000 per year and the cost of places for foreign or non-resident Indian (NRI) students went up by $1,500 (Rs 70,000) per year.

Outgoing NUJS student body president Asish Arun said: "We are opposing the fee hike big time… NUJS's hike has been the highest out of all the National Law Schools and we've put in a petition with the vice chancellor to take a call on the fee-hike."

He added that the matter would foreseeably be discussed with the school's vice chancellor by the end of the month.

NUJS registrar D. Mukhopadhyay told Legally India that the increase in fees was necessary to finance the day-to-day expenditure of the law school, particularly as professors salaries had increased significantly.

He added that NUJS did not have any other sources of income but student's fees.

Legal blog A First Taste of Law, which is written by a current NUJS student, noted that: "NUJS is not facing a problem that no other law school faces. All other law schools are financially independent as well. NLS, Bangalore also increased its fee this year, but the new fee is applicable only to the new batches that will enter. Also, the quantum of hike is far more moderate."

However, the blog added that it was understandable that NUJS' expenditure had increased: "Recently there has been some much needed and awaited improvement of infrastructure in NUJS. There has been tremendous improvement in the quality of faculty as well."

>>How important were tuition fees when you selected your law school? Is there any correlation between price and quality in your experience? Click here to share your views on the Legally India forum.

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+0 -0 Anonymous 2009-07-24 15:02
I will have to go with the NUJS authorities here. Running a world class institution (which it aspires to be) cannot be done without incurring substantial expenses. First, people complain about how institutions like the UGC stifle innovativeness and creativity by not allowing autonomous institutions to set their own curriculums and decide upon their own fee structure. And now the very same people complain against the new fee structure when the authorities decide to embark on a plan to give their educational institute a filipp.

Second, would any of these students have any problems obtaining loans from a bank???? No, really? Would they? Banks are very generous in doling out student loans at attractive rates especially to students of elite institutes like the IITs, IIMs, AIIMS and lately NLSs.

And lastly, would the graduates have any troubles repaying the loan? The salaries they are currently earning are among the highest in any sector in India and will only go up with the passage of time. Not to mention that the benefit that will accrue to them because of this investment in education is invaluable and will translate into better infrastructure, results, reputation and consequently place an even higher premium on the graduates of this school.

A note to Kian: Thanks for the update. But can you cover private law schools too? They are known to charge considerably more than the NLSs and the quality of education provided is nowhere as high. The opening of JGLS this year which is charging considerable fees might be a step in a new direction as it provides students with (evidently) state of the art facilities that would justify the fes levied. But the picture for other law schools is different. That is, of course, if you want to cover law schools other than NLSs. That's contingent upon your personal view on them.
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+0 -0 Guest 2009-07-24 15:09
Can we please refer to the 5 year law schools with the suffix "national", as National Law Universities!
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+0 -0 @ 449 2009-07-24 15:44
Clearly, you haven't really moved beyond the realms of your metropolitan city. There are students from smaller towns here. People whose families' budgets get shaken up by a mere increase of Rs. 15,000 per annum. Forgive me Mr. Anonymous but the banks are not as generous as you think they are. They require security for a loan over Rs. 4 lakh per annum - the current fee for the 1st year students at NUJS. In 20 lakhs, I may as well go abroad and do an MBA at NUS, Singapore. Wake up and smell the coffee!
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+0 -0 Anonymous 2009-07-24 16:28
@451

Hence the existence of scholarships. In fact, you should go look it up. Good thing that, though you evidently haven't ever gotten one.

