NLSIU faculty, students concerned over 50% quota for state students

NLSIU faculty, students concerned over 50% quota for state students

Faculty and students of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) are concerned about the effect the bill to reserve 50% seats for Karnataka students would have on the diversity in classrooms and the quality of the institution.

“The government has taken a myopic view and it has not considered the long-term effects on the quality of the institution. NLSIU is aiming for international excellence and hopes to be in the QS World University Rankings within a decade. If standards are to be maintained, admission should be on the basis of merit,” said a senior staffer at NLSIU, who did not want to be quoted.

The bill to amend the National Law School of India Act, 1986, recently passed in the Legislative Assembly, makes it mandatory to reserve 50% of the seats for resident students of Karnataka. A student who, or whose either parent, has resided in the state for at least 10 years and students who have studied in the state for at least five years, will be eligible for seats under this reservation. The reasoning behind the move was that representation of the state in NLSIU’s classrooms was not sufficient.

“Law is a field which interacts with society. So diversity in the classroom is necessary because students learn from each other. It is unreasonable to ask for 50% reservation. A maximum 10% would have been sufficient to ensure representation of students from Karnataka,” the source said. The institute has a maximum intake of 80 students for its undergraduate course.

Further, the source said the government has hardly played any role in the development of the institution. “The land on which the campus exists is leased.

The institution is also self-financed. The government of Karnataka contributes about Rs 46 lakh per annum in three installments towards maintenance grants. This is less than 5% of the total budget outlay,” the source said, adding that the state government, instead could have upgraded the standard of law colleges run by it.  

The Student Bar Association of NLSIU has also opposed the move and had released a statement saying that it would pursue all available options, including discussions at the state and central level. The statement said, “One of the most cherished aspects of life at NLSIU has been the immense cultural and regional diversity which we have witnessed over the years. Such diversity has contributed to enhancing our learning experience manifold, and also led to many different parts of the country gaining from having well-trained lawyers and academics. Efforts to dilute that diversity strike at the core of the ethos of our university.”

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