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RTI reveals: BCI & contractor made record Rs 10+ cr out of 2 bar exams in 2012/13 as pass rates rose to highest ever levels

BCI's RTI response to Kush Kalra
BCI's RTI response to Kush Kalra

In the fourth and fifth All India Bar Exams (AIBE) in 2012 and 2013, 80 per cent and 73 per cent respectively passed the exam out of a total of 58,631 persons who applied for the test, revealed a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by advocate Kush Kalra with the Bar Council of India (BCI).

Unlike for the first three exams, the BCI had stopped disclosing pass rates and statistics for the AIBE after hiring external contractor ITES Horizon Pvt Ltd to carry out the exam.

Figures for the sixth AIBE held in January 2014 were not available in the RTI response.

The interval between exams has been from five to 11 months, with AIBE 5 having taken place eight months after the previous exam (AIBE 7 too, is currently on track for an eight month gap after having been postponed to 7 September 2014).

The available figures, past, present & future

  Total applied Total passed Pass rate Months since last AIBE
AIBE 7 (scheduled 7 Sep 2014) n/a n/a n/a 8+
AIBE 6 (Jan 2014) ? ? ? 5
AIBE 5 (Aug 2013) 23,350 17,056 73% 8
AIBE 4 (Dec 2012) 35,281 28,313 80% 11
AIBE 3 (Jan 2012) 24,844 14,740 63% 5
AIBE 2 (July 2011) 12,158   69% 4
AIBE 1 (Mar 2011) 19,802   71% -

Assuming that each candidate pays around Rs 1,900 for the exam, the lawyers’ regulator could have made revenues of up to Rs 11.1 crore out of the AIBE 4 and 5, after fees were raised from Rs 1,300.

Assuming, more realistically, that around 30 per cent of candidates were repeat exam takers who only have to pay Rs 1,400 in fees, total revenues would be around Rs 10.3 crore of revenues.

ITES is understood to retain around Rs 600 per candidate (it is not certain whether this varies for retakers), for a total of up to Rs 3.5 crore out of AIBE 4 and 5, leaving at least Rs 6.8 crore to the regulator as AIBE revenues.

The total revenues for the first three AIBEs were only Rs 6.89 crore, though the lion’s share of those fees – 70 per cent – went to the external contractor Rainmaker.

Fees since the AIBE 6 are now at Rs 2,500 per candidate.

  Total candidates Fees / candidate Total max revenues (assuming no retakes) Contractor max revenues (ITES: @ Rs 600 / candidate)
AIBE 6 ? Rs 2,500 ? ?
AIBE 5 23,350 Rs 1,900 Rs 4.4 crore ITES: Rs 1.4 crore
AIBE 4 35,281 Rs 1,900 Rs 6.7 crore ITES: Rs 2.12 crore
AIBE 1, 2 & 3 56,804 Rs 1,300 Rs 6.89 crore Rainmaker: Rs 4.8 crore

Kalra has filed a number of RTI’s with the BCI and other bodies, of which one revealed a break-down of lawyer numbers per state – which the BCI was not able to provide a response to in this RTI.

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