Also a tie-up with banks whereby the student has to keep their grades up to a certain level in order for the university to provide security for the loan. You see, instead of doing MBA courses, one can think a little harder and improve things instead of cribbing all the time and waiting for handouts! As for coffee, maybe next time, but then again, the smell of beans being churned is not my kind of thing. Have a good time in Singapore!
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+0 -0 Guest 2009-07-24 17:03
FOR THE BENEFIT OF 452:
List of Scholarships at NLS (no information re: scholarships at NUJS and NALSAR in their web-sites):
The Shankaramma Memorial Trust Scholarship - This scholarship of the value of Rs. 500/- per month
1. Velakacherla Narasa Reddy Rural India Merit Scholarship
One scholarship is awarded every year to a student commencing
the IV year studies. Scholarship so awarded shall run for two years
subject to satisfactory performance. The scholarship amount comes
from the interest earned on an endowment of Rs. 1,00,000/- donated
by Sri V.R. Reddy, the then Additional Solicitor General of India.
2. Justice Venkataswamy, Mrs. & Mr. Mariappa Gowda and Mrs. &
Mr. B. Narayan Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a highly deserving student of NLSIU
towards his/her boarding/lodging charges in the University. The
scholarship amount comes from the interest earned on an
endowment of Rs.1,00,000/- donated by Mr. K.M. Krishnappa and Mrs.
Indira Krishnappa, residents of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
3. Late Justice B. Vasudevamurthy Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to deserving and meritorious student
who is not otherwise able to join this University due to economic
conditions. The scholarship amount comes from the interest earned
on an endowment of Rs.10,00,000/-
4. Hemant Narichania Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to II and III year meritorious students of
B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) from lower socio-economic strata of society. The
scholarship amount comes from the interest earned on an
endowment of Rs.1,00,000/-
5. The Bodh Raj Sawhney Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded every year to the highly deserving
student. The scholarship amount comes from the interest earned on
an endowment of Rs.1,00,000/-
6. The Lalit Bhasin Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded every year to the highly deserving
student. The scholarship amount comes from the interest earned on
an endowment of Rs.1,50,000/-
7. Dr. K. Manorama Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to II year Girl Student based on meritcum-
means. The scholarship amount comes from the interest earned
on an endowment of Rs.60,000/- .
8. Sam Byramji Nariman Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded every year to the highly deserving
student, instituted by Mr. Fali S. Nariman. The scholarship amount
comes from the interest earned on an endowment of Rs.1,00,000/- .
9. Mr. M.S.S. Rao Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded every year to the highly deserving
student. The scholarship amount is Rs. 6,250/-.
10. Manupatra Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded every year to the highly deserving
student as decided by the Scholarship Committee to cover the full
fee.

452: IN YOUR OPINION THIS COVERS THE TUTION FEES!
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+0 -0 Ex NLS 2009-07-24 17:36
Increasing the fees by such a large amount for existing students is quite unfair. The Universities should put in place schemes wherein the students are assured of a loan or scholarship if they are unable to pay the fees. I believe that no student who has managed to obtain the required rank in the entrance exam should have to make a decision on the institution that they are joining due to financial reasons.

I agree that the bank loan thing does not really work unless the University is willing to give security which I understand happens at NLS i.e. Bangalore. Please let me know if any of the other law universities have similar schemes. It is very difficult for poor and middle class families to pay these high fees. I know that even the NLS authorities are struggling with this scheme.

However, I should mention that NLS also has a means cum merit scholarship under which they do (or at least did) waive significant part of the fees for students from poor and middle class families. I am grateful to NLS for that since I was a beneficiary. Just wanted to mention it since it is usually not listed on the website.

The comments from 452/449 who I assume is the same person are quite uninformed and needlessly aggressive. Bank loans are not easy to obtain for students. While there are policies in place for the loans, actually getting one is very difficult
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+0 -0 Anonymous 2009-07-24 18:09
@ 453

Do you think it covers tuition fees?? (and not'!!')

If yes, then re-read 452!!!!!

If not, then good!!!!

If you still don't understand the concept, then stretch your palms, flex your back and then proceed to slap yourself once!!!! Done????

Ok!!! Now if you still haven't understood then you should know that 452 was a proposal!!!! Not a regurgitation of existing policies!!!!! Since their change is what's being debated here!!!!!

Ok!!!!


Bye!!!!!
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+0 -0 999 2009-07-24 19:44
I am also from a national law university and am studying on educational loan. Though my university has marginally increased the fees, but still it has become extremely difficult for me to pay the extra amount. The bank has refused to pay the extra amount and unnecsary burdun has fallen on my parents.
Today NLUs have become money nminting business or wat... the State Government and the UGC should intervene and do something else NLus will become a destination for the rich only.
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+0 -0 Guest 2009-07-24 19:51
Dear 455/452/449:

Firstly, most of the law schools do not have any scholarships, even to the extent that some of these schools have scholarships (like NLS), they generally do not cover the whole tuition fees. In relation to your proposal (the drafting of your comment does not suggest that it is a proposal, rather sound like a statement of fact, and outpouring of incredulity!) – it is quite circular and lacks logic, if the only way to finance the institution is through fees charged from students, then where will the money to provide scholarship come from? – I guess from fee hikes again! The endowments available are just not enough (as the endowments behind the NLS scholarship clearly demonstrates). So, its not that people do not look at scholarship, but there aren't any (at least not many)!!! 451's response to your comment was quite civilised and did not call for you to comment on whether he/she has ever received a scholarship.

