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Government wants to strip BCI of education

Law minister Veerappa Moily said the government had finished a Bill to set up a new National Commission for Higher Legal Education and Research, which would replace the BCI as the regulatory body responsible for legal education, recognition of law colleges and a unified law school curriculum.

"Education is a complex subject and fixing up of curriculum for legal education and research is even more complex. Hence, we thought of bringing in a bill to create a national commission comprising of renowned professionals and jurists to give a fillip to legal education and research. Education should be left to professionals," Moily told the Times of India.

According to the Times of India the new regulator would specify:

    • Norms and standards of academic quality for accreditation and benchmarking of higher legal educational institutions, which means criteria for quality control
    • Norms and processes for declaration of a law university or an higher legal educational institution empowered, by or under any law, to award any degree or diploma, to commence its academic operations. This is vital since no law college could commence operation without the Commission's nod
    • Norms of academic quality for a law university or law school
    • Regulate the entry and operation of foreign law educational institutions

The BCI recently came under fire late last year as one of its members was detained by the CBI for allegedly taking a bribe to accredit a law college.

The law ministry also recently proposed a bill that would create a new legal services regulator to oversee the BCI’s professional regulatory functions.

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