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CLAT in Hindi this year? Find out why a CLAT online & in Hindi could be ‘disastrous’

Hindi: Not a good idea?
Hindi: Not a good idea?

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2015 question paper may have Hindi translations of all questions, below their English language versions, reported Times of India.

The change was proposed on Saturday by the CLAT implementation committee in its meeting, and is awaiting the approval of the core committee, said RMLNLU vice chancellor and 2015 implementation committee chairperson Prof Gurdip Singh.

Singh commented to Legally India: “The implementation committee desired that in view of the fact that not only people of UP but people of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, all of them speak Hindi and feel comfortable in Hindi therefore why prevent all those students from remote areas at the entry level. Later in law school they can assimilate their knowledge of English.”

Former Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA) executive director Diptasri Basu disagreed with the proposal when asked for comment by Legally India, and said: “Are the people [who are] making these regressive policies lawyers really? Do they understand what non-discrimination means? Is CLAT working to create a level playing field or are they interested in perpetuating the systemic discrimination and unequal opportunities that exist with regard to access to the examination itself?”

The CLAT this year would be online only with questions answered by candidates on computer screens, with instant results to be made available.

Basu commented: “The form is only available online, which means that a student from a village who only has access to an SBI and a post office is immediately cut out of the process. Further, who takes the responsibility to train students on using a computer for an admission test? I hope that other vice chancellors on the CLAT committee have better sense and really uphold the principles of justice that they seek to teach their students at law school! Otherwise, we shall soon see a day when law schools shall comprise only of students from elite backgrounds,” she added.

CLAT coach Rajneesh Singh said that the move to answering the exam online mode has already acted as a deterrent against applying for some prospective candidates, and scrapping offline form submission is expected to deter some more candidates.

“CLAT is facing a lot of problems already. They should have focussed on coming over those problems than creating one more burden for them,” he commented.

Rajneesh Singh said that the proposal for having Hindi translations of questions, if implemented, would be “a disastrous decision” because English is the “career language” of lawyers in India and a selection process that does not test the examinee’s English comprehension is a “faulty” process. Singh also said that this move could create controversy as regards the language comprehension section of the question paper if candidates end up demanding the promised Hindi translation, plus it would be discriminatory to have questions translated in Hindi but not in other regional languages.

He commented that the level of English tested in the CLAT is basic and the language is taught at that level even in government schools in India and not just elite private schools.

The newly introduced Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) was also facing controversy this year over the move to provide Hindi translations of questions addressed in English.

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