Common Law Admission Test CLAT, About CLAT Common Law Admission Test

The greatest contribution of National Law Schools has been to transform legal education into a professional education in its real sense of the term and to make it attractive to Indian intelligentsia. The success of National Law School of India University, Bangalore, has inspired many States to set up similar institutions in their respective territories and at present, there are eleven Law Schools in different parts of the country. These institutions are national in the sense that substantial number of seats in all these institutions are filled up by students from all over India and the academic staff are also recruited on all India basis. All of them conduct admission tests in different centres spread all over the country and thousands of students after their ten plus two examinations take these admission tests.

As the things stand now, each Law School conducts its own admission test and admits students as per its regulations. As a result, students aspiring for good legal education have to write a number of admission tests; and this multiplicity of admission tests has been causing tremendous hardship both physically and financially to the candidates taking these tests. This issue was raised from time to time by several people, but it drew national attention as a result of a Writ Petition filed by Mr. Varun Bhagat against the Union of India and various National Law Schools in the Supreme Court of India in 2006. In the course of hearing, the Honourable Chief Justice of India directed the Union of India to consult the National Law Schools with a view to evolving a scheme for common admission test. It may be noted that the Bar Council of India strongly supported this move towards common admission test.

Since all National Law Schools owe their existence to their respective State Legislation, there is no central agency to coordinate their activities. Therefore, a move such as common admission test requires the consensus of all National Law Schools participating in such a process. To facilitate such a consensus, the Ministry of Human Resources Development, the Government of India and the University Grants Commission of India convened the meeting of the Vice-Chancellors of seven National Law Schools namely NLSIU, NALSAR, NLIU, NUJS, NLU, HNLU and GNLU. The Chairman, Bar Council of India actively participated at these meetings. It may be noted that these seven Law Schools have been functioning for quite some time unlike other newly-established National Law Schools. After a couple of such meetings, these seven National Law Schools signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 23rd November, 2007 committing themselves to hold the common admission test. It is quite in order to acknowledge the significant role played by Mr. Sunil Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources Development and Prof. Mool Chand Sharma, Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission in this entire exercise.

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