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IDIA gets 9 diverse scholars into NLUs, but only NLU Delhi provides 2 of them fee-waivers

A total of nine students from non-traditional backgrounds supported by the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) initiative have made it to national law schools.

Two each have made it to NLU Delhi and NLU Odisha (of whom one topped the SC category in NLU Delhi’s AILET admissions test), with one each making the cut for Nalsar Hyderabad, NLIU Bhopal and NLU Jodhpur:

  • 2 x NLU Delhi,
  • 2 x NLU Odisha,
  • NLIU Bhopal
  • Nalsar Hyderabad
  • NLU Jodhpur
  • Tamil Nadu National Law School (TNNLS)
  • DSNLU Vizag

However, out of these, only “NLU Delhi generously provides fee waivers for IDIA Scholars”, noted IDIA, though students still require nominal related living expenses and internship expenses of around Rs 2.02 lakh per annum.

At other colleges, the total fees IDIA is looking to bear range from Rs 3.47 lakh per annum up to Rs 4.27 lakh per annum in the case of TNNLS (including living and other expenses, presumably).

The scholars include a mix of students from backgrounds that are under-represented at NLUs, such as children of daily wage workers, one who is completely blind and one with cerebral palsy.

IDIA founder and managing trustee Prof Shamnad Basheer wrote in an email announcing the new scholars:

We have Sajal Jain who was born with cerebral palsy. This IDIA scholar is so impressive that he’s already fighting the good fight!

A few weeks ago, he filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court court asking that NLU’s comply with the law when it comes to reservations for students with disabilities.

Unfortunately, a number of law schools don’t comply with these norms. Preferring instead to dole out more seats to privileged students under the guise of a rather liberal ‘NRI’ quota!

Basheer added: “A pity that these top NLUs that teach the law are the ones that blatantly violate it, time and again.

“But perhaps some good will come out of these infractions. For, in a lopsided way, the NLUs appear to be showcasing the real world very early on to their students. One filled with arbitrariness, illegality and injustice. And one that we hope will be cured in the coming years if these kids get a good shot at the top echelons of the legal profession.”

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