'Undermines very character of NLS': Alumns join calls to stop state reservation amendment'Undermines very character of NLS': Alumns join calls to stop state reservation amendment

The NLSIU Bangalore Alumni Association has made a statement unequivocally condemning the move by the state government to impose a 50% local domicile reservation on NLSIU Bangalore.

The association is a registered trust of NLSIU alumni with a governing board of nine senior lawyers (see full list below) and has strongly criticised the passage of the “amendment bill without barely any discussion on the floor of both houses of the state legislature or public consultation and debate”, making an “expression of unstinted opposition” and noting its “unequivocal opposition to this piece of proposed legislation that undermines the very character and basis of the national institution that NLSIU has, through the concept that led to its establishment and dint of hard work of its various constituents, come to earn and occupy”.

“In this endeavour, the Governing Board is committed to ensuring that the vast weight of the alumni is brought to bear on the ground swell of opposition to this proposed amendment,” added the statement. “The Governing Board calls upon all alumni who feel concerned and constrained to act in this matter to reach out to it in ensuring an action committee, consisting of not just the Governing Board members but of all such alumni voices, is established to lead and anchor this challenge.”

We have been trying to get a comment from NLSIU Bangalore vice chancellor Venkata Rao several times by phone since yesterday, but have received no comment so far.

The alumni's statement follows a statement by the student bar association (SBA) that vowed opposition to the state bill that was passed earlier this month.

Full NLSIU AA Statement on the amendment to NLSIU Act

The NLSIU Alumni Association (NLSIU AA) of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, is a duly registered body representing the alumni of India's foremost law school, NLSIU.

The Governing Board of the NLSIU AA (Governing Board) at its emergency meeting noted with alarm the passage by both houses of the Karnataka State Legislature last week of an amendment bill to the NLSIU Act seeking to reserve at least 50% of seats for residents of Karnataka to all courses at our alma mater.

The NLSIU AA joins fully and whole-heartedly, with both the SBA and the administration of NLSIU, in expressing its unqualified opposition to this development.

The passage of this important amendment bill without barely any discussion on the floor of both houses of the state legislature or public consultation and debate, and in seemingly much haste, warrants this expression of unstinted opposition by the NLSIU AA, which we hereby make unanimously as the Governing Board; and trust that each alumnus of the NLSIU joins us in condemning this proposed amendment as regressive and unnecessary.

While the NLISU AA notes with gratitude the support and assistance the State of Karnataka has always rendered (and hopes that the State will continue to render such support) to the institution, not least of which is the seminal role it played in ensuring India's first National Law School came to be founded in Bangalore, it cannot but express its unequivocal opposition to this piece of proposed legislation that undermines the very character and basis of the national institution that NLSIU has, through the concept that led to its establishment and dint of hard work of its various constituents, come to earn and occupy.

There is no gainsaying the fact that our alma mater is more than just a national institution established in the State of Karnataka but has become the pre-eminent law school nationally, and has earned a stellar reputation even globally that places it at the forefront of legal learning institutions and academia internationally.

The vast numbers of its alumni within India and overseas, in various positions of prominence and influence across several professions & vocations, hailing from all over India and overseas, are testament to this pre-eminence that the Governing Board wishes to strongly emphasize.

The Governing Board is committed to leading the alumni in seeking to persuade the various constituents of the State, including the Hon'ble Governor of Karnataka, to reject this proposal (through whatever legal channels are then open in particular, to the Hon'ble Governor, such as returning the bill with such opposition noted); and, in the course of such opposition, it will do whatever lies within its power to urge the court of public opinion, as well as all proper channels of political discourse within this country, to overturn the proposed amendment.

The Governing Board is also strongly committed to ensuring that all necessary and proper judicial challenges to this move are galvanised at the appropriate time, if need be (which it hopes will not come to pass), with a view to striking at, and attempting to bring forth the flaws in the legal basis underlying the proposed amendment. In this endeavour, the Governing Board is committed to ensuring that the vast weight of the alumni is brought to bear on the ground swell of opposition to this proposed amendment.

The Governing Board calls upon all alumni who feel concerned and constrained to act in this matter to reach out to it in ensuring an action committee, consisting of not just the Governing Board members but of all such alumni voices, is established to lead and anchor this challenge.

Pramod Rao, Class of 1996 and Siddharth Raja, Class of 1997, would serve as the initial co-conveners of this action committee. Please do email your interest for being part of the action committee at

We recognize that there may indeed, be differing voices about the manner and scope of the challenge (voices that we keenly wish to accommodate within this action committee), but we strongly believes that, in the principal opposition to this amendment bill, all alumni are united in pursuit of the greater success of our beloved alma mater.