And obviously you have not had to apply for an education loan, or alternatively you have now conveniently forgotten the details of the process. To clarify to 454: NLS arranges for you to meet the banks in order to seek loans, but does not actually guarantee the loan (Hope this has changed now – which would be a good development). Even for a loan up to Rs. 5 lakhs – the banks would look at your parents/guarantors income, therefore, if your parent's/guarantor's income is below a certain threshold, you are may not be entitled to the entire amount required to cover the fees.

In relation to your proposal– does it say anything concrete other than blame the students for not being "proactive"? Yes, the students can pay the loans back quite easily, but the problem is getting the loan in the first place. I am sure people who have the intelligence to clear the entrance test, are also intelligent enough to think of searching for scholarships and bank loans (and get them if they could/or if they were available).

449/455/452 (if you are the same person) - Perhaps you should come down from the ivory tower and slap yourself in order to wake up to the ground reality - if you don't see the reality still, slap yourself again for lacking the capacity to respond in a civilized manner. So, bye – enjoy La La land.

The only way to address this is to search for more endowments, and explore other avenues of revenue generation – such as having paid specialised summer courses for executive/professionals, income through research institutes/chair, consulting, seeking corporate sponsorships.
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+0 -0 Guest 2009-07-24 20:00
I agree, 455/452/449 - if you cannot accept challanges to your opinion, don't post them in public forum.
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+0 -0 Anonymous 2009-07-25 00:41
"If you make a proposal, you need to establish how it is going to work in practice."

Right back atcha. [edited]

Also, this is a forum. You need to establish how it is going to work in practice. Not a think tank. Thoughts and ideas usually evolve through discussion. Usually. You need to establish how it is going to work in practice.

[Comment edited. You both made some very interesting points but please do not go down the route of just insulting each other.]
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+0 -0 SLAP - stick - Comedy! 2009-07-25 00:41
Rather it seems that your manners and any skill you have of holding a civilized conversation has gone on a vacation. In your comment at 452 one of the issued addressed in 458 were discussed.

In your opinion, the solution to higher tuition fees is (a) scholarships and (b) bank loans guaranteed by the universities. Various posts have emphasised the fact that these options are presently not available to students. Further, 458 also pointed out that some issues with implementing your proposals - which you have completely missed (perhaps you should consider renting some grey matter).

Therefore, unless the universities can find a way of generating revenues other than through fees, the first solution proposed by you does not work. Foreign universities can offer scholarships based on endowments, which the Indian universities do not have. Further, implementation of your proposal re: bank loans will depend on whether the banks are willing to give loans just backed by a guarantee from the university, if they require the loans to be backed by assets (as they currently require), will the universities be able to furnish such collaterals.

If you make a proposal, you need to establish how it is going to work in practice.

[comment edited]
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+0 -0 Anonymous 2009-07-25 00:43
@ 458

"Firstly, most of the law schools do not have any scholarships"

Yes, hence the proposal.

"And OBVIOUSLY you have not had to apply for an education loan"

Obviously you haven't read the post as the guarantor is not the parents. Obviously.

"Proactive"

Who? What? Where? When?


"The only way to address this is to search for more endowments, and explore other avenues of revenue generation – such as having paid specialised summer courses for executive/professionals, income through research institutes/chair, consulting, seeking corporate sponsorships."

supra 452. Obviously.

You raised some good points there. But they were raised before. Obviously. But that's ok because you apparently don't understand the concept. Obviously. But it's cool. You can stretch your palms, flex your back and then proceed to slap yourself once. Done?

