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Demonetisation of CLAT 2017: Only online payers may apply • Deadline: 31 March

Less than 1% used cash payment last year; IDIA scholars won’t be affected

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2017 convenor CNLU Patna will only accept online payment for registration for the tenth edition of CLAT, to be held on 14 May.

CNLU registrar Dr SP Singh told us today that until last year aspirants could register for CLAT online as well as offline, however CNLU has scrapped the offline mode this year. Singh said that less than 1% of aspirants paid online in the previous years of CLAT and it took around three or four days for the payment to process, which was problematic when some of them paid offline at the last minute.

Going by previous years’ trends, fewer than 500 aspirants will be affected by this move to go completely online.

Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) executive vice president Swaraj Paul Barooah said that the lack of an offline payment mechanism does not affect IDIA scholars – many of whom are financially weak candidates from remote parts of India – as IDIA has paid online for the registration of its scholars for CLAT last year and will continue paying online in future years.

Barooah added: "Though our IDIA students may be covered, it does add to the vast set of barriers that prevent students from non-elite backgrounds from entering the top law schools of the country."

LLB Candidates over the age of 20, for the general, NRI and sponsored category, and 22 for the reserved categories, will not be allowed to apply for CLAT 2017. This age limit is currently under challenge from 57 CLAT aspirants in the Allahabad high court, after the CLAT committee decided in October to implement this age limit following the Bar Council of India’s resolution.

Candidates can apply for CLAT 2017, starting today until 31 March 2017 which is the last date when CNLU will accept applications and applicants’ forms stating their order of preference of national law universities (NLU).

Singh said that the mock exam papers will be published on CLAT’s official website within one month from today.

Clarification, 3 january 2017: We have amended the quote to reflect that IDIA has only paid online for candidates last year and will do so in future years. Barooah has also added now that the move to go online adds to the vast set of barriers that prevent students from non-elite backgrounds from entering India's top law schools.

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