Published: 22nd September 2020
NLSIU's entrance exam saga: How the pandemic threw India's top law varsity into administrative chaos
A day after Supreme Court asks NLSIU to cancel NLAT 2020 results and consider CLAT 2020, the NLSIU has started refunding entrance fees that was taken for NLAT 2020 exams
Earlier, this month when the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bengaluru announced that they would be conducting their own entrance exams for undergraduate and postgraduate admissions for the upcoming academic year, they faced huge backlash from students as well as the Consortium of National Law Universities. However, the NLSIU said that the delay in conducting the CLAT exams is why they are opting for their own exam. They had also stated that the admissions must finish by September 2020 failing which it will result in Zero year with no admission as they follow a trimester system followed by NLSIU under which they have three terms 90 days each.
As a result, the NLSIU had announced the date for their NLAT exams on September 12 and the results will be announced on September 15. Meanwhile, Dr Venkat Rao, the former Vice-Chancellor of NLSIU along with the parents of a law aspirants approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision taken by the NLSIU calling it not only illegal but a burden on the students as most of the aspirants might have technical issues related to their computer system, operating software as well as the internet. Aside from this, Faizan Mustafa, NALSAR Vice-Chancellor supporting Dr Venkat Rao's writ petition. The affidavit mentioned other reasons including lack of publicity for the exam, lack of physical accessibility to the centres, technical errors as well as mass cheating.
At this phase, the Supreme Court informed NLSIU to hold exams on September 12 but they were advised not to declare the results until the court announces its final decision. Even before conducting their final entrance exams, the NLSIU conducted mock tests in which the candidates faced several technical glitches. These glitches included receiving late notifications about their exam slots and hours spent on just verifying the candidates. Despite uncountable such issues, the NLSIU went ahead and conducted their entrance exams on September 12. According to the University's statement released on the same day, they recorded 93.2 per cent attendance for the first slot, 95 and 93 per cent attendance for the second and third slots respectively.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, R Satish Reddy and MR Shah heard both the parties and quashed the NLSIU's decision of conducting a separate entrance exam and told them strictly to consider applications and admissions as per the CLAT exams and scores of the candidates. Furthermore, the court directed the Consortium of Law Universities that the results of CLAT must be declared as soon as possible so that the Universities start with the admissions and a new academic year.
Currently, the NLSIU has decided to admit the students as per CLAT 2020 that will be conducted on September 28 and have started refunding the fees that students had paid for the entrance exams.