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An estimated 3-minute read

ToI Report Lambasts NLSIU: Inaccurate, Cursory Reporting; Link to Reservation' Demands

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I wrote this on Lawctopus yesterday. I argue that the ToI report is inaccurate and cursory. Moreover, according to a student the timing of the report has a link to the demands of a domicile quota at NLSIU.

 

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The Times of India Report, referring findings of a CJI’ appointed committee on how NLSIU is falling down from its exalted position has raised eyebrows and commenters on social media have gone berserk over the issue.

 

The report talks about “rising instances of drug abuse, sex and drinking among students, indifference to plagiarism in student project reports and decline in serious research pursuit and academic rigour”. It also mentions how students have an abysmally low 4-6 hours of class room lectures per week.

 

Inaccurate and Cursory

Though the report raises some pertinent issues; most of them are either inaccurate or cursory or both. Take for example, plagiarism; a malaise which embraces the academic industry as a whole and is not endemic to NLSIU. It’s a systemic problem and not an institutional one.

 

Rising instances of sex”, is either a bad city correspondent at work or an 80 year old idealist Committee member trying to impinge upon the private lives of adult students.

 

Moreover, the report’s assertion of “4-6 hours of class room lectures per week” is inaccurate. Add to that 4-6 hours of class room lectures per week “per faculty member” and you find yourself on the right track; safe in the hallowed classrooms of the Harvard of the East, in the stimulating peer discussions it always engenders.

 

Any reference point ?

We are yet to find any statistic which can serve as a vantage point to pitch ‘NLSIU of the past’ and the ‘NLSIU of now’. NLSIU remains the favourite abode of recruiters, gives India an annual Rhodes Scholar and continues to enthral institutions, both foreign and Indian which are eager to engage with the law school.

 

The absence of any past metrix and the recent empirical findings suggesting anything but ‘falling standards’ should constitute enough evidence to caution most reasonable men and women against arriving at any decision based on this report.

 

Nexus with demand for State Reservation

According to a law student at NLS the timing of the publishing of the report by TOI has a nexus with the increasingly vociferous demands for “State Reservation/Domicile Quota” at NLSIU. By pointing out the “falling academic standards” some interested parties want to unsettle the current officials who are against reservations.

 

Interestingly the Executive Committee meeting which is likely to discuss this issue happens tomorrow. Do read the Times of India report with a pinch of salt.

 

Pertinent Issues

However, the report does highlight very pertinent issues. An established institution might sometimes put forward the façade of past achievements, resting on its past laurels while its present slackens. The result in most cases is an inertia which discourages innovation. The institution piggy-backs the legend; ending its story.

 

Encouragingly, the authorities at NLSIU seem to have backed an expected introspection with concrete actions. Another report in the Times of India which seems to have missed the attention of most people does talk about a substantial action plan which has been put in place.

 

For CLAT Aspirants 

We are worried about reactions shown by many CLAT aspirants. Our advice to them will be: Keep NLSIU as the first preference. Keep it your dream law school.  Every law school has its problems, big and small. In the end it is your ‘choice’ which counts. You choose to be an academic laggard or not. You choose to do drugs or not. No one forces you into these things.

 

Everything said and done; NLSIU will give you the best peer group to work with, to help you evolve and change you for good.

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