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NUJS student to improve law school diversity with CLAT web 2.0 hack

Drowning in exam cramming coffee
Drowning in exam cramming coffee

An NUJS Kolkata student has launched a non-profit social network for CLAT takers to encourage more diversity at law schools and economically less well-off students to succeed in the exam.

Ramanuj Mukherjee has set up the social website myclat.ning.com under the name CLAThacker which targets takers of the Common Law Admissions Test (CLAT) and the Symbiosis Entrance Test.

He explained: "It is a non-profit effort to create a platform for CLAT aspirants and teachers to come together and help each other. I get law students to write articles and blogs for law aspirants, and this makes a lot of useful study resources available to those who can not afford coaching classes for economic or other reasons."

He said that the site was completely free and would remain that way, with plans to create an "open source movement" and social media collaboration to CLAT.

"There are numerous students who have already cracked the entrance tests who can help CLAT aspirants with minimal effort, if they can be brought together," claims Mukherjee.

"Eventually I plan to provide an open source substitute for coaching classes and paid materials available in the market for preparation for law entrances," he added.

"I believe if resources related to preparation can be made available online free of cost, that can help a great deal to increase the diversity of students in law schools, as a lot of students who can not pay for the coaching classes may not get through the entrances to the big league law schools despite their ambitions."

"Personally I believe that so far CLAThacker has provided some very good Legal GK [general knowledge] resources. I hope to provide material on other subjects too as I find more people willing to help me on this project. There is a plan to upload videos of classes in the style of OpenCourseware to make distance learning on the web possible, and this should happen by March."

CLAThacker was conceived by Mukherjee and started in January 2010, although he adds that since then many volunteers have come forward to make it a success.

The site currently has around 100 registered users.

NUJS professor Shamnad Basheer has also started a diversity initiative independent of CLAThacker in January 2010 that aims for law students to visit villages and help prospective students directly with CLAT preparations.

Commenting on CLAThacker, Basheer said: "The platform really leverages the power of web 2.0 to help a diverse section of students to take a good shot at CLAT. And the fact that it is run by someone  who, despite having studied in a non English medium school managed to top NUJS entrance, lends it a lot of credibility. And offers hope to a number of students." [The above two paragraphs were added to the article 5 March 2010 to clarify. -Ed]

Visit CLAThacker on myclat.ning.com to contribute.

Read Legally India's article collating advice from CLAT preparation professionals and a continuing discussion on preparation strategies. Also read on for an article on past students' CLAT experiences and techniques - some more successful than others.

Photo by Hryck

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