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Nalsar increases batch size by 50% to 120 students to meet BCI norms [UPDATE-1]

Nalsar Hyderabad has increased its batch size from 80 to 120 students from this year, after having been in violation of a Bar Council of India (BCI) rule on batch sizes for up to nine years.

Nalsar vice chancellor Prof Faizan Mustafa told Legally India that BCI rules specify that “sections” of students need to be in multiples of 60.

“The rule is very clear that you can not have more than 60 in one section,” said Mustafa. We have been in violation of this rule for eight or nine. [The college authorities] have decided we better comply with the BCI rule.”

Mustafa said that NLU Delhi and NLSIU Bangalore were also in technical violation of the rule and they might be forced to make changes.

The new batch size of 120 going forward, will be divided into two sections of 60 students each. In a class of 80 taking lectures together, interactions do not take place as much due to the size of the class.

This move would effectively double teaching duties of teachers and Mustafa said that some additional faculty recruitments would be required.

However, he added that because Nalsar had a good student teacher ratio with 38 to 40 full-time faculty members, including eight professors, the work load would be manageable. “With some recruitments we should be able to do it,” he said.

Under the credit system he had introduced in 2012, many courses are also taught by visiting professors and alumni and those were not included in the total teacher count.

The domicile reservation at Nalsar, since the bifurcation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, would only apply to residents of Telangana and Hyderabad, confirmed Mustafa, since Nalsar was not one of the institutions included in the state reorganisation act’s schedule.

Update 16:21

Just spoke to Prof Mustafa. In short, he's saying that running at 80 students with two sections is simply not financially possible.

The state provides only Rs 4 crore per year as capital budget (can not be spent on expenses but only infrastructure) plus a small UGC grant every five years.

But the school faces Rs 25 crores of expenses annually. 80% of this comes from tuition fees.

If you're running to sections at only 40 students, it's a slightly inefficient use of teaching resources and the BCI strongly suggests either 60 or 120, apparently.

There is room to house everyone but a new hostel is currently being built also.

Teaching and non-teaching salaries have gone up a lot in the last year due to government's new pay commission.

Finally, he says that almost all other law schools have 120 or more students now - "It's not viable to run an NLU with 80," he said.

Hope that helps.

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