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NLUs enter into new CLAT MoU, ensuring full participation of all 16 NLUs (except NLU Delhi)

CLAT: A new era
CLAT: A new era

All Indian national law universities (NLU) except NLU Delhi are now entitled to conduct the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) by rotation every year, according to the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by 16 NLUs on Saturday.

The new MoU replaces the initial CLAT MoU, which came into existence in 2007, to which only seven NLUs were parties, namely: NLSIU Bangalore, Nalsar Hyderabad, NUJS Kolkata, NLU Jodhpur, NLIU Bhopal, GNLU Gandhinagar and HNLU Raipur.

Under the older MoU, CLAT 2015 convenor RMLNLU Lucknow could not conduct the CLAT, since it was not a party to the MoU.

RMLNLU vice chancellor (VC) Gurdip Singh told Legally India that the seven members of the original MoU in a meeting in Gandhinagar on 30 September unanimously decided that RMLNLU will conduct CLAT 2015.

The resolution of this meeting was put before the CLAT core committee, in its meeting also held on 30 September, and the core committee affirmed it.

The CLAT core committee, which had grown from seven VCs to 16 over the years as newer NLUs were established, in its 30 September meeting also formed a sub-committee to revise the older MoU.

The sub-committee, which consisted of NLSIU VC Venkat Rao, Nalsar Hyderabad VC Faizan Mustafa and RGNUL Patiala VC Paramjit Jaiswal, met in Lucknow on 31 October and submitted a report to the core committee, proposing the terms of the new MoU.

The terms were accepted by all the VCs of the core committee and was signed on Saturday. “The terms of the MoU have completely changed. We have elaborated and made everything succinct and clear,” said Singh.

DSNLU joins under new criteria

The Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU) Vizag in Vishakhapatnam joined the CLAT as its 16th member under the new MoU.

Singh said that under the new MoU a law school will be admitted to the CLAT core committee only if it “has the word ‘national’ in its name”, is a statutorily established autonomous university, and has commenced its teaching and research activities and has the requisite infrastructure of which the core committee has to be convinced through a presentation by the VC of an incumbent NLU.

“Physical inspection may also be called for. It depends on the wisdom of the core committee,” commented Singh.

DSNLU, which has a small, temporary campus and no hostel space was admitted to CLAT after a presentation by Andhra Pradesh University of Law chancellor (and CNLU vice chancellor) Prof Lakshminath. DSNLU had witnessed an indefinite strike by its students after it was overlooked by the government to establish a “Nalsar-type” NLU in Andhra Pradesh.

Commenting on the six-year-old law school’s inclusion in CLAT Singh said: “DSNLU has been operating since quite long. [It] already has passed out batches. Therefore we have decided to include it. Prof Lakshminath was with us. He satisfied the core committee. All the members were satisfied with his explanation and whatever arguments were advanced.”

Photo by Antonio Litterio

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