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CLAT agrees to set up semi-permanent body in partial victory for petitioners

Will Cuttack manage what no others could?

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) has moved one step closer to possibly an error-free conduct by establishing a seven-member permanent secretariat for conducting the exam from this year onward, as first reported by Live Law.

The secretariat is not going to replace the current system of revolving convenors for CLAT each year, but it will have at least three permanent members for all years.

NLSIU Bangalore, the seat of the newly established CLAT secretariat, is one of its three permanent executive members. Nalsar Hyderabad and NLIU Bhopal are the other two permanent members.

The other four members: CLAT convenor of the immediate year and the following year and two vice chancellors (VC) from national law universities (NLU) with experience of convening CLAT as nominated by the CLAT convenor of the immediate year.

Prof Shamnad Basheer who is in the Supreme Court since 2015, challenging the CLAT core committee and asking for a permanent body to conduct the exam said that he was yet to see the “nuts and bolts” of the new scheme and whether the secretariat could hire full-time staff and conduct the exam at a fair level of competence.

He told us that central government counsel had submitted in the hearing yesterday that the government wants the National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct the exam going forward and that he expects law schools to fight this in the next hearing on 30 October, and pray for the mandate to remain with them instead.

He commented on Linkedin: “My immediate thoughts: better to have CLAT permanently institutionalised within NLUs than to let it out to the National Testing Agency (NTA). At least for now. Since the NTA is still to be “tested”! It is a new body (allegedly autonomous) set up by the government for conducting entrance examinations such as JEE (engineering) and NEET (medical).”


NLUs resolved to establish the secretariat yesterday at the third meeting of the national law schools consortium held at Nuals Kochi.

NLSIU VC Prof Venkat Rao was the president of this consortium until yesterday when he handed over the charge to Nalsar VC Faizan Mustafa. NLIU VC Prof Vijay Kumar became the new vice president.

The decision to replace the CLAT core committee (which currently conducts CLAT on a revolving basis with the mandate to convene the exam passing on from older to newer NLUs in chronological order) with the secretariat was taken through a unanimous resolution of the core committee after Mustafa took over the consortium as president.

The consortium will now meet on 17 October to finalise the conduct of the CLAT 2019, for which NLUO VC Prof Srikrishna Deva Rao will be the convenor.

CLAT mentor Rajneesh Singh commented: “CLAT has taken the best ever independent decision (without being forced to). This is a matter of celebration.”

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Like +0 Object -0 Sarcasm 04 Oct 18, 12:13
This solves all problems. Really?
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 04 Oct 18, 12:36
How does this help exactly? Even with the erstwhile CLAT Committees, the NLU VCs and Registrars always used to be members! It's not as if these people have any particular technical expertise in conducting these exams. Nor do they actually use experts to frame question papers. You keep using different NLUs for hosting it, you would face infrastructural problems every year, because the later ones aren't even capable of standing on their own feet yet! This so-called permanent secretariat just seems very cosmetic to me, done as a placatory move to counter Basheer's PIL and the like.
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Like +2 Object -1 Guest 04 Oct 18, 13:34
In response to Poster 1 & 2:

"Prof Shamnad Basheer... said that he was yet to see the “nuts and bolts” of the new scheme and whether the secretariat could hire full-time staff and conduct the exam at a fair level of competence."

I guess 'nuts and bolts' need to be examined before we declare this a forward move or a sham. I understand the impulse to declare it futile, but surely we could wait till further details come out.
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 04 Oct 18, 17:31
One nut is already visible as in they aren't stopping the practice of NLUs conducting the examination by rotation. That's why they have the NLUO VC there. There no reason why any individual NLU needs to get involved at all!
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Like +0 Object -1 Guest 04 Oct 18, 20:36
Any reason why my comment replying to 3 was not published? I didn't say anything ad hominem in it I think.
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Like +0 Object -1 Guest 05 Oct 18, 05:11
As far as I can see, comment # 3 seems pretty level headed. It neither eulogizes nor dismisses the news reported in the story. Yet you found something to say that in your own words could have been seen as an ad hominem attack. Maybe that is why your comment wasn't published.
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Like +1 Object -1 Guest 05 Oct 18, 15:40
Not my fault if you are myopic. I actually asked the ad hominem issue because that is almost the only reason why Kian doesn't publish deliberately. However, the other reason is because he might have simply overlooked it, especially given there's a plethora of comments to be sorted through in the NLUD post. I didn't name anyone nor did make any derogatory comment, actually.
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Like +0 Object -1 Guest 06 Oct 18, 12:46
How your inability to express clearly result in someone else's myopia?
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Like +1 Object -1 Guest 06 Oct 18, 14:28
You are the one who made multiple assumptions, so you tell me.
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Like +0 Object -1 Guest 07 Oct 18, 07:05
"I didn't say anything ad hominem in it I think."

