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CLAT Day: 59k sit ‘glitch free’ CLAT at 86.2% attendance (8k admit card drop-outs) • Answer keys out • Mark for review = 0 • Tough paper but no issues reported yet • How did it go?

86.2% attend out of 68,833 candidates

Update 18:20: CLAT has released a press statement that only 68,833 candidates had downloaded admit cards (out of around 77,000 who had registered for the CLAT).

Out of those, 86.2% appeared for the exam across India, which works out to 59,334 candidates (around 77% of the originally registered 77,000).

Four exam centres apparently recorded 100% attendance, out of a total of 300 test centres had been provided this year in total, touted the release, with even one test centre in Lakshwadeep opened for a single candidate (who did not attend), with six test centres for 10 or fewer candidates each.

The release claimed the CLAT 2020 was “student friendly and went glitch free”:

CLAT-2020 was the most student friendly national admission test as student’s convenience was attached highest priority by the Consortium. Even for a single candidate, we had provided a test centre at Kavaratti (Lakshadweep) though this candidate did not appear. We had as many as 6 Centres where there were 10 or less than ten candidates. We had 10 Centres where we had 11 to 20 candidates. The highest number of centres were in Uttar Pradesh i.e. 45, followed by Delhi which had 25 centres. Maharashtra had 23 centres, Karnataka had 18 centres, 7 States had centres between 11-16 and 22 States had less than 10 centres.

The press release also mentions safety measures at exam centres, including:

  • four entry slots from 1pm to the exam centre,
  • no requirement to sign an attendance sheet.

The final results would be announced on 5 October 2020, with the admission process completing by 14 October, according to the release.

The release that the exam went glitch free seems to tally with a lack of reports online and according to our sources about any technical glitches (as opposed to the AILET and the NLAT - see below).

And while there were a few tweets with pictures of queues outside of exam centres, claiming physical distancing norms were not followed, we have not received any authoritative accounts of serious systemic problems along that front.

(Chronological updates follow again below, with the latest updates at the bottom).

The morning's Supreme Court hearing

Update 11am:

In a 10am hearing this morning, the Supreme Court declined to stay the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) scheduled to start at 2pm today, over a last minute plea by a Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) aspirant.

The plea, filed on Saturday, 26 September, by the aspirant via advocate Garima Prashad through advocates Sumit Chander and Vinay Kumar, had asked for a stay or other orders regarding the exam, as first been reported by LiveLaw.

We understand the Supreme Court this morning issued an order to the CLAT consortium allowing the petitioner to take the exam, which the CLAT did not contest, stating that it continued to provide isolation rooms at each exam centre.

According to the petitioner, who was in isolation due to his parents having tested positive for Covid-19, he was seeking clarification on the CLAT’s position to provide separate isolation rooms for those exhibiting Covid symptoms. According to a statement from the petitioner:

It is pertinent to mention here that the impleadment application has sought clarification to the aforementioned judgment and the assurance given via a YouTube live session by NLSIU Bangalore’s Vice Chancellor Sudhir Krishnaswamy for exam centres to have isolation rooms for symptomatic students so that they could take the exam smoothly. The applicant has alleged an infringement of his fundamental right under article 14 of the constitution.

The issue had recently re-surfaced on 24 September, after the Times of India had reported that NUJS Kolkata vice-chancellor (VC) had promised he would speak to the CLAT consortium about what could be done for Covid-19-positive test takers.

The consortium had quickly issued a statement on its website after that article, clarifying:

NOTE: As per Government of India guidelines COVID-19 positive candidates won’t be allowed. This is being done in larger public interest and to protect other candidates.

It is understood that part of the issue is a public health issue, in that those who have actually themselves recently tested positive for Covid are often not allowed to leave their self-isolation by law.

However, the CLAT has organised separate rooms for those who exhibit fever or other Covid-like symptoms at the exam hall door.

The CLAT submitted in court today that such rooms would continue to be available today.

Update 11:20: Bar & Bench has just reported more details from the hearing:

However, the Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah clarified that this order was only limited to the applicant and had no bearing on any other student.

Though Advocate Sumit Chander urged the Court to pass similar orders for other similarly placed students, it refused to pass any such blanket order.

“You are only wasting the Court’s time,” observed Justice Bhushan.

Update 11:54: Read the full order here.

Test day today: Let us hvae your feedback

Update 11am: That said, today is also the day of the CLAT, which is due to start at 2pm.

After the chequered experiences by some candidates on Saturday (26 September) for the NLU Delhi All India Law Entrance Test (AILET), it’s only fair to ask how the CLAT today is and will be going for up to 77,000 candidates.

The CLAT today is for potentially four times as many candidates as the AILET, which may have seen around 20,000 candidates register (though NLU Delhi has not officially confirmed any figures to date).

AILET complaints ranged from inability to book test centres in cities due to an insufficient number available, to test centre hardware, internet connectivity and inexpert invigilation causing delays and frustration for candidates.

The AILET had been administered by the government’s National Testing Agency (NTA), which had been blamed by some candidates for the issues.

By contrast, fortunately for CLAT aspirants, we understand that the NTA is not carrying out roday’s exam; CLAT officials would not confirm the name of its vendor for the 240+ test centres due to wanting to reduce any risks to the integrity of the exam.

The short-lived National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT), which had been conducted at short notice as a CLAT-replacement as an online-home-proctored exam by NLSIU Bangalore, had also seen serious complaints on and before exam day(s) and was eventually quashed by the Supreme Court.

In any case, here’s to hoping for the best, and wishing good luck and a mostly stress free experience to all candidates today, despite the unusual circumstances.

Update 16:38: Early reports suggest that the paper was rather difficult today, which is not a bad thing inherently though cut-offs would naturally be lower.

The GK section was apparently particularly harrowing and the entire paper was long.

Also, so far, no technical issues have been reported or any major issues at test centres (according to some people we’ve spoken and judging by the relative radio-silence on Twitter so far).

Marking for review = unanswered

Update 17:16: We have heard one minor potential issue surrounding today’s exam.

Apparently, the exam’s instructions today explicitly noted that any questions “marked for review”, in order to bookmark these and return to them later, would not be counted (even if the candidate had given an answer before clicking the ‘mark for review & next question’ button).

However, we understand that this was not the case in the mocks.

We have confirmed from sources with knowledge of the CLAT that, as per today’s instructions, any questions marked for review would not be counted as answered (unless returned to later and answered).

In one way, that seems like the only fair way to handle it: the instructions given before the exam should be the authoritative ones, even vis-a-vis a mock exam, and reading comprehension is, after-all, a part of the CLAT syllabus.


17:21: This was not the only difference between today’s exam and the mock exams.

Around a week ago, the CLAT had notified candidates of the following:

This is to notify that use of calculator (onscreen, manual, watch or in any other way) in the CLAT examination has not been permitted in the previous years and it will not be permitted in this year’s CLAT 2020 examination too.

The on-screen calculator in the mocks was inadvertently displayed without the approval from the executive committee or the convenor.

Still quiet on the Clastern front

17:41: Still no major reports of technical issues with today’s CLAT on Twitter or elsewhere, which seems like a good sign...

Answer keys released

18:46: Answer keys released by consortium already via the website.

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