Ok. Obviously. Now if you still haven't understood then you should know that 452 was a proposal. Obviously. Not a regurgitation of existing policies. Obviously. Since their change is what's being debated here. Obviously
[comment edited]

@459

Yes, legallyindia is not the place to deposit challans. How insightful. In other news, banks are not the place to post comments!
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+0 -0 Anonymous 2009-07-25 16:52
A similarly steep hike in the fees , as high as 40 %, can been seen in National Law Institute University, Bhopal not only for new batch but for the existing batches.The students had petitioned to the administration and a fee review committee has been constituted to look into the matter.
The reasons cited were similar to those in NUJS regarding no grants from the state government.
It is condemnable on the part of these National Law Schools to raise their fees by such a huge margin leaving the students availing of bank loan hapless.
An action needs to be intiated against such institutions which are indulging in acts of commercialization of legal education.
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+0 -0 anonymous 2009-07-25 20:31
ok, nujs admits eighteen students under the "nri sponsored" category...for students who are having a relative abroad...the fee that they mentioned in clat prospectus was around 9 lakhs for five years...but only some days before clat..they hiked the fees by 100% and the figure stood at 18 lakhs....it isnt necessary that one who is able to afford 9 lakhs is also able to pay 18 lakhs...and guess what...clat had this weird preference system where u cannot change ur preferences and u will be alloted a college based on ur preference and rank...the plaintiff in this case had preferred nujs over jodhpur and at her rank and according to her preferences, she was given jodhpur...but now, the university had increased the fee...she was an nri sponsored candidate only for nujs and hnlu as only these colleges have this quota...the other nationals have seats reserved for foreign nationals and NRIs (NOTE: different from NRI sponsored candidates)....so these students are general category students for other collges...and since nujs hiked the fee after mentioning something else in the clat prospectus...its clearly unfair on the part of CLAT committe to not have taken in account the demands of students who wanted to shift to a college of lower preference....
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+0 -0 UK trainee 2009-07-30 18:21
In the U.K., the BCL costs around £20,000 (appr.) for a nine-month course, incl. tuition and living costs. Over a period of three years (graduation) and in cases where the concerned student did not do law at Uni (and hence has to do the GDL), four years - this sum is obviously substantially higher.

With a top-of-the-line trainee salary of about £38,000 - £40,000, and then an NQ salary of £64,000 - £66,000, it still takes most UK lawyers 3 to 5 years to repay their student loans. Would repaying 9L plus living costs (assuming 12L overall) not be possible for someone working for 3 to 5 years in a top Indian firm?
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+0 -0 Delhi Lawyer 2009-07-30 19:12
Everyone has presumed that every graduate wants to move to Corporate. I want to pursue Litigation under the guidance of a lawyer. That means I have no right to study at any of the Top National Law University of India? Hell ! Who will pay my fee, think rational guys...
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+0 -0 VICTIMS 2009-07-31 13:48
we r first year students at nujs ,we hail frm a very humble financial bckground and this 100% fees hike hs left us pondering about our descision of pursuing law as a carrer, gov of india wishes to make india a super power by 2025 but with the current trends i fear only the affluent people will be able to pursue a noble proffesion like law we r feelin agitated and victimized by this monopoly of nujs
it no way appears to be set up by an act of state gov of bengal
it shud act like a true gov organisation ,running fr public welfare rather than filling their coffins with money
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+0 -0 UK trainee 2009-07-31 20:24
@ Delhi lawyer - good point about the assumption, and noted.

However, students pursuing litigation post lawschool in any jurisdiction (in the U.K. - the BVC and then trying to get a pupillage in a top commercial set, assuming it is commercial lit you are talking about) take on the burden of a lower salary / stipend for the first three-four years (compared to their peers who go down the law firm route), coupled with the expectation of much higher income in later years. This risk-return matrix was true even when the fees were at pre-'09 levels. Hence, using the 'I want to litigate' argument to portray 'additional' hardship is perhaps not wholly justified?
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+0 -0 Nagashayana 2009-08-23 19:52
"Delhi lawyer" has broached an important issue. Not every law student aspiring to join the national law universities wants to become a corporate lawyer, there are a couple of humble aspirants interested to join the Seniors. The present fee hike has caused a set back to such students. Except, few well established NLUs with a strong alumni not every NLU has endowments and scholarships. Certain NLUs which are at its infancy are equipped with interim arrangements. In this case the hike in fee structures is disproportional. Lastly, how about the other expenses one would incur, apart from the law school fee? The recent trend in the fee structure has been very elitist and the intervention of the bar, bench and the UGC is inevitable.
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