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Head-to-head: CLAT on 22 August via centre-based computer test • NLU-D’s AILET to go online proctored on 18th

Diverging approaches as the CLAT will play it more old-school with an in-person test while the smaller AILET emulates LSAT model with online proctored exam.

CLAT centre 2020 (artist impression)
CLAT centre 2020 (artist impression)

The 2020 Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) will be held via a computer-based test at physical test centres on Saturday 22 August 2020, the CLAT consortium has announced, while NLU Delhi has decided (see below) to hold its competing All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) on 18 August, entirely online via so-called “remote proctoring” (read this for more information on what remote proctoring could look like).

The national law universities’ consortium had met yesterday, on 29 June, and grappled with the logistics of a Covid-19 exam, deciding both against holding a traditional off-line test as well as against holding an entirely online exam (such as that envisaged by JGLS and the LSAT-India, and now NLU Delhi):

It concluded that an off-line test, as initially contemplated, would require large scale movement of students to limited centres, and significant logistics in the handling of question papers and answer scripts, which is not possible during the prevalent pandemic conditions.

Further, an on-line test at home with technological measures cannot ensure transparency, fairness and integrity of a high stakes examination process or maintain equitable access to necessary facilities.

Hence, the EC concluded that an on-line test at a large number of centres compliant with physical distancing and public health safety prescriptions is in the best interests of the health and safety of candidates and test administrators.

The CLAT date - which had previously been announced to be communicated before 1 July - has therefore been pushed again to 22 August.

The exam would be held in person at test centres (to be notified by 1 July) but via “computer-based, online” tests, which presumably means that each candidate would get access to a workstation at the test centre.

The application deadline has been extended to 10 July, with candidates also able to apply for application fee refunds (after a deduction of Rs 500, and Rs 400 for SC/ST candidates).

CLAT 2020 new plan
CLAT 2020 new plan

Trying for a healthy CLAT

Furthermore, the consortium has issued guidance for safe “social distanced computer based testing” (see PDF below for more details), which includes:

  • crowd management staff for “orderly movement”, as well as “sufficient cleaning staff” and others to help,
  • temperature measuring guns, sanitised exam centres, and availability of hand sanitiser and soap in centres.

If any unfortunate candidates should develop a temperature or other Covid-19 symptoms on the day of the exam (which is basically defined as a temperature of more than 99.14 degrees Fahrenheit), they won’t be allowed to take the test in the main exam venue but apparently a “separate isolation lab will be set up to accommodate these candidates”.

NLU Delhi AILET to go for remote proctoring online exam on 18 August

By contrast, NLU Delhi has received permission from the National Testing Agency (NTA) to hold its separate admissions test as a “remote proctored test (RPT)“, according to an announcement on its website (which also reversed the 50% Delhi reservations, following yesterday's Delhi high court order).

The notification fixed 18 August 2020 as the exam date, noting:

Now the AILET 2020 will be conducted on August 18, 2020 from 11.00 to 12.30 Hrs (90 mts) on RPT mode. Before the test, the NTA will provide the detailed information and guidance to the aspirants for which two webinars & one mock test for the AILET 2020 will be conducted by NTA.

The schedule of the webinars & mock test will be notified shortly. In view of the change in the reservation policy & seat matrix as per orders passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi and further change in the mode of test from pen and paper test to RPT mode, the University has decided to allow the option of withdrawal to the candidates, who want to withdraw their application for admission to B.A.LL.B.(Hons), LL.M. and Ph.D. Programmes.

CLAT 2020 Notification of mode of conduct and 22 August exam date (PDF)

NLU Delhi AILET notification of 18 August exam date (PDF)

CLAT 2020 medical precautions (PDF)

First photo by Michael Surran

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