An assumption was made. It was entirely based on your words. You stated that you weren't sure if you said something that could be construed as an ad hominem attack. I responded to that and still fail to see how that can seen as myopic on my part.

PS: One of the meanings of myopia is a lack of imagination. If you think I imagined something that wasn't said, though I contest such an allegation (see above), then clearly my words can't be myopic. However, as previously stated, you do need to work on your expression.
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Like +1 Object -1 Guest 07 Oct 18, 11:21
Your imagination and assumption both need some work. Considering how you offer your opinion about something which you've no knowledge about but only make assumptions, I would say several other things need work too insofar as you are concerned. Including your sense of logic.
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 05 Oct 18, 15:43 LI subscriber
Sorry, my bad, had accidentally not managed to moderate...
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Like +1 Object -0 NTA 04 Oct 18, 14:54
Disagree with Shamnad here (though an ardent supporter of his otherwise). NTA should take over. It will have (in the form of its experienced members/ board) the relevant expertise and resources to conduct CLAT error free.
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Like +2 Object -0 Arnab Goswami 04 Oct 18, 18:20
Dear Shamnad Basheer, the nation wants to know why you left out NLUD out of your PIL? This raises several questions and suspicions. It is unacceptable that NLUD is kept out of CLAT. A second PIL must be filed.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 04 Oct 18, 18:59
You do realise most of the other NLUs can opt out of CLAT, right? The ruling only applies to those that were in existence at that time. The fact that the other new NLUs chose to join CLAT was because they were unsure of their ability to attract students on their own. NLUD was confident and reaped the benefits of that.
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Like +5 Object -0 Guest 04 Oct 18, 18:22  interesting
Hey Kian/Prachi, your report leaves out something very important (unless you are planning to do a separate story on it). It was decided at the meeting to apply for Institution of Eminence Status and initiate measures to improve the quality fo faculty at NLUs by attracting alumni to teach.
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 05 Oct 18, 07:28
Couple of quick questions:

1. The CLAT exam is a crucial source of financial injection for the resource-starved NLUs; if the exam is given to the NTA, will the central government, make up for the 'loss'?

2. I presume that the NTA is a body created under MHRD, can it then organize exams for the state universities? Aren't there questions of federalism involved ('Loss' to state universities due to central body)?


I understand the argument to provide the 'best for the prospective students.' However, will this clash with what is 'best of current students'?

Hopefully someone can further the conversation on these lines.
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 05 Oct 18, 15:42
I am guessing if NTA takes it, it will be paid a lump sum amount like, say TCS used to get for conducting the actual exam, with the rest of the money being distributed among the NLUs. Just that the current practice of the hosting NLU taking half the money will be discontinued. Although this Secretariat isn't doing away with the hosting NLU business yet.
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 05 Oct 18, 21:20
You might be correct, but if NTA is merely going to be the service provider like a TCS then why do you think Shamnad envisages the NLUs will oppose it?
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 05 Oct 18, 22:53
No, I meant NLUs will only accept NTA in that role. Of course government will try to make NTA the conducting authority, in which case it will be easier for the NLUs to actually leave CLAT, since they are all essentially state universities anyway. The ones getting sate government support will have the better leverage of course.
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Like +0 Object -0 Paisa Kam hoga? 05 Oct 18, 23:44
Kyae clat form ki fees Kam hogi kya? Ya bas paisa wale log hi law ki padhai karte rahenge aur garibo ke liye bas Bina teacher classroom wale law college rahenge?
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 06 Oct 18, 11:20
No. Yes.
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Like +0 Object -0 Clat Coach 07 Oct 18, 23:07
CLAT has been horrible since 2009. Only error-free CLAT was first CLAT conducted by NLS Bangalore. Two important suggestion:

1. High time to give CLAT to NTA. National Testing Agency of the Govt can be the best body to conduct this exam. The exam must go outside the clutches of NLUs.

2. NLU Delhi, HPNLU Shimla and every new NLU of future MUST USE ONLY CLAT. NLU Delhi and HPNLU must shut down their money making business ASAP.
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Like +1 Object -0 Always Joyful 14 Oct 18, 12:20
Why NLU Delhi refuses to join CLAT?
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Like +0 Object -1 Guest 14 Oct 18, 15:55
Why should it associate itself with this farce of an exam, when it has already got a good, controversy-free and profitable method of selection via AILET?
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