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NLS admin law paper fair-use-copies LI Ishwara Bhat report for hyper-topical amusing exam question

NLS admin law paper pokes light fun at plight of NUJS VC
NLS admin law paper pokes light fun at plight of NUJS VC

Thanks to the reader who has shared with us this morsel that made us chuckle, apparently from a very recent administrative law paper at NLSIU Bangalore.

While we’re not sure if this is a final, proper exam paper or just an internal mock exam (we would assume it’s the latter), it’s certainly topical (if you have more details about who set the exam, the level of the exam, etc, please do share with us in the comments).

Question number 3 (see image above) invites students to “argue for both sides and decide”, in a factual matrix that is basically identical to NUJS Kolkata vice chancellor (VC) Ishwara Bhat’s appointment to CNLU Patna, followed by CNLU students going on strike.

That story had only been published on 15 March, less than two weeks ago.

The difference in the exam question is that Ishwara Bhat is called Prof. Ishwarprasad Bhatnagar from Calcutta Law University, who is to be appointed to Kautilya National Law University (KNLU), instead of CNLU.

And where the facts continue to diverge from reality, to keep things interesting, is that in the exam question the chancellor has withdrawn Bhatnagar’s offer (which we’re not sure has formally happened in CNLU’s case yet), and that Bhatnagar, aggrieved, has filed a petition challenging the withdrawal.

The exam question includes all the quotes from our story of search committee member, retired Justice NN Mathur, though in the NLS exam question they come from an anonymous search committee member:

Mathur commented: “The things are going in reverse. We’re getting faculty [at NLUs] but not vice chancellors. Earlier there were vice chancellors but not faculty. The whole problem is that there is not a proper search committee. We need a very broader [committee comprising] people who know the system in depth.”


“These are NLUs or they are law schools? How do you make a distinction? Most of them, 90 per cent, don’t know,“ Mathur lamented.”

Mathur explained: “My background as a judge [made me] the senior-most person [on the search committee]. I come from 1982, when the law education concept developed, when they started talking about NLUs. None of the vice chancellors know why we want [national] law schools. The rhetoric is that they’re going for [law education based on] UGC pattern.”

“I asked many of the candidates the one question: these are NLUs or they are law schools? How do you make a distinction? Most of them, 90 per cent, don’t know,“ Mathur lamented.

“Justice Hidayatullah as chairman of UGC had said we need Harvard law schools here. Now [the NLUs are] doing what UGC says, what MHRD says. The whole concept was to take it away from MHRD or UGC. That is the misfortune,“ he added.

“There are 20 NLUS why you need more if you don’t know the concept of what is Harvard Law School? They are just simple state universities under the garb of NLU and the vice chancellors don’t know [this].”

While some tipsters have suggested that this amounts to plagiarism, we’re happy for this to pass as satire and under a vague sense of fair use, whatever that means under Indian IP law.

However, we are not sure about whether the question itself is meaty enough to actually test many legal principles?

Clarification: For the avoidance of doubt, we are not suggesting that there was plagiarism here, and we applaud and welcome the creative use of real-life events in teaching.

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