For & on behalf of the Governing Board The NLSIU Alumni Association

NLSIU Alumni Worldwide

The association's governing board currently consists of:

1. Dayan Krishnan (Class of 1993)

2. Rahul Matthan (Class of 1994)

3. V Umakanth (Class of 1995)

4. Pramod Rao (Class of 1996)

5. Siddharth Raja (Class of 1997)

6. Karthik Mahalingam (Batch of 2001)

7. Yash Ashar (Batch of 2001)

8. Abhishek Tripathi (Batch of 2004)

9. Neeraj Vyas (Batch of 2014)

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Like +13 Object -11 Madrasi 28 Jun 17, 15:26  controversial
Not a single North Indian from the first 10 batches? I'm sure it is nothing but a coincidence.
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Like +0 Object -0 Factually Incorrect 12 Jul 17, 23:23
Statement is factually incorrect.
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Like +26 Object -7 Innocence 28 Jun 17, 15:38  interesting  top rated  controversial
Would be interesting to see what happens if Karnataka Government fields NLS alumnus AAG Aditya Sondhi to defend them if challenged in Court. Tough chances of success, definitely.
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Like +25 Object -14 Wow 28 Jun 17, 18:00  interesting  controversial
The Alumni Governing Board doesn't have a single woman on it?! It is deeply distrubing that the governing body of an institution such as NLSIU is so gendered.

While taking a stand on the reservation issue might be of utmost importance, the failure to look within would count as a great failure and takes away from the legitimacy of the body
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Like +6 Object -9 Feminazi 30 Jun 17, 16:58  controversial
A public announcement was made, asking for volunteers. The ones who raised their hands are on the committee.

Sorry if this does not fit in with a narrative of patriarchy, exclusion, and victimhood.
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Like +7 Object -1 Guest 29 Jun 17, 02:27  interesting
These people are stupid to make it just about NLSIU. The main problem is that the NLUs have not been designated as Institutes of National Importance like the IITs, IIMs etc. So the central government has to intervene here and look at NLUs as a whole.
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Like +0 Object -1 Ishita Chakrabarty 29 Jun 17, 11:17
It's not just about the placements. It's also about those students who have earned scholarships/fellowships, have taken the judicial services or civil services examination, have gone on to pursue legal journalism and so on.
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Like +13 Object -4 Son of the soil 30 Jun 17, 21:16  interesting
High time NLS gave back something to the only state in the country that was gracious enough to give it all the resources and support without which Prof Menon's vision wouldn't have been a reality. Also, I don't understand the numerous diversity related arguments being put forth. NLS has predominantly attracted Bangalore students who do not have their roots in Karnataka or its culture. I don't see this trend changing significantly in the future either. NLS in the past, especially in the early years, has seen concentration of students from a particular region and it did pretty well for itself. Legally and equitably there is nothing wrong with this move.
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Like +3 Object -5 NLS 01 Jul 17, 17:53
NLS has predominantly attracted students from urban metropolises from every State, not just Karnataka. This is more a function of English being a core component of the CLAT (and a necessary skill to do well at law school and in the legal profession). Even if this reservation is implemented, it is only students from Bangalore that are likely to avail of it.
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Like +0 Object -1 Son of the soil 01 Jul 17, 20:04
I never denied that, my friend. I am pretty sure that sons of my soil from other districts, enthused by this move will pull up their socks and work towards getting into Law School. Regionalism is not always bad in a federal polity, more so when the centre has failed to part with any significant funds or support as in the case of NLS. Oh! Don't bring that stupid English requirement argument. Anyone with decent intelligence and enough practice can get through that barrier. The CLAT committee has specialised in setting substandard and erroneous papers(except the one
conducted by NLS) after all. Most of the questions are picked up from books available in the market. I am also sure NLS has had instances with lesser privileges bettering themselves over time during their stay there. Get over your Elite NLS dogma.
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Like +1 Object -1 Grish 02 Jul 17, 05:32
I agree. The [...] writers of the SBA letter have probably no clue how much support the Karnataka government gave NLS in its infancy. And as successful as they are, none have contributed or done anything substantial for their so called alma-mater besides writing these letters. At most they revel in coming over for a 3 day course and love the adulation their fancy designations inspire among 4th and 5th year students. Ironically enough if the entrance test in the first few batches was truly 'national' (it was not because NLS had no publicity in the north) [...]

As a legislative prerogative the Karnataka government has every right to insist for a domicile quota, after its tax money and resources are being used to sustain the college. Im surprised it took so long and while I am not from Karnataka (from Tamilnad) I support this step and its a welcome move to help local students.
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Like +0 Object -0 Grish 02 Jul 17, 11:58
LI is so scared to publish the work '[...]' ???

LOL Shame
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Like +1 Object -0 kianganz 02 Jul 17, 12:09
We're trying to keep the discussion moderately civil here rather than making things personal. Going into ad hominem is not helping your argument or the logical points you were making...
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